Ring Band workshops November & December • Last workshops for 2018!

Ring Band Workshops Saturday afternoon, November 24th or December 8th, 1pm-4pm $88/pp includes all materials to construct a beautiful, wide band sterling silver ring! Learn how to properly measure your finger(s), work with a Jeweller’s saw and blades, add textures with hammers, stamping tools and rolling mill. Form, solder and finish!

Last workshops for 2018!

 

Ring band workshops

 

 

Metal + Glass November

Metal + Glass 4-week course Starts up November 5th and runs – 8 evenings. Monday & Wednesday 6:30-9:30pm  $285/pp  Spaces are still available for Monday’s start-up!

Almar’s cuttlebone cast from an 4/wk course in Iceland

 

evening #1: First evening: working with copper: safety, drilling, sawing. Adding textures.

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

evening #3: Working with wax create a small piece w/the lost wax technique- to be cast in Sterling silver.

evening #4: Finishing wax projects, invest models for casting in metal. Waxes for metal casting are weighed and calculated (*sterling runs $2.50/grm. Lab fee includes 20grams of sterling silver casting grain). Lo-tech casting with Cuttlefish bone.

evening #5: Cast moulds in sterling silver!

evening #6: Enameling copper projects, forming, how to make your own basic findings.

evening #7: Bezel settings cabochon stones or fossils or crystals, or an enamelled glass piece.

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 our FAQ’s

What’s included:
Approx 4×5” piece of copper sheet, 2’ copper wire, sterling silver for 1 ring band, fine silver bezel wire to set 1 cabochon cut stone. Glass is included for casting/flame-working (whatever method is covered), silver solder to complete class projects, wax, 10 grams of sterling silver for casting (either cuttlefish or lost wax), powdered vitreous enamel, 1 doz saw blades, 1 1mm drill bit, 1 half face particulate respirator, nitrile gloves, refractory materials for casting moulds.  Students are encouraged to supply their own cabochon cut stones, crystals, rocks, etc.

Additional materials not included: cabochon cut stone(s), extra sterling silver grain for lost wax castings, sterling silver sheet/plate for setting stones on/constructing other pieces.  Sterling silver casting grain may be purchased at $2.50gram.

The lab fees offer tools and materials for students to continue projects at home and start setting up their own studio.
Lab fee $150.00 (optional) what it includes:
adjustable jeweller’s bench pin, jeweller’s saw frame, 1 gross (144) jeweller’s saw blade assortment, 20 grams of sterling silver casting grain, 2″x2″ sterling silver plate.
Lab fee 1

Purchase gift certificates in advance! Get that holiday shopping DONE.

January 2019 Glass workshops:
Advance registration is always a good idea when it comes to ordering colour! 😉 



Pate de Verre workshops – Participants learn how to fill a pre-made mould of a small bowl with glass paint, glass powder and fine glass -frit-, the moulds are then fired and participants return to the studio to divest and finish their bowls.  $150/pp Materials included, no experience necessary!  Weekend workshop: January 5th & 6th, Sat: 12-3pm/Sun: 1pm-4pm
 

Students learn the basics of pâte de verre from start to finish while making a thin-walled, kiln formed bowl. Students have access to a broad palette of coloured frit (crushed glass) 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.   

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Glass Kiln forming workshop Saturday & Sunday, January 12/13/19/20 $380pp+(optional) lab fee  12pm start.
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. Learn the art of lost wax casting glass, and the pate de verre process.  From paper thin to thicker lost wax models, adding metal inclusions, and more. Students will learn how to make moulds from existing objects using Alginate and/or silicone, as well as model new ones from clay and wax. Hand built moulds and box moulds will be made with various refractory materials. Students will learn different firing and annealing schedules for casting & pate de verre. Hand cold-working without the need of expensive equipment! No experience necessary!  All materials are included. Students are required to bring in their own half-face respirator with particulate filters. Aprons are available for use at the studio, as are all tools and equipment necessary for sculpting, firing and cold working glass, however, students are welcome to bring in their own tools, etc., just make sure your items are marked. kiln casting workshop
 Size max 18cm in any direction.
Day 1: Replication. Students will make silicone or alginate 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. While the silicone moulds cure, students build a small bowl form out of clay (add texture/details) and from there build a refractory mould, once set-up the clay is removed and students are shown how to apply glass to the mould a la Pate de Verre. Colour samples are also made on this day.
Day 2: Wax pouring and hand-built moulds. 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. -Items are cast & annealed over the week.
Day 3: De-mould kiln castings/cold working Students remove their kiln cast objects and start the cold working process. Various methods and equipment are discussed and demonstrated.
Day 4: Finish cleaning kiln cast objects.
What’s included:1.5 kg of glass, silicone/alginate materials necessary for mould building, Refractory materials, Wax, Nitrile glove, sn95 Particulate respirator, Cold-working consumables

