Fall SciArt workshops in Toronto

Some of our workshops are offered annually! So, if you are interested in learning something entirely new,

now just might be the time. (scroll down for more!)

Bat Skeleton Articulation workshops 

Workshops are taking place at the T.E.S.T gallery space 906 Queen st West • Toronto 

Reserve your seats with a deposit of $135 (class fee $270)  

In this class, students will learn how to create an osteological preparation of a bat in the fashion of 19th century zoological displays. A cleaned bat skeleton (Pipistrellus abramus), a glass dome, branches, glue, tools, and all necessary materials will be provided for each student, but one should feel welcome to bring small feathers, stones, dried flowers, dead insects, natural elements, or any other materials s/he might wish to include in his/her composition. Students will leave the class with a visually striking, fully articulated, “lifelike” bat skeleton posed in a 10″ tall glass dome. The class will focus on teaching ancient methods of specimen preparation that link science with art: students will create compositions involving natural elements and, according to their taste, will compose a traditional Victorian environment or a modern display.

Thursday evening, Oct 12th start time 6:30pm


Saturday Afternoon, Oct 14th start time 12pm 


Sunday Afternoon, Oct 15th start time 12pm


Dia De Los Muertos Sugar Skull Making Workshops!

October 28 & 29th come and decorate sugar skulls for Halloween and our                      Day of the Dead ofrenda!  $20pp 13yrs on up! $10 per child 12 – 5yrs*

Adult Oct 28
Adult Oct 29

Everyone is welcome to join the fun! Learn how to make and decorate Mexican sugar skulls. Learn about Dia de los Muertos festivities and the Ofrenda. How to construct sugar skulls and animals will be demonstrated. Adding foils, paper flowers & icing flowers will be demonstrated. Participants will then decorate their sugar skulls using Royal icing, metallic foils and more!  Fun for the whole family!  Workshops start at 12pm Saturday and Sunday. Green chile/corn tamales, tacos, chips & various salsas, churros, horchata and more (so, don’t eat lunch beforehand!) * children 12 & under must be accompanied by an adult.

Child Oct 28
Child Oct 29




Everyone can participate and put something either traditional or symbolic on the altar. The altar is where people can express their feelings for those loved ones being honoured. Americans (and non-Catholics) are beginning to adopt this tradition and now altars are becoming popular in private homes as well as in public places.  In Mexico, the traditional family altar explodes with colour during Day of the Dead when many special items are set out as offerings to the returning spirits. The entire family will work together in the decoration; similar to families who decorate their Christmas tree together. Many families spend up to two month’s earnings on the food & decorations for their ofrendas.

Frida & Elvis sugar skulls made by Rio Valdez

Halloween may be on Oct. 31, but there’s another spooky date on the calendar directly after: “Dia de los Muertos.”  -from ibtimes.com

Now celebrated in countries around the world, Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a two-day holiday which originated in Mexico to remember deceased loved ones. It’s a Mexican national holiday and the country’s largest celebration of the year, but Dia de los Muertos extends well beyond to Guatemala, Brazil, Spain and Mexican-American communities in the United States.

The observance is Nov. 1 and 2, coinciding with the Catholic All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Typically, the two-day celebration is divided into separate days to honor deceased youth, Dia de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) or Dia de los Angelitos (Day of the Little Angels) on Nov. 1, and adults for Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2. In some beliefs, it is a three-day holiday beginning on Oct. 31, All Hallows Eve, when some believe the souls of young children arise at midnight.

Not to be confused with Halloween, this holiday has a rich history and involves more than dressing up in costumes or trick-or-treating.

On Dia de los Muertos, families gather to celebrate those who have died as well as build altars in their homes, schools or other public places to pay homage to the deceased. Many honor the dead with gifts of sugar skulls, chocolate, marigolds (the Mexican flower of death), sweetbreads and trinkets. Families also typically visit graves to deliver the ofrendas, or “offerings,” and hold vigils with candles and photos.

