Category Archives: Creative Catalyst

Seed Pods and Genie Bottles in Clay

Seed Pods

Thursday ceramic classes have been getting their hands dirty with a lovely, smooth, rich terracotta clay. Perfect for modelling the varied sculptures we have been creating, based on the amazing world of seed pods.

seed pods from the garden
Some of our models

Using coiling and pinching techniques the class has made hollow forms and then explored texture using a range of ceramic tools. This week we will be glazing them, hopefully to show at the Open Day coming up soon.

Genie Bottles

Our next project, Genie Bottles will be drawing upon the Arabian Nights story of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. We will be playing with bottle forms to make intricate and fascinating little containers out of clay. Unfortunately we probably can’t supply the wish fulfilling genie…

Bunch of vessels possible containing magic Genie
Genie in a Bottle. Which Bottle?!

Seed Collage

seed for collage
Some of our art materials

Wednesday drawing and painting class has been focussing on collage for the the beginning of term. Using seeds, spices and grains they have been building up faces using the contrasting colour, shape and size of the materials.

collage of edible seeds
spice seeds and sago

Magnified Drawings

This week’s project involved getting out the magnifying glasses to take a really close look at found objects like a moth, feathers, and cut vegetables. Using fine permanent pens and pencils, the class drew accurate versions of what they saw under the glass.

drawing class with magnifying glasses
Drawing in action

Story Book Illustration

Once upon a time…
If there is one thing we all love its sharing a good story and this term Catalyst kids get to do this on a grand scale. Bringing together the skills of creative writing, illustration and bookmaking we will tackle a collaborative project: a set of handmade storybooks complete with original illustrations and a very original tall tale full of Wicked Wizards, Fabulous Fairies and a pair of Intrepid Twins!
books around the world
Chinese Accordion fold Book
From the initial group brainstorming to storyboarding to detailed illustration design on their individual pages this project will span 4 weeks (spread across the term) and culminate in the scanning, printing and construction of our books which we will then read to/share with the Sparks class. We hope this is only the beginning of our creative writing adventures not…
The End


Shadow Puppets

Welcome to the wonderful world of Theatre! And what’s not to love about the magic of theatre? Step into a world of silhouette and create your own tale of shadowy adventures, drawing inspiration from the work of German animation artist Lotte Reiniger and Australia’s own shadow puppet genius Stephen Mushin.

Shadow Puppets
Shadow Puppet Theatre in Progress!

Working in small teams, we will work collaboratively to make stories for the Shadow Puppet Theatre.  Together, we will build scenes (using card and other mixed media -grasses, wool, fabric and more).

Peacock Feather
Materials to set the stage

These we’ll populate by our own individual shadow puppet characters as we play with design and moving parts to build animate our characters on the screen. A dog with a wagging tail? A wizard on a magic cloud?  A walking tree?  Anything is possible in this creative mixed media workshop. We will then bring these character creations to life in a  tale to be collaboratively developed and performed to the class (and probably the Sparks as well) using our beautiful, red-curtained shadow puppet theatre and lights.

Shadow Puppets
Shadow Puppets Performance in progress!

The Sparks will get involved in some of their own Shadowy Puppetry as well – with the same mixed-media construction, to help them understand how shadows and silhouettes work, how we tell stories, and what impact different storytelling mediums have on the tales they tell.

Our earlier dip into Puppetry and Performance produced some stunning results too.

Creative Catalyst – Winter Program

Soup Kitchen Ceramics- Monday 4th July.

Soup Kitchen Ceramics

A ceramics workshop especially for winter. Explore hand-building techniques like coiling, slab building & mould work. Produce some functional ware & glaze it raw with stencils and brush work.

Winter Drawing – Tuesday 5th July.

Winter Drawing

Enjoy the winter light as we go on an outside walk to collect branches, feathers, pinecones & more. Set up your own still life and have a go with charcoal, pastels, pencils, graphite & other more unusual drawing materials…

Hibernating Animalia- Wednesday 6th July.

Hibernating Animalia

From bears to long-necked turtles, many creatures hide during the coldest part of the year. Bring them to life in this ceramic modelling class. You will learn techniques that will help you make sculptural forms of various critters in their hiding places.

Staff of Power!- Thursday 7th July.