Lab fee (optional): $100 covers Gaffer crystal colours*, Bullseye colours: sheet, billet or coarse frit, metals, & mould kits. Students are emailed concerning glass colour choice, otherwise everyone works with clear glass and coloured frit.

Glass: we will be working with Bullseye glass (clear).
For the Pate de Verre project participants work with clear fine frit, and may add colour through painting onto the mould surface using glass Powders. The studio has a basic colour palette of Bullseye Glass Powders in red, orange, yellow, greens, and blues along with black and white.
For the kiln casting part of the course participants are working with Bullseye glass Crystal Clear Kilncasting Cullet. Or Gaffer crystal (please see below).
Projects: we will complete several projects
1- colour samples for cast items.
Working with Alginate or Hydrogel
1- Pate de Verre- thin walled ‘casting’, open-face mould.
1- Solid kiln cast form, discuss refractory materials, mother moulds, face coats. Venting/gating/sprueing up your wax model.
Note:
If you want to work with coloured Bullseye Glass Frits (fine, medium, course, etc for Pate de Verre and/or casting), Billets (casting only) or Gaffer Crystal (Not compatible with Bullseye, only used in solid casting part of course))> that is extra (the Lab fee) and would need to be ordered ahead of the class. This is not mandatory at all, though.
That said, if you are unfamiliar with Bullseye and/or Gaffer glass you of course would ask:  …what’s the difference, why would I choose to work with one over the other?
Bullseye glass is made from Soda Lime, and depending on colour various oxides, metals, pigments are added. Gaffer is created similarly however it has a low viscosity at normal casting temperatures and has virtually no tendency to devitrify -at all- at top casting temperatures, nor on its descent in temperature down to the annealing range. Furthermore, its very low viscosity, 
and low surface tension at 780-900°C. (1426-1650°F), leads to very good surface definition. This makes it especially suitable for jewelry scale pieces, as well as large work.
 
Bullseye Glass is offered in various forms: Sheet, billet/cullet, Frit, Rod, stringer, Powder.
Gaffer casting crystal is offered in: Billet, chunky ‘frit’.
 
There will be items on display at the studio made from both Bullseye and Gaffer. 
 Links to view glass colours (Frit, Billet), and Gaffer crystal.

 

August Pate de Verre & Flame-working Workshops

As if August isn’t hot enough we’ve added some glass workshops to our Tuesday evenings! Pate de Verre (paste of glass) is a technique that allows for precise colour placement and painting or sifting glass into images using stencils. Flameworking off-mandrel: typography & nature teaches methods of sculpting glass under a torch. Heat control, using tools and gravity to shape and form molten glass.


Pate de Verre workshops – Participants learn how to fill a pre-made mould of a small bowl with glass paint, glass powder and fine glass -frit-, the moulds are then fired and participants return to the studio to divest and finish their bowls.  $130/pp Materials included, no experience necessary!  Next workshop Tuesday, August 28th 6:30-10pm
 

Students learn the basics of pâte de verre from start to finish while making a thin-walled, kiln formed bowl. Students have access to a broad palette of coloured frit (crushed glass) 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.   No experience necessary. All materials provided

Glass Flameworking- off mandrel typography, leaves & other forms. Tuesday evenings August 14/21 6:30-10pm, 3 student max  $150/pp 

Create letters, shapes, leaves and other 2D forms using a torch, tweezers and other glass working tools. No experience necessary. All materials provided.

