Courses

Cardiff Open Art School opens its doors again in January 2020 with a whole range of fantastic learning opportunities available. From pottery to painting, drawing to design thinking, photography, printmaking and craft courses, there is something for everyone. 

It doesn't matter if you're an experienced artist or designer, are preparing a portfolio to apply for a degree or Foundation programme, or if you've never picked up a pencil before, the courses and workshops are a great way of both trying out new skills or further developing your practice. 

 Please note that, unless otherwise stated within the course description, our courses are open to those aged 16 or over, with the exception of courses using a life model, where the minimum age for participants is 18.

All courses are available to book now.


We have made the booking process quicker, easier and more accessible for our customers. You can now book directly onto any course you like via the Cardiff Met online store, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and places are on a first come, first served basis. We will still be able to help process bookings over the phone on weekdays, during office hours, if required. 

Please note that bookings for all courses will close exactly one week prior to the start of the course. 

Courses run throughout the year at our Llandaff campus, typically starting each Autumn, Spring and Summer Term. The most up to date information about what we are running and when will always be found on the courses section of the COAS website.

To sign up for our mailing list and receive updates on our programme of courses, email your contact details to coas@cardiffmet.ac.uk.

CERAMICS

Pottery: Learning to Throw on the Wheel, Wednesdays from 15 January 2020 - Fully Booked

Date: Wednesdays, starts 15 January 2020, 7:00-9:00pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £195
Tutor: Margo Schmidt
Level: Beginner (all welcome)

Learn to throw on the potter's wheel! A step-by-step class learning how to hand throw pots. This class is suitable for both complete beginners as well as those who would like to improve their throwing skills. 

Beginners will learn how to throw cylinders and bowls, and those who already have some throwing skills may want to explore handles, lids and other embellishments - whether thrown or hand built. 

This fun-packed class will also give the choice of learning a wide variety of surface decoration techniques that can transform even the most basic pots into unique pieces! 

Together we will glaze the pots at the end of the course, and they will be kiln fired for you to take home and keep at no extra cost. 

Students should bring with them: Remember to bring a small towel/t-towel (we provide aprons), and wear something you don’t mind getting dirty as pottery is messy!

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Pottery: Learning to Throw on the Wheel, Thursdays from 16 January 2020 - Fully Booked

Date: Thursdays, starts 16 January 2020, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £195
Tutor: Margo Schmidt
Level: Beginner (all welcome)

Learn to throw on the potter's wheel! A step-by-step class learning how to hand throw pots. This class is suitable for both complete beginners as well as those who would like to improve their throwing skills. 

Beginners will learn how to throw cylinders and bowls, and those who already have some throwing skills may want to explore handles, lids and other embellishments - whether thrown or hand built. 

This fun-packed class will also give the choice of learning a wide variety of surface decoration techniques that can transform even the most basic pots into unique pieces! 

Together we will glaze the pots at the end of the course, and they will be kiln fired for you to take home and keep at no extra cost. 

Students should bring with them: Remember to bring a small towel/t-towel (we provide aprons), and wear something you don’t mind getting dirty as pottery is messy!

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Sculptural Ceramics, Wednesdays from 22 January 2020

Date: Wednesdays, starts 22 January 2020, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Course length: 6 weeks
Price: £120
Tutor: AJ Stockwell
Level: Beginners

Learn ancient hand-modeling techniques and create your own ceramic sculptures in this 6-week course. Throughout the 2-hour sessions you will gain skills in working with clay including coiling, slab-building and pinching. There will also be the opportunity to explore surface texture and pattern, using coloured slips and simple tools. All materials and firing costs are included. By the end of the course you will be able to select up to four final pieces to be clear-glazed and fired in our on-site kilns. 

AJ Stockwell is an artist & educator based in Cardiff. Trained in Fine Art & Ceramics she has worked both nationally and internationally, developing independent and collaborative projects. 

What do students need to bring with them? Digital camera or smart phone for documentation; sketchbook and pencil for planning sculptures. 

 Aprons will be provided but students are welcome to bring their own. 