Staff of Power

Following in the tradition of famous magic users (Harry Potter, Hermione, Gandalf, Merlin, The White Witch etc) be the owner of an individual Staff of Power! We will go for a walk in the forest and find the right stick to start your staff. Back in the art workshop, you will design and then construct (from mixed materials) an original staff topper. Think dragon eyes, vine wrapped crystals, feathery owls, jewel encrusted toads. Take your staff home for your next fancy dress party!

Spanish Tiles- Friday 8th July.

Spanish Tiles

This workshop will be an opportunity to both create your own original ceramic tiles and/or glaze pre-fired terracotta tiles with intricate designs. Tiles have an ancient and widespread history which we will investigate before starting our designs.

Bones and Skulls- Monday 11th July.

Skulls & Bones

Bleached and bare, this is a sculpture workshop using clay. Be inspired by the curves and negative spaces of bones and produce an artwork in response. It might be the rib-like hull of a boat, a Viking chalice or something very abstract. All work will be fired in the kiln.

Miniature Magic- Tuesday 12th July.

Miniature Magic

From The Borrowers to Alice in Wonderland we have always been fascinated with smaller scale models of real life objects. Choose from a huge range of materials (eg: acorn caps, pebbles corks, air drying clay, wire, feathers…) to construct details of your tiny world, like cooking pots, furniture, pets, vehicles etc. This workshop combines well with Terrariums.

Wired- Wednesday 13th July.


A wire & metal sculpture workshop. Warm up with continuous line drawing and then try your hand at bending, twisting and shaping wire into form. A great way to create action figures like athletes, dancers and leaping horses suspended in motion.

Little Shrines- Thursday 14th July.

Little Shrines

Shrines are found in many of the world’s religions- Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto as well as secular settings like War Memorials, places of natural beauty and even Pooh Corner on the Clyde!

Investigate different motifs, shapes and symbols and produce a little shrine of your own. Dedicate it to your own pet, favorite place or loved one.

Terrariums-Friday 15th July

Build a world in a glass! Design and construct a miniature garden scene using large glass goblets, earth, pebbles, found objects and plants. Make miniature people, animals or objects to live in your tiny world. This workshop combines well with Miniature Magic.


Six more fabulous art workshops for the Summer

Creative Catalyst classes have roamed widely this summer holiday from hand made paper to ceramic gingerbread houses. We are halfway through our third week and still going strong.

We have an incredible supply of tools and materials covering disciplines such as ceramics, printmaking and painting. The art room is a unique space for developing artists and we encourage teenage students to use the studio and its wide  array of supplies to work independently and create their own projects under our guidance.

Younger participants are introduced to tools and techniques which enable them to realise their creative visions.

ceramic totoro
a Totoro from the past

The last six workshops of Summer are;

Birdbaths– Thursday 21st Jan  Ceramic bowls to cool down our lovely local birds and beautify the garden. Using moulds and coils, these vessels will be decorated and glazed.

wire and scrap parts make up a pair of wings
Steampunk wings for a cyborg assemblage

Action Art on 22ndJan is featuring tie dye and colour splashing in All Tied Up! Make sure you wear old clothes and expect to go home more colourfully than the morning.




Mobiles & Windcharms– 25th Jan.  Enjoy a day of Ceramic construction, using stamps and garden objects  make an original and musical hanging. Decorate your trees and eaves with these melodic and earthy offerings to the wind.

Wednesday 27th. Hand build a large original Ceramic Gargoyle to adorn the walls of your Gothic castle or at least your house in Curtin.

Thursday 28th Kites of the World. Take a whirlwind tour around the globe on the tail of a kite, from glass stringed battle kites to sky dragons, Construct your own kite.

Finish with a bang with  Action Art, mechanical artist, Friday 29th January. Make simple catapults to move paint through the air and onto your paper. Have a go at remote controlled mark making!

3 girls painting a diorama
Trio of painters preparing a background

It’s started! The Summer Program is in full swing.

Our Summer Program has begun!
painting outside
when the sun comes out
Although the weather outside is wet and dreary Aeoncademy participants are safely ensconced inside and participating in some great activities.
On Monday, Mythic Animalia was launched in the Art Room with discussions on the characteristics of Mythical Creatures producing some interesting future candidates (Pikachu??). In the Vala Room Odysseus and his crew were forced to face lost comrades and family members from the underworld as they continued on their journey home. Sparks enjoyed both activities and even managed to find the time to bake a delicious chocolate cake.

