Tag Archives: Workshops

Fall BioArt Bootcamp

 BioArt Bootcamp Fall workshop series!

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Bootcamp series



From cultivating mycelium, Microbial art, Phyto photography, Bio-Sonification, Fermenting forms, Physarum encounters & more!
Workshops are available individually or register for the entire series.
Workshops include PDF files of materials/supply info, links to recorded workshop(s), Bioart/sciart maker space labs throughout Canada, Mexico, Europe, SE Asia, and the United States. Material and supply lists will be sent out in advance of each workshop when possible.* If not in advance, participants can expect to receive materials lists, etc. after the workshops.

Workshops will run $45 per or $150 for the entire series.
This workshop series will take place online via Zoom

The Zoom workshops will begin with an introduction then a slide presentation, Q&A, 10 minute break, demos, Q&A . Workshops running longer than 3/hrs will have a short break every hour.  Chat will be open for participants to share questions, links to their work, etc.

Ticket button above takes you to Eventbrite where you can register for the Bootcamp Series. Individual workshops may be purchased through the links below.

Workshop 1 • Sunday, September 27th 12pm to 4pm EDT

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Bio-Sonification: Potential uses towards bio-remediation, art, music and more. Step by step Breadboarding of electronic components creating an Arduino shield to building your own Module. Inspiration, field recording and more!
breadboard components towards building an Arduino shield
constructing various electrodes for use in collecting soil, plant, fungi and human biodata
translating biodata into sound using MIDI and Control Voltage output- analog and digital.
Inspiration- artists and scientists working with biodata to Midnight Mushroom Music.

Workshop 2 (perhaps of interest to ceramicists and fashion/textile designers) Sunday, October 4th 12 PM to  4 PM EDT

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Microbial Art: from Bio pigments/inks, Obvara glazes and Winogradsky Columns= Enter the world of microbes!
Introduction to bioPigments, step by step how-to’s, applications and inspiration in abundance!
Tosca has travelled Australia, Canada, Iceland and NZ researching Obvara mixtures.
What is Obvara? Obvara, which is said to be pronounced ab-vara (and is sometimes known as ‘Baltic raku’) is believed to have originated in Eastern Europe (mainly Belarus, Estonia and Latvia) in around the 12th century. The technique is known as ‘hardened ceramics’ or ‘blackened pots’ in Latvia, ‘sourdough pottery’ or ‘yeast pottery’ in Lithuania and ‘scalded ceramics’ in Russia.
Obvara interacts with the clay to create random, chaotic patterns. Often making lichen-like, dendritic patterns, and structures on the clay surface.
Bio-pigments from bacteria and beautiful, colourful Winogradsky columns.

Workshop 3 (in partnership with Interaccess) Sunday October 18th 1PM to 4PM EDT  PWYC {link to register will be available in September}  Mycelium Bio-Materials 

From cultivating mycelium edibles, to sculpting, creating mycelium ‘leather’, acoustic panels and more! Working with various substrates and additives, growth mediums, 3D armatures, recycled materials and heaps of inspiration. Step by step demonstrations on pasteurizing, ‘growing’ a mycelium bag, mushrooms used for leather and dying and more! During this workshop participants are introduced to the amazing potentials of mycelium. Mycelium can be used in industrial design, art, architecture – the possibilities are seemingly endless! Check out the Mycelium Martian Dome project, an installation that took place in 2019 through a residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre. NASA Ames Research Centre will cite this artist’s vision/public installation in Phase II in their research towards fungi based building/insulating materials.


Workshop 4   

SCOBY Fermenting Forms
Cultivate Kombucha (Medusomyces gisevii) leather at home and start designing your own clothing, accessories and experimentations with this flexible bio-material alternative to animal sourced textiles.
Participants will learn how to grow and work with SCOBY=Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast through step by step instructions. Demonstrations will be given on methods to dye, dry and finish SCOBY leather, discussing design ideas, process and inspiration from artists currently working with bacterial cellulose, as well as suggested suppliers both local and abroad.

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Workshop 5

Phyto + Fungal photography Sunday, November 15th 12 PM to 3 PM EDT – with potential to run to 4 PM

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Photographers and artists working with alternative plant based developers and toners to photographers collaborating with
microbes and fungi in their work. Step by step demonstrations, inspiration and safety protocols. Developing prints using weeds found in your garden or grocery store, coffee, fungi, to working with microbes. Experiments with instant film, photographic paper, negatives and cyanotypes will be discussed.

Workshop 6

Physarum Encounters  Sunday, November 22nd 12 PM to 3 PM

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During this workshop, Tosca Terán introduces the potential of slime mould for collaboration at the intersection of art and science. Participants learn how to set-up their kitchen/studio into safe, mini-Physarum Biolabs towards raising Physarum polycephalum.
The workshop invites participants to experiment with different biological media and feeding substrates, reflecting on how they inform the growth and morphology of protozoans and protists. Discussions around working with Physarum towards mapping areas (your daily bike route, for instance) to slime circuitry, artists working with Physarum.
*Physarum polycephalum is a yellow ameboid dweller of decaying logs and decomposing vegetation on dim forest floors. It made headlines when Japanese biologists demonstrated its uncanny ability to optimize paths through mazes and reproduce tracks between mapped Tokyo railway stations. Since then, slime mould has become an attractive living substrate for research in diverse areas such as mathematical modelling, computation and bio-art.

Link: https://soundcloud.com/nanotopia/episode-3-special-guest-physarum-polycephalum

Thank you in advance for your support of this workshop series. Please note that due to the large undertaking putting these workshops together we will not be able to offer refunds.
Thank you for your understanding.

Winter Workshops – 2020

Bio-Material/Bio-Art workshops






Bio-Art related workshops taking place at co:Lab|nanopod studio scheduled into March 2020. 

Mycelium Bio-Materials

Bio-Sonification Modules

Physarum non-human encounters 

We’ve had an overwhelming response to our Mycelium Bio-Materials workshops so, we’ve added a special Thursday evening workshop! Thursday, January 23rd 6:30 to 9:30pm
Only 5 seats remain – register soon via the button below!  

March/April> Special Afternoon workshops

March/April experiment: Running afternoon courses.  3 partipant minumun for workshops to run, however, class sizes are small in order to offer focussed attention. Please email the studio if you have any questions concerning these classes.

Metal working mash-up:

Etching copper/bronze & fabrication: Hand-drawn and/or digital images. Hand-sawn, formed, soldered copper and sterling silver.
Hydraulic press: creating simple dies towards building hollow-forms (salt & pepper shakers?, Lockets, unusual shadow-box pendants?
Electro-formed organic/non-organics: Grow copper over wax, wood, stone & more!
Married Metals: Creating patterns incorporating copper, brass and sterling silver that have the appearance of being one.
Dates: Monday & Wednesday, March 4th to March 27th, 1pm to 4pm $300/pp Includes: copper/bronze, etchants, etching expendables, die making materials, plating solutions and ingredients towards mixing your own conductive paints.  This course has filled. 

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



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.   


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.
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}