Dia de los Muertos can be traced back to the Aztecs who celebrated with a festival for the goddess of the underworld, Mictecacihuatl, and the Catholic Spanish conquistadors’ All Saints’ and All Souls’ days. Scholars have noted the indigenous cultures of Mexico honor the Lady of the Dead, the modern La Catrina, which many recognize today as a skeleton woman wearing a fancy hat.

Glass Kiln forming workshop  Nov 3, 4 & 5, 11th  or Monday afternoons noon-5pm Oct 16th-Nov 6th & November 13-Dec 4th $300pp+(optional) lab fee  This intensive class introduces fundamental concepts of creating glass objects in the kiln either through lost wax casting, Pate de Verre or a combination of the two. 1st Friday evening overview demonstrates the Vitrigraph kiln/flameworking cane/murrine.  Students will learn kiln forming towards making window pieces, bowls/plates, sculptural, wearable items and more! Students work with Bullseye glass, frit/powder, rod and stringer OR have the option (casting only) with gorgeous Gaffer crystal.
No experience with glass is required for this course.
Friday evening 6:30-9:30pm: Introduction/demonstration of vitrigraph kiln and flame working cane/murrini for use in kiln forming glass.
Saturday afternoon (noon to 6pm): Students have the opportunity of hand pulling cane/murrini at the torch. Students build models from clay, wax patterns, moulds using alginate and more, set-up the kiln for kiln forming/casting/pate de verre.
Sunday afternoon  (noon-5pm): Students learn how to work with refractory materials to hand-build moulds, mother moulds, weigh for glass. Models are steamed out of moulds and set-up in the kiln(s).
Saturday afternoon (noon to 5pm): Students return to de-invest their models, cold work their glass by hand.
Lab fee (optional): $100 covers Gaffer crystal colours*, metals, & expendables
Students are emailed concerning glass colour choice, otherwise everyone works with clear glass.


Please leave your start-up date choice in a  note when registering or email the studio.

flame working

Flame ON!Next workshop starts Tuesday evenings Nov  14th 6:30-9:30pm  $130pp includes materials- Class runs 3 evenings.
This workshop introduces students to the basics of mandrel-wound (soft) glass beadmaking by the process of flameworking (lampworking) shaping glass at a bench-mounted, surface-mix oxygen/propane torch. Safety is discussed, tools, terminology of glass, and process. Each student will have access to a torch and will melt and form glass using a variety of hand tools.This is the chance to experience working molten glass! While not a “product-oriented” workshop, there will be plenty of time for students to make a small, but satisfying batch of colourful beads, which are annealed overnight after each workshop, and cleaned before the start of the next class.  Class fee includes all materials
No experience necessary!btn_buynow_LG Ages 12 on up are welcome!

New Year • New Experience

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Pate de verre small bowl

Pâte de verre workshops 

Option 1: 3hr workshop, $150pp Friday afternoon or evenings January 27th noon-3pm or 5pm-8pmbtn_buynow_LG

Participants learn how to fill a pre-made mould of a small bowl or skull (think sugar skull), these pieces are then fired and participants return to the studio to divest and finish their pieces. Materials included, no experience necessary!
Option 2: 10hr workshop, Saturday Feb 10th, 10am-5pm (w/lunch break), 2nd day/evening scheduled during workshop, 3-6pm or 6:30pm-9:30pm $250pp  btn_buynow_LG
Students learn the basics of pâte de verre from start to finish while making a thin-walled, kilnformed bowl (med/largish). Students make a plaster silica mold from a model, pack it with glass, fire it, then divest and finish it. Students will have access to a broad palette of colored frit and samples to help predict and understand fired qualities. Demonstrations include various techniques of working with glass powders against the mold, working with color reactions, as well as how to back-fill a packed mold to support the walls of the piece during firing.   
Interested in continuing your glass or metal experiments, honing skills or just renting kiln time? Check out our Open Studio link above for further info 