Any additional Information e.g. useful books to read/current exhibitions to see?
Sculpting and Handbuilding (New Ceramics) by Claire Loder
Contemporary Ceramics by Emmanuel Cooper

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DESIGN AND THEORY

Everything but the Logo: How to Create a Brand from Scratch, Mondays from 13 January 2020

Date: Mondays, starting 13 January 2020, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £180
Tutor: Giles Davis
Level: All welcome

A practical course to teach students how to create a brand from scratch and take it all the way to a pitch presentation 

The outcome will be the ability to create and “sell” a brand using a practical (and tested) framework as used in creative industries. After the course, students will be able to:
 * Create a brand strategy
 * Explain this strategy so that others can understand it
 * “Sell” that brand 

The following topics will be covered:
What is a brand?
What does a brand strategy do?
Understanding the market gap, product truth and customer insight
Defining your brand promise
Creating a tone of voice and telling your story
How to brief creatives to bring your brand to life
Developing a brand identity
Understanding the business of branding and how to sell your brand 

Who is the course aimed at? Anyone who is interested in how to build a brand, including:
*designers or other communications practitioners looking to improve their strategic ability
* entrepreneurs looking to build a brand for their business 
* individuals looking for a personal brand to stand out in a crowded market. 

Each student will develop their own brand strategy for a real brand or a relevant contemporary example. 

Students should bring with them: A notebook and pen or laptop

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DRAWING

Introduction to Drawing, Wednesdays from 15 January 2020

Date: Wednesdays, starts 15 January 2020, 7.00-9.00pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £180
Tutor: Christopher Holloway
Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Develop your drawing skills within a studio setting by exploring a range of different methods and approaches to drawing, in a creative and supportive environment. 

We will be experimenting with observational practice, drawing inspiration from still life, the figure, and a range of observational drawing situations. Incorporating and experimenting with a range of different materials and looking at artist examples for inspiration. The course will cover a study of line, tone, composition and working with scale. This will be introduced through taught method and questioning practice. 

 This course will lead us to a greater understanding of the principles of drawing, with a mind-set towards responding and discovering further how drawing can develop for you individually. This is supported with one to one tuition and feedback throughout. 

 Students should bring with them: One box of willow charcoal, some drawing pencils and an eraser for the first session, A1 white cartridge paper will be available at the class. Tuition will be provided with regard to materials, so it is advisable not to purchase unnecessarily before the course commences.

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Life Drawing, Tuesdays from 14 January 2020

Date: Tuesdays, starts 14 January 2019, 7:00-9:00pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £190
Tutor: Christopher Holloway
Level: All levels

Life drawing offers the opportunity to draw and study the human form over ten focused classes. This is an open to all class, which will appeal to all levels including beginners. Sessions are structured to give a diverse range of poses to draw from, covering both short and extended poses. 

This gives you the opportunity to experiment with different exercises to develop your observational practice. Longer poses will give you more time to develop more considered drawings and help to expand your own personal learning approach to drawing. 

 This is a taught class within a studio environment, whereby experimentation is encouraged and where we can learn through drawing itself. One to one tuition and feedback will be provided throughout. 

 Students should bring with them: One box of willow charcoal, some drawing pencils and an eraser for the first session, A1 white cartridge paper will be available at the class. Tuition will be provided with regard to materials, so it is advisable not to purchase unnecessarily before the course commences.

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Urban Sketching

Date: Saturday 29 February 2020 10:00am-2:00pm
Course length: one session
Price: £40
Tutor: Claire Hiett
Level: All welcome
Location: Meet in the CSAD foyer. The tutor will be taking the students around the Campus and to Llandaff village and to Llandaff Fields, weather permitting, as well as working in the CSAD studios in N Block.

The aim of these workshops is to demystify the process of compiling an interesting sketchbook, whilst developing your observational drawing skills in the beautiful and inspirational landscape of Llandaff (weather permitting). Should the weather not enable plein air drawing, studio based activities will be organised. We will also explore the potential of various wet and dry drawing materials. 

 Who is the course aimed at? All levels welcome. Suitable for those developing mixed media sketchbooks and working with a range of small-scale ideas. Anyone wishing to re-engage with using a sketchbook after a prolonged break. Potential students developing a portfolio and needing a sketchbook to apply for a course. Those who are curious about compiling interesting sketchbooks and are looking for a deeper understanding of the subject. Anyone looking to acquire some new skills. 

An interest in visual recording and keeping a sketchbook/visual diary. An interest in compiling sketchbooks for personal progression. An interest in exploring a variety of drawing materials. 