Participants sculpt and form small glass pieces they can use to create jewellery, sculptural works, fused forms/tiles or just to keep as objects. Studio safety, how-to operate a bench mounted torch, basic flameworking tools and working with soft-medium hard glass is demonstrated. Annealing glass is thoroughly discussed along with how-to set up your flameworking space/studio at home.

 

Late Summer & early Fall Metal + Glass dates are up!

Learn how to form, fabricate, solder, set-stones in our
4 wk Metal + Glass course, etch, cast and more!

Metal + Glass 4-week course Starts up August 13th or September 10th • 8 evenings. Monday & Wednesday 6:30-9:30pm $285/pp (*after registering please email over your start date)

evening #1: First evening: working with copper: safety, drilling, sawing. Adding textures.evening #2: Making a ring band 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 silver or bronze.

evening #4: Finishing wax projects, invest models for casting in Glass and Metal (separately) Waxes for metal casting are weighed and calculated (sterling runs $2.50/grm unless lab fee has been purchased).

evening #5: Cast moulds in sterling silver or bronze! Remove glass pieces from moulds.

evening #6: Enameling copper projects, forming, how to make your own basic findings.

evening #7: Bezel settings cabochon stones or fossils or crystals, or an enamelled or Fused glass piece.

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 our FAQ’s

What’s included:
Approx 4×5” piece of copper sheet, 2’ copper wire, sterling silver for 1 ring band, fine silver bezel wire to set 1 cabochon cut stone. Glass is included for casting/flame-working (whatever method is covered), silver solder to complete class projects, wax, bronze/brass for lost wax casting (20grams) & powdered vitreous enamel, 1 doz saw blades, 1 1mm drill bit, 1 half face particulate respirator, nitrile gloves, refractory materials for casting moulds.  Students are encouraged to supply their own cabochon cut stones, crystals, rocks, etc.

Additional materials not included: cabochon cut stone(s), sterling silver grain for lost wax castings, sterling silver sheet/plate for setting stones on/constructing other pieces.  Sterling silver casting grain may be purchased at $2.50gram.

The lab fees offer tools and materials for students to continue projects at home and start setting-up their own studio. Lab fee 2 (kit) Option 2 Please see below class descriptions for what is included in this option.
Lab fee 1 $125.00 (optional) what it includes:
adjustable jeweller’s bench pin, jeweller’s saw frame, 1 gross (144) jeweller’s saw blade assortment, 15 grams of sterling silver casting grain, 1 3×3” sterling silver plate
Lab fee 1

 

 



Metal + Glass Lab Fee 2: $357.00  

Lab fee 2

Set contains:
  • Jeweller’s Saw
  • Third Hand
  • Half Round Medium Cut File
  • Burnisher
  • 1 dozen Cut 0 Saw Blades
  • 1 gross (144) Saw blade assortment
  • AA Fine Tweezers
  • Shears
  • 1 set half-round Sanding Sticks
  • Ring Mandrel
  • Butane Torch
  • Dividers 4
  • Ring Clamp
  • Polishing Cloth
  • Needle File Handle
  • Locking Tweezers
  • Pin Vise
  • Soldering Board
  • Ball Pein Hammer
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Scribe
  • Wood Dapping Block & Punches
  • Sidecutters 5
  • Silver Solder
  • 3×3” sterling silver plate
  • 15 grams of sterling silver casting grain
  • 12″x12″ sheet of 24 Gauge Copper
  • 6pc File Set
  • Chain Nose Pliers
  • Bench Knife
All items come with a plastic tool box.

March updates

Due to a death in the family the studio schedule was significantly changed for March workshops/courses.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and sincerely thank everyone for their support, patience and understanding.

This year, while I remain optimistic, has been difficult with my father in-law being very ill, trips to Montreal to visit him, and his death March 13th. Losing a parent, no matter your age, is not easy. Gérard was a brilliant mind, witty, and extremely charming. Gérard was an actor, and a journalist for the CBC.

Bonne Fête nationale à tous les Québécois et Québécoises de cœur!