Ars Vitraria Experimentalis : kiln casting Sand casting workshop
6 Sessions: Saturday &  Sunday afternoons, 1pm – 5pm, Next course starts February TBA 2017 $430 includes materials. deposit_button
This course is perfect for people looking to turn non-glass items into glass, sculpt items out of clay/wax to be cast in glass, incorporate other materials with cast glass (wood, cement, stone, found items, etc). Using the lost wax casting process as well as sand casting, this course covers various mould making techniques. Adding metal inclusions. Packing moulds with glass, casting and annealing cycles, working with alginate, making silicone moulds to replicate pieces.  Students will learn how to hand finish pieces; grind, sand, and cut glass. Participants in this class will create original sculptures, while learning the infinite possibilities of Kiln casting and Sand casting.    Participants work by recycling glass bottles and casting this glass into sand, create clay models and learn how to build silicone moulds for lost wax castings, etc.   No experience necessary!  Size max 18cm in any direction. Deposit of $215 required to hold seat.

Students will make silicone moulds from items they wish to cast in glass. Examples: plastic/vinyl toy/action figure, anatomical models or small branch, unusual vegetable/fruit, seed pod. Items could also be modelled from Sculpey clay and fired ahead of attending the workshop. Glass options are discussed.

Students pour multiple waxes from their silicone moulds, refine their wax models (add or subtract). Models are then weighed and various glass options are revisited. Once glass choice is determined pouring gates are added to models and then a silica based refractory mould is built around the wax models. Once moulds set up the wax is then steamed out. Meanwhile, glass is weighed, and cleaned.

Sand Casting (BYOB):  Students are asked to bring in 3-4 empty beer bottles. Bottles are cleaned of labels then broken down and melted in a crucible. Simple forms are pressed into sand and the molten glass is slowly poured into these impressions. Glass is then annealed. – further details/instruction given in class.

What’s included:

2 kg of glass

Approx. .9 kg silicon& plastics necessary for mould building (determine if you will need more through the online material calculator)

Refractory materials


Nitrile gloves

n95 Particulate respirator

Cold-working consumables

Note: These workshops are messy! Please wear/bring in clothing that can get covered in clay, plaster, water, etc.

Flame-work molten glass & Metal + Glass Camp!

Pate de verre bowl
Pate de verre bowl

Glass Pate de Verre workshop Friday afternoon, July 15th 1pm-4pm $130pp This 3-hour class introduces many fundamental concepts of creating glass objects in the kiln. After a brief overview, students make a small bowl or ‘Sugar’ Skull using granules of glass that are mixed to form a paste. Colour is applied selectively by sifting or painting on glass powders. Pâte de verre is a kilncasting method that literally means “paste of glass”.  The general premise is to mix frit granules with some sort of binder such as gum arabic, then apply the glass to the inner surface of a negative mood. Nanopod provides students with a plaster silica mold of a bowl or skull and demonstrates pâte de verre methods and design options. You personalize the project using a palette of glass powders and fill the shell of the mold with a frit paste. Your piece will the be kiln-dried and back-filled prior to firing. The final piece, which will be available for pick-up a few days after class, will be a hollow form that, despite its delicate and sugary appearance, is a strong and long lasting object. Bowls are approximately 4 inches in diameter and 2 inches high.                                           No experience necessary, materials included!Eventbrite - Glass Pate de Verre workshop


hand flame-worked glass heart

hand flame-worked glass heart

Flame ON!, Thursday afternoons (multiple dates available click: Buy Tickets to be taken to schedule) noon to 4pm  $130 per person, includes materials- 4 student max 
This workshop introduces students to the basics of mandrel-wound glass beadmaking by the process of flameworking (lampworking) shaping glass at a bench-mounted, surface-mix oxygen/propane torch. Safety is discussed, tools, terminology of glass, and process. Each student will have access to a torch and will melt and form glass using a variety of hand tools.

This is the chance to experience working molten glass! While not a “product-oriented” workshop, there will be time for the student to make a small, but satisfying stash of colorful beads which are annealed overnight, and cleaned when you pick them up.  Class fee includes all materials
No experience necessary! Ages 14 on up are welcome! Eventbrite - Flame ON!