Students should bring with them: a hard cover sketchbook - A5, A4 or A3. A variety of wet and dry drawing materials. Pritt stick, scissors, scalpel blade. Fixative, masking tape, plastic eraser. 

Lunch: Please note that the cafes on site are closed at weekends so it would be good idea to bring a packed lunch. 

 Additional Information e.g. useful books to read/current exhibitions to see
 Sketchbooks Grayson Perry.
 John Constable - extensive sky studies.
 Turner’s sketchbooks - extensive travel.
 Sketchbook of Picasso - Je Suis le Cahier.
 Instagram - #tatesketchbook
 The Sketchbook Project - Brooklyn Art Library N. Y.

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Distill Life: Experimental Drawing, Wednesdays from 04 March 2020

Date: Wednesdays, starts 04 March 2020, 7.00-9.00pm
Course length: 4 sessions
Price: £80
Tutor: AJ Stockwell
Level: Beginners

Experiment with alternative materials for drawing in this 4-week course. With reference to the traditional concept of ‘still life’ you will create drawing studies using locally grown; found; produced materials. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to explore methods of mark-marking and drawing to different scales on paper. 

AJ Stockwell is an artist & educator based in Cardiff. Trained in Fine Art & Ceramics she has worked both nationally and internationally, developing independent and collaborative projects. 

 What do students need to bring with them? Sketchbook; digital camera or smartphone for documentation; apron or old clothes for messy work. 

 Any additional Information eg useful books to read/current exhibitions to see?
  David Nash at the National Museum of Wales

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Contemporary Still Life in Soft Pastels, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January 2020

Date: Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January 2020 10am – 2pm
Course length: 2 sessions
Price: £95
Tutor: Sebastian Aplin
Level: All welcome

This course aims to develop your ability to draw a still life in soft pastels. You will develop knowledge and understanding of tonal value, negative/positive space, light and local colour, measurement and proportion, warm and cool colour contrast and optical colour mixing. 

Cézanne said he would astonish Paris with an apple, and he did. We can astonish ourselves by painting a toaster or espresso maker. It doesn’t matter what you paint, but how you paint it. 

This course aims to tackle the basic issues that make representational drawing and painting successful. We will use pastels to explore how the effect of form, distance and the relationship between objects is achieved by controlling the colour we use in drawing. Once we have understood how to guide what our audience sees we will be ready to jump on the backs of the masters to create our own still lives, full of the things that surround us in our day to day lives. Soft pastels are versatile enough to test out the basic theories behind the practice in a manner which is quick and efficient. Through this course you will learn to recognize the mechanisms which have made great drawings and paintings so alluring and will develop the skills to be able to try them out yourself. By reducing the amount of colours used, we will be able to concentrate on how to model form with light and create an illusion of pictoral space. We will also explore techniques to help up observe forms accurately and work through tasks that will allow us to bring shapes to life. 

To bring with you: A set of soft pastels. If buying your pastels individually please include the following Burnt Umber (brown), Payne’s Grey (bluish grey), raw sienna (similar to yellow ochre), lemon yellow (cool yellow), crimson (cool red), ultramarine blue (warm blue). 

Lunch: Please note that the cafes on site are closed at weekends so it would be good idea to bring a packed lunch. You will find tea and coffee making facilities and hot drinks machines on site.

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PAINTING

Advanced Painting in Oils & Acrylics, Mondays from 13 January 2020

Date: Mondays, starts 13 January 2020, 7:00-9:00pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £180
Tutor: Sebastian Aplin
Level: Intermediate/Advanced

The course will develop your confidence and approach to painting in oil and acrylics and skills in composition, colour and observation. You will work with a range of subject matter, with an emphasis on working with a life model and still life. You are encouraged to experiment with a range of techniques and processes to develop your painting, this could include drawing, collage and working towards abstraction. 

Each term, Sebastian explores a different theme with the class which students follow more or less closely as best meets their needs. Though not essential, this class is recommended for students with confidence in the basics and some experience in painting and colour mixing. 

Students should bring with them: Canvases, sketchbook and basic drawing materials including charcoal, pencils etc. Easels and boards are provided. Artists' or Student Quality Oil Colour: Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Phthalocyanine Blue, Coerulium Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White. Also: rags, palette, palette knives, flat-ended brushes (5 mm, 1cm, 2cm), linseed oil, white spirit or turpentine. Please ensure that any solvents for oil painting are "low odour’. You can find these at Pen and Paper, Royal Arcade, Cardiff or Hobbycraft.

