I often teach workshops, the details are listed below. 

Please contact host directly to inquire about further details, for example, the equipment requirements, dates, costs and available places.

You are also most welcome to contact me to ask questions, please email me at kathrynwardill@hotmail.com

Beginner Glass Beadmaking

Blue Dog Glass

Two Saturday course – 10 am to 4 pm  – Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March 2024

Venture into the world of hot glass! Create one-off glass beads, miniature artworks that others will marvel at​. Glass bead making, also known as lampworking or flameworking, is an art that involves shaping molten glass using a torch. This ancient craft has been practised for centuries.

The process begins with a selection of glass rods, each with its own unique colour and properties. These rods are heated the flame of a torch until they become soft and malleable. The maker then winds the molten glass around a mandrel, a thin metal rod coated with a release agent to prevent the glass from sticking. This creates the basic shape of the bead.​

As the bead takes form, the maker can introduce additional colours and patterns by melting other glass rods onto the surface or by using various tools to manipulate the molten glass. Stringers, thin rods of coloured glass are often used to create intricate designs and details of the beads surface.

Teaching the basics of glass bead making, Kathryn will  thoroughly explains all aspects of the process, no experience is necessary. Students need good eyesight and the steady use of both hands. Scheduled class times are highly structured with a balance between demonstrations and students practising techniques. Upon completion students have the knowledge to continue to practice their bead making skills in their own studios. Topics covered include: Health and safety, understanding equipment, glass and mandrel preparation, shaping beads, using stringers, decorative techniques, general tips, tricks and troubleshooting. Please note all tools and equipment are provided. Students will be required to supply their own glass rods, or purchase at the studio for approximately $30. Bullseye glass rods are used and you can preview colours at our online store.

Small Metal Casting at Blue Dog Glass

Five day course – Tuesday 2nd April to Saturday 6th April 2024

Class Description:

Have you ever been intrigued by the art of small object casting and sculpture? If so, this immersive workshop is your introduction to mastering these creative skills. Led by our instructor Kathryn Wardill, this course delves deep into the intricate world of jewellery scale casting, equipping you with the know-how to craft your own stunning sculptures and jewellery. Teaching the basics, Kathryn thoroughly explains all aspects of the process, no experience is necessary other than to work with your hands on a small scale. Students need good eyesight and the steady use of both hands. This course will provide you with instruction on safe work practices, understanding tools and equipment, material preparation, using cuttlefish as a refractory and lost wax casting techniques which lead to students making their own small sculptures.  Scheduled class times are highly structured with a balance between demonstrations and students practicing techniques and creating their own creations. Upon completion, students will have the knowledge to continue to make their own wax and cast objects.

Students will make one silver casting and one bronze casting

Silver casting:

Students will learn  how to model wax to create detailed finished pieces such as rings, pendants, charms or small scale sculptures.  The waxes will be sent off and cast by a professional casting studio in silver, these will be returned to the studio before the end of the week so students will learn the next valuable step of finishing and cleaning.

Bronze casting:

This part of the course will be done in house with Kathryn and her assistant working one on one with each student to smelter the bronze and pour it into a refractory mould. The scale of the work will be jewellery size. Students will then finish the bronze.

Please note due to the time constraints there is a size limit to the pieces made, works will be jewellery size and no larger than a walnut.

What You’ll Learn:

Throughout the workshop, you’ll acquire a comprehensive understanding and hands-on expertise in various aspects of small object casting and sculpture, including:

Safety: Master crucial safety practices that underpin a secure workshop environment.
Equipment and Supplies: Gain insight into the tools and materials essential for successful casting and sculpting.
Basic Casting Principles: Explore the foundational principles governing casting techniques.
Design Options for Wax: Considering design possibilities when working with wax.
Wax Model Creation: Develop the skills to craft wax models primed for casting.
Wax Working Demonstrations:  Hands-on demonstrations covering both soft and hard wax techniques.
Cuttlebone Casting: Experience the unique process of cuttlebone casting for small objects.
Models Sent to Casting Company: Creations will be turned into finished castings, courtesy of a professional casting company.
Finishing Techniques: Elevate your castings to a professional standard as you learn post-casting finishing techniques, including filing, sanding, polishing, and oxidizing.
Self-Directed Learning: Beyond the workshop, continue to craft and perfect your skills independently.