Flame-worked glass bead

Flame-worked glass bead






Kiln Forming/Glass fusingMetal + Glass 8 day Camp! August 2nd to August 11th Summer art/craft camp! This intensive workshop teaches students how to work with hand tools, design concepts, subtractive and additive sculpting, kiln-forming glass, painting with glass, etching metal .. have fun learning new skills. $400pp

Summer art/craft camp! This intensive workshop teaches students how to work with hand tools, design concepts, subtractive and additive sculpting, kiln-forming glass, painting with glass, etching metal ..  have fun learning new skills.

Everyday covers a different technique
Safety in the studio and working with various materials is covered with each new process.
Day 1: Working with hammers and stamping tools students add textures, words, images to copper pendants, and small bracelets.
Day 2: Properly measure, texture and form sterling silver ring bands.
Day 3: Small field trip to the near-by park to collect blades of grass, twigs, leaves-back at the studio observe your specimen under a microscope and replicate your findings in glass! Paint on glass, make a couple of pendants and a window piece. Students will learn kiln forming/carving and make 5″x7″ window pieces and a couple of pendants.
Day 4: Working with cuttlefish bone moulds carve out patterns that will then be cast in pewter.
Day 5: Work with vitreous enamel painting/sifting images on copper that will be fused in a kiln.
Day 6: Draw pictures onto brass or copper and learn how to etch metal (like circuit boards) and turn these images into pins/brooches.
Day 7: Working with found items: flat rocks, drift wood, twigs, bottle caps, broken ceramic bits students learn how to hand drill and rivet with metal tubing and turn their finds into charm necklaces/bracelets.
Day 8: Finish up projects.

What’s included:
Sterling silver for 1 ring band
Copper for forming, rivets, and making bracelet blanks
Brass for etching
Glass enamels
Glass for kiln forming
Sterling for cuttlefish casting – approx 5 grams
Cuttlefish bone
Microscope slides
Nichrome wire
Various copper, brass and bronze wire

Use of tools and equipment.
* Salt solutions are used for etching. The studio works with green alternatives whenever possible. Students will not come into contact with any harmful chemicals. Particulate masks are worn when working with glass powders. At no time are the students working with fire, or dangerous materials.
Recommended for 12 years on up! Under 18? Parental consent forms are sent via email upon registration.

Super course rate of $50 per day – Reserve your space today!

ring band workshops

Glass Sugar Skull Day of the Dead Workshop

Pate de verre - glass - sugar skulls
Pate de verre – glass – sugar skulls

Dia de Los Muertos is coming up! Day of the Dead (SpanishDía de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

Celebrate during one of two glass sugar skull workshops coming up Tuesday, October 20th and Thursday, October 22nd (just in time for Halloween decorating!). $85pp includes all materials to make one amazing glass calavera (skull)!  6:30 to 9:30pm

Working with glass powders participants sift, and paint designs into plaster skull moulds. Once decorating is completed participants pack the moulds with a course glass, gum arabic and water mixture which is then slowly fired in a kiln to remove moisture. The moulds are then back-filled, fired and annealed. Students return a day or two later to remove their sugar skulls from moulds and clean them up!                                                     This workshop is a great introduction to pâte de verre, which uses granules of glass to create sculptural forms. Pâte de verre methods and design options are demonstrated. 1 skull per person.

Mexican food,  chocolate beverages and {un poco} tequila will be served! Olé!      Register today! btn_buynow_LG

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Author, Jill Edmondson poses A la Hamlet with her glass sugar skull
Author, Jill Edmondson poses A la Hamlet with her glass sugar skull

Metal + Glass + Taxidermy in Toronto

Looking to learn some new skills? Or up your game? Nanopod studio offers workshops in traditional, contemporary and futuristic goldsmithing/silversmithing; lost wax casting of glass and/or sterling silver, pate de verre, glass fusing, etching sterling, copper, steel, Keum-bo, anodizing titanium/niobium, cold-connections, stone setting, working with vitreous enamel and…..drum roll, taxidermy.

All workshops and courses are open to absolute beginners with little to no experience.