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Still Life in Acrylics, Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 February 2020

Date: Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 February 2020, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Course length: 2 sessions over one weekend
Price: £95
Tutor: Sebastian Aplin
Level: All Welcome

This course aims to explore the many decisions that need to be made to achieve a harmonious painting and to communicate form, distance and mood. This course will reinforce the practice of using values to describe how light creates form but then move on to see how an understanding of colour “temperature” and “saturation” will determine the effectiveness of what we aim to achieve. 

We will do exercises to test out theories and see how we can make the inherent properties of colours work for and not against us. We’ll be using still life objects in the studio as studies that will clarify how colour is an effect of light rather than an inherent property and will be comparing our findings with painters both before and after the discoveries of impressionism. 

The workshop will introduce us to principles of colour mixing and the advantages of using a limited palette so that we begin to deepen our understanding of how colours react visually by isolating the characteristics that we want to employ. By concentrating on focused studies, we can engage with painting terminology that helps us make sense of colour and begin to develop our own preferred palette. 

Students should bring with them: Colours: Titanium white, zinc (mixing) white, Cadmium red, alizarin crimson, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, Pthalo or Prussian blue (green shade), Ultramarine blue, black. Palette, synthetic brushes. Thick cartridge paper (300 gsm) or canvas boards minimum A3 size 

Lunch: Please note that the cafes on site are closed at weekends so it would be good idea to bring a packed lunch.

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Introduction to Photography, Mondays from 13 January 2020

Date: Mondays, starting 13 January 2020, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £180
Tutor: Rory Buckland
Level: All welcome

This course is aimed at beginners who having been using auto mode on their camera but would now like to start using the manual functions for better control of their picture taking. This course will teach students introductory theory and practice of manual photography, and instruct students how to create better photographs, giving them an understanding of lens and camera combinations. 

The course will teach students how to set a manual camera to take competent pictures in a range of situations and environments, as they gain an understanding of the effects of light, colour and temperature on the picture taking process. 

By the end of the course, students will have obtained the knowledge and confidence to develop their craft through their own initiative and will have the skills to take pictures the way we visualise them. 

Students should ideally have access to a camera / camera phone (film or digital, but preferably digital) which allows at least some manual override and preferably the instruction manual for that camera. 

Students should bring with them: A camera / camera phone (film or digital – preferably digital) and ideally its instruction manual, a notebook.

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Photo Art Montage: Analogue, Wednesdays from 29 January 2020

Date: Wednesdays, starting 29 January 2020, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 8 sessions
Price: £180
Tutor: Rory Buckland
Level: All welcome

This course is designed to introduce students to archetypal and personal symbolism in art, working to see how they can better understand their place in the world through the medium of composited digital imagery. The course aims to introduce students to the context of photomontage in art history, and to historical and contemporary artists that use it in their practice. 

Students will work to assemble found/ made photographic imagery into new creative and symbolic compositions. In order to contextualise their own practice students will gain an overview of the history and theory of symbolism and its application in photomontage. 

Students will gain an understanding of the techniques available to them, produce a body of work which will ground future development and/or studies. They will be able to contextualise their practice and understand what motivates them to create such work. Through co-working they will gain appreciation of alternative motivations and dynamics in the creative process. 

 Students should bring with them: visual source materials e.g. used magazines, photos, junk mail, newspapers etc. a craft knife https://www.londongraphics.co.uk/x-acto-no-1-precision-knife-and-cap or similar, a notebook, medium scissors. 

Some web links students might find useful as inspiration / preparation:
Symbols and Symbolism;
https://academyofideas.com/2017/02/carl-jung-what-are-archetypes/
http://www.theartstory.org/movement-symbolism.htm
https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://duckduckgo.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1221&context=art_design_theses
http://www.new-wisdom.org/cultural_history1/02-archetypes/symbolism.htm
Photomontage;
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/missgordonart/lesson-plan-photomontage/
http://www.anothermag.com/art-photography/3318/top-10-collage-artists-hannah-hoch-to-man-ray
https://cargocollective.com/mat200a/Photomontage-A-Collection
 https://www.widewalls.ch/photomontage-art/

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PRINTMAKING

Screenprinting, Mondays from 13 January 2020

Date: Mondays, starts 13 January 2020, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £180
Tutor: Nigel Bowles
Level: All levels

This ten-week programme will introduce simple techniques of screen printmaking on paper by hand, for those students with little or no previous experience of the medium. The emphasis will be on developing drawings, photographs, or any other two dimensional designs into works produced on paper. 

