Category Archives: Sculpture & Mixed Materials

Art Workshops creating 3D sculptures using a variety of mediums and materials: ceramics, mixed media

Fairy Tale Dioramas/Sculptures

Time to tell a story in a box- a staged recreation of a favourite fairy tale or a classic traditional story. Turn a cardboard box into Rapunzel’s high tower or a hoard of gold guarded by a sleeping dragon… If you love to make, build, paint and construct this workshop is for you – learn how to use a range of sculpting tools and materials to create your 3 dimensional story. 

Rapunzel illustration by Emma Harrison

Starting with an overview of our rich cultural heritage as glimpsed through a wild and fabulous collection of fables this Visual Art workshop encourages imagination, invention and problem solving, develops fine motor and design skills and gives students a full day to bring their story to life.

The Faerie Queene by Walter Crane

Masks of the World

Take a look at Masks from all over the World. Sketch and design your mask and then make a small model- is it Friend or Foe? Horns, teeth, scars, scales or fur? This mixed media art workshop utilises paper sculpture, some paper mache, cutting, assembling.

Most masks have exaggerated features which can make them quite scary to look at. Huge eyes, mouths and teeth. What features do you want to create to bring your mask to life?

Masks of the World
Sri Lankan Demon Mask

Masks are a way to create impossible creatures with both animal and human characteristics, and different cultures believe these masks give the wearer special abilities like the ability to talk to spirits or animals. There are famous traditions from around the world like the Chinese Dragon Dance which has a special dragon head mask to usher in the New Year.

Chinese New Year Dragon

These large puppets need more than one person inside to perform all the dancing, eye rolling, ear waggling and mouth snapping.

Dreaming Mask from Papua New Guinea
Dreaming Mask from Papua New Guinea

Masks have been inspiring artists forever. The mask examples above have been part of tradition for hundreds (or thousands!) of years. We don’t usually get to make or wear masks except for dress-ups or a party. Instead of going to a shop in the mall in the 21st century and buying a lame, cheap plastic mask to be Batman or Catwoman reach back into the past and channel the original mask makers!

Wearable Art

Have a go at badge making, belt buckle creation, macrame and more. No need to leave your art at home ever again!

Scarf/Bandana fabric painting

Art jewellery and costuming has been an essential part of all cultures, communicating both meaning and value. Since pre-history, the more intricate, ornate or specific the design and the rarer, richer or more prized the material, the greater a person’s status or role has been. From head dresses and crowns, to richly embroidered, beaded and painted cloaks. From elaborate tattoos, to priceless jewels, humans have always appreciated a bit of ‘Bling’.

Shrinky Brooch

Art you can wear is both decorative and expressive and can tell us something of the person doing the wearing! From a detailed art badge, hand crafted ‘shrinky’ brooch and macramed stone pendants, to a beautifully painted cotton bandana/scarf, this workshop offers many forms through which your art can shine.

Macrame Pendant

Drawing inspiration from the decorative traditions of jewellery making and fashion design, students will plan their wearable art pieces of choice, learning new skills such as macrame weaving and fabric painting, whilst refining others such as detailed drawing, to create a variety of decorative art pieces.

Shrinky Brooch



Scrimshaw Tales

An art form for over 13,000 years, Scrimshaw is the relatively modern name given by whalers, in the 1750’s, to the practise of carving images into the bone, tooth, tusk and baleen of whales and other mammals. In this workshop, students will enjoy etching their designs into recycled, PVC ‘ivory’.

Scrimshaw Whale’s Tooth & Tusk pieces 19th Century

A pastime of sailors, scrimshaw themes would often be of love and longing, or nautical in nature, with images of lasses, anchors, compasses and ships often featured. The Inuits have their own traditional themes, used to engrave their tools and sculptures, with hunting scenes and fauna frequently featured.

Inuit carved whale ivory

Using our etching tools, students will carve into warmed/softened recycled white plastics (from yogurt and other containers), to create intricate images of their own design. A whale or shark’s tooth? A bone bookmark? Or a token in the form of a heart, eye or circle?