Today brings new and exciting activities, as does the rest of the holiday program. Have a look below at the choices on offer over January. There is a lot more fun to come!

Summer Vibes...
Our Summer Holiday Program for January 2016




If you would like to make a booking give us a call on 6142 3268.

BBQ festivities

This weekend we will be providing playful opportunities for all ages at the first ever BBQ Festival  The Big Smoque in Civic Square (outside Canberra Museum and Gallery and the Legislative assembly).

paper mache foundation
The beginnings of a marvellous beast…


Many hands have already helped to shape the form of the paper mache beast which awaits  adornment in vines, flowers and fruit, horns, claws and more. All using  recycled materials this beast is not for Barbecuing!

Our other activity will be the making of the timeless hobby horse/hobby unicorn/ hobby dinosaur- whatever takes your fancy.

someone made this
Get on your Hobby Horse

So Giddy-up and get along.

Mondays and Tuesdays in the art room

Shelsher’s ceramic figure

Creative Catalyst update…

As we continue with the term’s theme of  ‘The Body’ our Monday class has embarked on its second project  –  ‘The Inked Figure’.We are busy creating mixed media sculptures inspired by artists Amanda Shelsher (Ceramics) and Sabrina Gruss (mixed media Sculptor) ; building armatures of card & foil over which we will work with air dry clay and pencils/ink.
Gruss’ mixed media sculpture

Tuesday’ s second project ’The Mouth Cave’ is inspired by the work of Thomas Barbey (Surrealist Photographer). Students are building ceramic caves full of extraordinary worlds… flowers, wolves, words, waves, make up, monsters and more.

Thanks for a wonderful Open Day!

A big Thank You to all the friends and families of Aeoncademy who came out to our Open Day! While we were here we got to catch up with all manner of participants – from the youngest Sparks to the Teenage Artists still keeping involved.

Teffany got a start on the Barbeque creature for the upcoming AAA BBQ Festival, and some of our children and parents got involved in helping out! We had great fun in our crafternoon, and even released our Summer Program!

Thanks everyone once again for coming along and getting involved in our provision of Education through Creativity.

If you missed out on picking up your childrens’ artwork, don’t fret! We’ve stowed the ceramics on a shelf outside our art room – we’re here from 2 to 6 every day – so feel free to pop in, say g’day, and take home your art! We’ll keep the work there until the next Open Day, so you’ve got a bit of time.

Creative Catalyst-Week 1 of the Spring Program


Adventure Island Dioramas, Wednesday 30th September

Construct an exciting land of adventure using a vast array of materials and tools.

A marble run through Boulder Valley
Boulder Valley Adventures

Our diorama workshops give you a chance to;  

cut foam with hacksaws, handle hot glue guns, twist wire and metal, cast plaster,  manipulate air drying clay, draw, paint (and more!) into…

bridges, pit traps, forgotten cities in overgrown jungles, crocodile infested pools, hidden caves, secret coves, wild beasts, dangerous cliffs and other fiendishly, unexpected features.

A close up of the Forbidden City's walls
The Forbidden City’s walls







Colour Explosion, Thursday 1st October

Uluru painted by teenager
Painting large scale

Play with acrylic paint and a great range of brushes, sponges and other tools to experiment with abstract painting. Learn some colour theory and get ready to make all the colours! We will be using easels outside for part of the day to really get hands on and active in our investigation into the impact of colour. We will look at past artists such as Rothko and Frankenthaler and also Bancroft who is a contemporary Australian artist who uses strong pattern as well as colour.

Bronwen Bancroft's engaging use of pattern and colour.
A painting by Bronwen Bancroft.




an ancient pot from America
Native American pottery vessel







Prehistoric pots,  Friday 2nd

The oldest pots in the world were built around 15 000 years ago.  Humans have been making pots, ornaments and instruments out of clay for a very long time.  This is your chance to  join in the tradition and coil a huge pot and decorate it with earth colored slips. We will look at images of pots from the ancient past and all over the world . Design your own decorations based on these frequently mysterious vessels.

Handprints and animal shapes are some of the most popular motifs. Spend the day making the best pot you can, after all, it might be discovered by someone 15 000 years from now!20150421_115454

 Kids making coil pots
Carry on coiling