This workshop adheres to a well-structured schedule that offers a balanced blend of:

Demonstrations: The instructor provides detailed demonstrations to illustrate various techniques.
Hands-On Practice: Students actively participate in practicing techniques and crafting their unique pieces.
Cuttlebone Casting:Learn how to carve and cast into cuttlebone casting process.
Model Return: Receive your finished castings and explore them in greater depth.
Finishing Techniques Demo: Learn how to refine your castings, adding expert finishing touches.
Self-Directed Learning: After the workshop, continue to craft and perfect your skills independently.

All materials are included except the raw materials of silver and bronze these will be charged at industry rates.  All tools are supplied. Class runs from Tuesday 2nd April to Saturday 6th April 5 days

Blue Dog Glass Studio details:



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Student feedback:

“After making glass beads under Kathryn’s tutelage  at Summer School for six years , I am continuing to learn and expand the possibilities of unique glass bead making with her encouragement I have made more beautiful beads than I could ever have imagined myself creating. I haven’t finished learning yet. It is wonderful to wear beads that I enjoy, others enjoy and I know they are unique. Thank you Kathryn” from Meryl 

“I enrolled in a glass bead making class not knowing anything about the process. I would have to say I love it. Kathryn is a patient teacher who carefully demonstrates each skill we need to master and does beautiful work of her own. If I had time I would bead all day everyday.” from June 

“Great subject, excellent course structure and fabulous TEACHER, what more can you ask for? Patience and confidence, Kathryn has both and passes them on in her classes.” from Kris 

“Kathryn is an excellent teacher, her passion and enthusiasm for glass bead making help make her classes a ‘must do’ in my diary.” from Mary 

“Kathryn’s  class was interesting from the start, covered lots of techniques and was so uncomplicated it’s encouraged me to try anything.” Katherine 

“In 2006 I attended Kathryn Wardill’s Glass Bead Making workshop at McGregor Summer School. At the commencement of the workshop I had only a very slight knowledge of the method of Lampwork and limited experience working with glass. Upon completion of the two week workshop I had gained a strong understanding of the materials and techniques along with an insatiable appetite for Glass Bead Making!
In the years that have followed this workshop I have myself become a professional Glass Artist and have collaborated with and designed for some wonderfully talented people within the Jewellery industry. I am eternally grateful to Kathryn for her generosity and support as a teacher and continue to admire the unique application of her skill as both Glass Artist and Jeweller. Thanks Kathryn.”
From Brydie Jayne 

“Kathryn’s class was packed full of instruction and the material learned in a weekend would have equaled 3 classes with another teacher. Kathryn dedicated time to each student and was endlessly patient as we bombarded her with questions! Thanks Kathryn for setting such a great lampwork foundation for me to learn from!” From Carli

“My beginnings with glass were mostly self taught, leadlighting, glass fusing and bead making, I’d had very limited instruction, and really was struggling! Finally I made it to a Glass Bead Making class tutored by Kathryn at McGregor Summer School and everything fell into place. Kathryn teaches technical background and practical application, by the end of her classes all students are designing their own original glass beads! More than a year later I could not be happier with the professional instruction and personal attention that Kathryn has given to me, I am really happy with the beads I make now and still refer back to the notes written in class time. I guarantee that if you consider taking one of Kathryn’s classes you should do that class – you will always cherish the time you spent there, and especially the skills you will learn from her.” From Sher McKain  (Fine Art Student, QCA)

“What a wonderful 10 days of learning from Kathryn. As a self taught bead maker I can thoroughly recommend that a class with her will bring it altogether. She is patient, helps to fix your mistakes and encourages you to push your bead making to higher levels. Thank you Kathryn” From Carolyn 

“I landed in one of Kathryn’s lampwork week-long workshops out of curiosity in 2007 and have not looked back. I am inspired by Kathryn’s knowledge of her art. During the workshop Kathryn skilfully and gently builds up your confidence and skill level, letting you find your style while watching you like a hawk – not only for your safety but for others around you. At the end of the week we were left with the skills and confidence to continue working with a hothead but also a collection of lampwork to be proud of. Personally this workshop unleashed a skill and passion that I did not know existed. I have since spent countless hours over the torch perfecting my own skills and developing new ones. This has lead to some fantastic commission opportunities for me as a textile artist. Thank you Kathryn for unleashing a spark that was clearly dormant until you introduced me to the hothead.” With the Kindest Regards Sonja Hindrum

Class photos

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