Voici un reportage diffusé le «Ce Soir» 17 juin 1977 dans lequel le journaliste Gérard Gravel retrace l’historique de la Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

Meanwhile, I plan to reopen the studio for demos, workshops, etc., starting Thursday, March 29th.

Thank you all again. Hope to see you next Thursday and in April!

Make your own mark! Steel stamps, Chasing & Repoussé tools & how to use them! 

fabricating metal
Hand fabricating

Steel stamps, Chasing & Repoussé tools & how to use them! Thursday evenings, March 8th & 15th 6:30pm – 9:30pm and/or April 5th & 19th**
$175 per person, ALL materials included.

Make your own mark! Learn how to create stamping tools for decorative use, and chasing/repoussé tools traditionally used in making dimensional forms/decorations in copper, silver, gold for use in armour, architectural designs, and jewellery.
Students will spend the first evening designing and making their stamps and chasing/repoussé tools. The 2nd evening learning how to use these tools working with copper, a cast iron pitch pot and German pitch. Demonstrations in how to transfer pitch to their pots, transfer designs/images to metal, and through hammering/chasing these images will appear as low relief in the metal. Students will also have time to make a simple copper pendant using their decorative stamps made the 1st evening! Copper will be used in this workshop. Note: students receive pitch bowl/pitch, copper for projects and a minimum of 12 stamping tools. Students leave the workshop with their copper practice pieces, stamps made from the first evening and the basic knowledge to continue forward. Hammers sold separately, but are available for use during class.

Repoussé is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief. It is a form of toreutics.

There are few techniques that offer such diversity of expression while still being relatively economical. Chasing is the opposite of repoussé, and the two are used in conjunction to create a finished piece. It is also known as embossing.

While repoussé is used to work on the reverse of the metal to form a raised design on the front, chasing is used to refine the design on the front of the work by sinking the metal. The term chasing is derived from the noun “chase”, which refers to a groove, furrow, channel, or indentation. The adjectival form is “chased work”.

The techniques of repoussé and chasing use the plasticity of metal, forming shapes by degrees. There is no loss of metal in the process as it is stretched locally and the surface remains continuous. The process is relatively slow but a maximum of form is achieved, with one continuous surface of sheet metal of essentially the same thickness. Direct contact of the tools used is usually visible in the result, a condition not always apparent in other techniques, where all evidence of the working method is eliminated. An incredible example from antiquity is the late Eighteenth Dynasty mummy mask of Tutankhamun. The lapis lazuli and other stones were inlaid in chased areas after the height of the form was completed. The majority of the mask was formed using the technique of repoussé from what appears to be a single sheet of gold (the ceremonial beard, Nekhbet vulture, and Uraeus were attached separately).

 

**Please read our FAQs & policies 

Cyber Monday 20% off Everything Thing!

20% off ANY workshop or course for 2018!

That goes for gift certificates, too! So, if you were planning to gift your partner, friend, auntie or uncle a nanopod workshop or course,
NOW is certainly a fantastic time for your wallet! 20% has been added to the Gift Certificate links, here. 

But wait, there’s more! You can also take 20% off anything listed in our Etsy shop.
By Gort’s laser beam eye what are you waiting for?! 
Our Holiday Thank YOU gift to all of you wonderful people!
We massively appreciate your support. xox
{oh yeah! Use code: CYBER20THING on Etsy}

Bat Skeleton Articulation workshops October 14th and 15th

Skeleton Articulation workshops with Wilder Duncan

Saturday and Sunday workshops have several seats open!  Register today in full or pay half now and the remainder when we see you (visa or MasterCard accepted at the workshop!)

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

 

Wilder visits Toronto once a year to hold these special workshops. However, we won’t see him return until 2019. If you’ve been looking for a super unique gift or an interesting conversation piece for your collections, 

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 feel welcome to bring small feathers, stones, dried flowers, dead insects, natural elements, crystals, miniatures or any other materials you might wish to include in your composition. 

Students leave the class with a visually striking, fully articulated, “lifelike” bat skeleton posed in a 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.  

Workshops start at 12pm both Saturday and Sunday. Please leave a note when checking out or email the studio with your date choice: Oct 14 or 15, Thanks!

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.

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

flame working
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!