There will be opportunities to discuss your prints with the tutor, and to attempt more complex projects that require some knowledge of image manipulation software like Adobe Photoshop. 

Students should bring with them: all specialist materials for the course will be provided.

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Experimental Lino Printmaking, Thursdays from 16 January 2020

Date: Thursdays, starts 16 January 2020, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £180
Tutor: Tom Martin
Level: All levels

During this 10 week course you will explore the many unusual ways that lino can be used, from reduction technique, using power tools to make marks, caustic etching to 'bite' blocks, Chin collé (the use of collage), multi-block printing, plaster casting and unusual inking methods such as rainbow rolling. You will create exciting and dynamic prints that perhaps break the traditional view that lino is a black and white/graphic process. During this course, you will also be introduced to basic papermaking techniques so that you will be able to print on your own handmade paper. 

You will also be introduced to many artists who use lino in unpredictable ways and will have the opportunity to see examples of their work. 

 This course is aimed at beginners and also those who wish to develop their existing skills. 

We have a lovely printmaking studio with plenty of room to work in plus you will have the chance to use our ‘Albion’ and ‘Columbian’ presses that date from the 1800s! 

Students should bring with them: All materials will be supplied but printmaking can be messy, so either wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty or bring along an apron.

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Urban Play: From Laser to Screenprint, Wednesdays from 15 January 2020

Date: Wednesdays, starts 15 January 2020, 7:00-9:00pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £185
Tutor: James Acott-Davies
Level: All welcome

On this course, students will create an artist book using screenprinting and laser cutting, exploring and challenging their personal and artistic boundaries while depicting urban architectural environments in a unique, imaginative way, experimenting with colour, shape and composition. The course is aimed at all abilities, and anyone with a passion for experimenting. 

Over the ten sessions, students will gain an understanding of how art can depict architecture and will develop a knowledge of screenprinting, laser cutting, compositional skills and book making. The course aims to have students engage with printmaking with enjoyment and enthusiasm, developing a great understanding of its capabilities as well as learning how versatile laser cutting can be to use in the field of art and design. 

The tutor will encourage students to think outside the box as they undertake practical studio sessions, with occasional one to one talks, and support throughout. 

Weeks 1-5 will introduce the project brief and printing techniques, with students taught how to create and prepare material ready for screenprinting, showing examples of mark making and imagery that can be used, moving onto exposing screens and printing work. 

Weeks 5-8 will see students producing as many varies prints as possible, also introducing more advanced printing techniques 

Weeks 9-10 will instruct students on laser cutting and composing books, using nuts and bolts to bind prints into a finished product. 

Students should bring with them: Sketchbook, pens and pencils. Printmaking can be messy, so either wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty or bring along an apron. 

Additional Information e.g. useful books to read/current exhibitions to see:
These artists will give students an idea of colour, space and composition, which will be a theme throughout the course :
 • Frank Stella
 • Howard Hodgkin
• Robert Rauschenberg
 • Kazimir Malevich
• Dieter Roth (books)

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Collograph Weekend, weekends in 2020

Date: Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 January 2020, 10:00am-1:00pm
Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 May 2020, 10:00am-1:00pm
Course length: 2 sessions over one weekend, 3 hours per session
Price: £60 per weekend
Tutor: Claire Hiett
Level: All welcome

This two day course will enable you to produce and print a collograph (printed collage), using scrap mount card and various scraps of textured papers. Day one involves discussing your design ideas with the tutor in order to produce an appropriate outcome based on primary and/or secondary sources. 

Collograph plates must be varnished in order to secure the surface in preparation for the inking process, which is why this is a two-day workshop, with day two being taken up with printing the collographs made on day one. A great opportunity to use up all those scrap papers and card that could otherwise end up in the recycling! 

 Students should bring with them: primary and/or secondary source or reference material to develop through print (photographs, an image you like, or a sketchbook of your work). Scrap papers – e.g. textured papers, doilies, wallpaper offcuts, tracing paper, sandpaper, pencil, scalpel blade, masking tape, pritt stick. 

Lunch: Please note that the cafes on site are closed at weekends so it would be good idea to bring a packed lunch.

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