Love token 1807

Once cut, engraved and sanded, we will apply a black ink to highlight our line work, followed by a polishing with a stained wax to emulate the effect of ivory, and give a time worn finish to their art piece.

Spring ‘Junk’ Sculpture

This workshop invites students to rethink familiar materials and capture a little of spring’s exuberance in a dynamic mobile sculpture. Drawing inspiration from the work of Glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, and recycled materials sculptor Aurora Robson, students will create a hanging garden, from upcycled and new materials. Flowers, fruits, foliage and seeds can all feature here. Add birds, bees and some of the buzz and movement of the season.

Aurora Robson plastic sculpture

Cut and heat shape old P.E.T bottles, then paint to form fabulous foliage, birds or beasts which can be strung, to fall through space and move with the breeze.

Dale Chihuly glass art

A bit of abstraction won’t go astray, with whirls of wind, rays of light and rainbows all possible elements, in this sculptural celebration of the season of renewal.

Plastic Bottle Sculpture

Cities of Light Dioramas

Construct a world in a box with Cities of Light. Dioramas are a great opportunity to try many different art techniques in a day. Design your city street  based on photographs, architectural drawings and creative brainstorming. Draw and colour, paint, paste and collage. Cut and reassemble. Model clay, wood, plastic and more to construct the miniature versions of life in your scene. Use a vast range of recycled objects and materials to realise your vision. Glow- in-the -dark paint an option!

City of Lights paper lantern

City of Light Lanterns

Amidst the gloom of our shortening days Catalyst students are lighting the way with our new lantern project.

Developing our design and drawing skills we’ll create magnificent city silhouettes populated with chimneys, spires, domes, turrets, arches and many a window. Adding depth, texture and detail in inks, water colours and pencils on thicker cartridge paper our cities will start to come alive.

City of Lights paper lantern

Once cut out to reveal the skyline and openings our paper city will be mounted on a recycled plastic frame. Just add some sand and a tealight candle to let your city shine.


Heraldic Flags

What every Sovereign needs is a Royal standard.

An early advertising format:  heraldic flags announced the presence, arrival or departure of prominent figures and carried the story of a person’s history, status and power for all to see.

Heraldic Flags
Queen Elizabeth’s personal Australian Royal Standard

The original communication device: battle flags served to rally the troops, helped to define an army’s territory, signalled actions required and marked both victory and defeat.

Using fabrics, fusing, fabric paint and further embellishments in Creative Catalyst we will create a personal pennant decorated with a crest, badge or coat of arms of our own design so we may proudly fly our own flag.

Horrible Preserves

Step into our Catalyst Apothecary full of the rarest, most bizarre and downright spooky ingredients and specimens one could ever imagine or require for their unique concoctions, blends and brews! To be ready just in time for our up coming ‘Halloaeon’ event at Aeoncademy.

Creative Catalyst - Horrible PreservesOur Horrible Preserves will tap into our collective fascination with all things eerie. Using polymer clay, paint and other mixed materials we will create a collection of weird objects – think eye of newt, toe of frog and tongue of dog or trolls ears, wolf fangs and dragon claws  – to carefully preserve in our own jar of ‘pickling’ complete with hand drawn label. 

NOT ONLY are Creative Catalyst mixing their weird and wonderful preserves, but the Sparks are getting involved with their own version of this awesome project, complete with hand-lettered labels, freshly disembodied appendages, and a special mystery goo.

Quilted Bags of Holding

Bags are amongst our earliest artefacts: native peoples prized their medicine, pipe, knife, fire starter and amulet bags.

Papuan Marupai magical charm in its Bilum

Like our ancestors, Monday’s Mixed Media class will pay homage to the wonderful utility of the ‘bag’ in it’s many forms as we design, construct and decorate our own quilted bag of holding.

Is it a satchel or a purse? A pouch or a backpack? A saddlebag or a handbag? Does it hold treasures? healing herbs? or secrets?

We will explore the daunting world of sewing: from pattern making to fabric selection, from hand sewing to ironing on our quilted design. Then we’ll add bead work, buttons, straps and cords to finish off our various bags ready for carrying our own precious ‘somethings’.

Apache Beadwork bags.
Apache Beadwork bags.