The Taxidermy workshops are taught by guest artist instructors: Morbid Anatomy Museum’s, Divya Anantharaman (aka Friend’s Forever) and Toronto’s own Casual Taxidermist, Ankixa Risk


The next Metal + Glass course is scheduled for September 14th and runs two evenings a week, Monday & Wednesday. Reserve your seat, spaces fill up fast!

Casual Taxidermy classes return in September and Divya returns to Toronto October 24th & 25th to hold special bird taxidermy classes! Interested in learning how to create beautiful Victorian, Steampunk, Burlesque hats, fascinators & wearable taxidermy? Get your name on our list! 

DIY Holiday Workshops in Toronto

Shop local this holiday season! Heck! Shop local year round and support small artist-run businesses.

Plus, workshops make great gifts in that they keep on giving! 


Birthday party ring band workshop!
Birthday party ring band workshop!


Ring band workshops 1-4pm $85pp 6 student max per workshop/session Next workshop is Saturday, December 6  This is perfect for newly engaged folks, birthday parties and bachelorettes!

In this class you’ll be introduced to simple goldsmithing skills of sawing, filing, sanding, soldering, texturing, annealing, stamping, polishing, safety, and design. By the end of class you will have a beautiful handmade Sterling silver ring! Learn how to properly size your finger, calculate the length of metal necessary, add texture to metal using different hammers, stamping tools, or add the texture of a leaf, feather or paper. How to anneal Sterling silver, form, solder, and finishing techniques from hyper shiny bling to a brushed, matte finish. All materials included! {Sterling silver for 1 ring band} NO experience necessary.






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Fall leaves; glass, pate de verre


Pate de Verre ornaments, adornments, objects! noon to 5pm Saturday, December 13th (6 student max, 3 student min) Register today! $110pp ALL materials included.

Working with glass powders students can make feathers, leaves, various shapes and designs. Create gifts for the holidays, ornaments, jewelry, sculptures. This workshop is a great introduction to pâte de verre, which uses granules of glass to create sculptural forms. Students will make clay models and plaster/silca moulds that will then be painted/packed with glass. Pâte de verre methods and design options are demonstrated. 2 to 3 items are produced.

Student pieces will then be kiln-dried and back-filled if necessary prior to a final firing.

Pieces will be fired after the workshop and available for pick-up a few days later. Students will then book a time to come in, de-mold and lightly cold-work their pieces. This step generally takes 1-2hrs. btn_buynowCC_BLK



[shown from left to right: vitreous enamel on copper/bezel set, cuttlebone cast ring. Bottom: Fused glass powders, Sterling ring bands]
[shown from left to right: vitreous enamel on copper/bezel set, cuttlebone cast ring. Bottom: Fused glass powders, Sterling ring bands]

8 week Metal + Glass Next course starts up Monday, January 5th 2015   (2 spots remaining)                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Form • Fabricate • Cast • Fuse – Learn basic Goldsmithing + Lost wax casting glass – 6:30-9:30pm, 8 weeks, 1 evening per week Monday evenings – $280 per person, 6 people max, 3 people min.                                             $100 deposit necessary to hold space.

evening #1:First evening: working with copper-safety, drilling, sawing, fold-forming.

evening #2: Making a band ring out of silver (stamp, hammer finish, roller print, etc.)

evening #3:working with wax create pieces w/the lost wax technique- to be cast in Sterling, Brass or Gold.

evening #4: Finishing wax projects, cleaning up castings> cuttlebone casting (finish up models)

evening #5:NEW: Glass Casting- basic/simple mould making and casting a glass object to use in your jewelry!

evening #6: bezel settings and tab setting for cabochon stones and your glass work. Clean-up glass & metal castings

evening #7:Enameling copper projects, forming, how to make your own findings.

evening #8: finish up projects

No experience necessary!  Copper, wax, glass, and some sterling silver are supplied. A list of local suppliers is included. Questions concerning this course? Please see ourFAQ’s check out some past student work! btn_buynowCC_BLK



gift_cert24Gift certificates for the Holidays! Buy them for friends, family or yourself 😉 Purchase full class tuition or whatever amount you like!