Cardiff Open Tutors

Sebastian Aplin

Painting and Drawing tutor

Sebastian Alpin

I began learning to draw and paint with books in rural Devon, spent several years in a paint and printmaking workshop in southern Mexico and three years on a Fine Art MA at the University of the West of England. During this time I have shown my work in Mexico, California, Paris, Bristol and Cardiff where I am returning to find inspiration in the kind of drawing and painting that first moved me to make art.

Running painting workshops allows me to look at the work of great artists and wonder how they made their paintings and drawings look so effortless. It is continually rewarding for me to attempt to understand how they achieved this apparent simplicity.

I believe that the techniques that open the doors to great work can be learned and practiced by anybody. It's not difficult, but it does require a change in the way you look at things and I suppose that is what makes drawing and painting so rewarding.

Nigel Bowles

Print tutor

Nigel moved to Cardifyf in 2000 to study Fine Art, from then has stayed and established himself as a printmaker, gaining knowledge throughout a range of traditional processes and developing methods of delivering technical workshops. He works as a Technical Demonstrator for CSAD, runs the Screenprinting Cardiff Open courses and also works as a Reprographics Assistant for Cardiff Met.

Nigel helped to set up and establish The Printhaus Workshops, a not-for-profit screenprinting workshop, working with local communities, running in-house studios and is now one of the Managing Directors.

Christopher Holloway

Painting and Drawing tutor

Christopher Holloway

Christopher is a Fine Artist who has exhibited his work throughout the U.K and abroad and has work held in numerous collections. Christopher holds a B.A (Hons) in Fine Art from UWIC, and a PGCE in Further Education (Level 7, Masters Level) from Cardiff University.

Christopher has experience teaching for CSAD in a number of different roles including Lecturer in Fine Art for the Foundation Diploma and Visiting Lecturer for the B.A in Fine Art. Christopher teaches for Cardiff Open Art School and has been instrumental in the design and development of classes in and drawing and painting.


Claire Hiett

Claire Hiett

I never go anywhere without a sketchbook. The importance of documenting your world as an artist, designer or craftsperson, cannot be underestimated. I see and draw things daily, that interest me, and due to my passion for recording my world, I'm able to return to develop ideas when invoked by a memory or a conversation. The work I choose to develop is by way of a variety of processes, more recently print making, having initially been a painter, although drawing is an important visual language for me too. In the main, my practice has evolved to be more exclusively that the sketchbook, rather than a means to an end, has become an end in itself.

As well as working for COAS, I regularly run a variety of workshops in Carnegie House, Bridgend, where I also run a weekly Art Club. I teach for Bridgend County Borough Council Adult Community Learning and am a member of the Criw Celf Bridgend team.

Layla Holzer

Illustration Tutor

Layla Holzer

I am an Illustrator who works with painting, book making, paper cutting and puppetry to visualise stories that are inspired by the darkness within the real world, using poetic metaphors and uncanny motifs to help beguile, enchant and illuminate.

I have a BA (hons) degree in Illustration and an MA degree in Art and Design, both of which I studied for at the Cardiff School of Art and Design. I have exhibited my work in Cardiff, London, Edinburgh and Stockholm amongst others and have curated shows in Cardiff and London for the arts collective that I am a part of called Pack of Wolves. I have also delivered creative workshops in primary schools, for Widening Access at Cardiff Met and at the Stockholm Fringe Festival.

I am inspired and influenced by many different artists, makers and writers including Paula Rego, Jan Švankmajer, Amy Cutler, Paul Klee, Kiki Smith, Elsa Mora, Cathy Cullis, Katy Horan, Angela Carter, Marina Warner and Barbara Creed. I love anything that's colourful, patterned, whimsical, folky, fairytale-inspired and a little creepy and dark!

Laura Lillie

Laura Lillie

Having pursued a career in printmaking, gaining both a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Ceramics, Laura has a cross-disciplinary and materials-focused approach to making. For many years she has taught intaglio and relief printmaking processes for Cardiff Open Art School and other arts organisations. In terms of her own work, she explores object status and materiality, the nature of art making itself, and the ways in which object and process interrelate. Besides the medium of print, Laura likes to work with materials associated with sculpture and often uses the process of mould making and casting in her work.

She works full time as a Technician Demonstrator at Cardiff School of Art and Design and has previously worked in technician roles on a Foundation course in Gloucestershire, a school in Bristol and as a graduate and cover technician at Cardiff School of Art and Design, Howard Gardens. She has worked and travelled with artists including Dan Welden and Peter Randall-Page on projects, commissions and workshops, all of which have shaped the way she thinks about art and design in its broadest sense. Her research into Photopolymer Etching, a non-toxic printmaking process, has taken her to America and has led to the running of many masterclasses on the subject. She most enjoys teaching and working with others in order to encourage practical understanding and ways of thinking through engaging with process.

Thomas Martin

Printmaking tutor

I work extensively with many printmaking processes including, lithography, relief, intaglio and screen-printing. I am also very interested in making artist's books and box works some of which incorporate paper engineering techniques.

Before joining the Cardiff School of Art I worked for many years at the renowned Curwen Studio near Cambridge working alongside such artists as Paula Rego, Patrick Heron, Ken Kiff and Peter Blake to produce their original prints. During this time I also developed my own work as an artist and exhibited widely in the UK and abroad including shows in America, Korea, Ireland and recently India.

Margo Schmidt

Ceramic tutor and artist

Margo Schmidt

I graduated from the BA Ceramics degree course at Cardiff Metropolitan in 2013, having decided after 15 years of evening classes that this was so much fun that I would do this full time. Going to art school was even more exciting than I had imagined, and for three years I explored all the techniques and facilities on offer, and spent my holidays at ceramics exhibitions and working with potters and ceramic artists.

After graduation I spent 18 months at the Nantgarw China Works as artist in residence and co-curated four exhibitions of contemporary exhibitions.

In Cardiff I have been selected to exhibit at Cardiff Contemporary, Made by Hand and Craft in the Bay - maybe you have played with my pots?

AJ Stockwell

Ceramics and Making tutor

AJ Stockwell

AJ Stockwell graduated from the MA Ceramics programme at CSAD in 2014, joining the School's Graduate Incubation Unit, Inc. shortly after the MA show.

Working in video, performance and installation the driving concept behind AJ's work is a need to engage with materials in an effort to understand the socio-political human relationship to materials - questioning our cultural understanding and the significance of how we encounter materials on a daily basis. Previous training in Fine Art at The University of Newcastle upon Tyne has contributed to this conceptual development, as has reading in political ecology and material agency.

Drawn to the transformative abilities of ceramic materials AJ's practice explores the potential for materials to 'perform' and the significance of the artist's 'hand' as guiding force in the creation of form.

Prior to studying on the MA Ceramics programme at CSAD AJ was co-director and founder of Glasgow Artist Studios Ltd and resident at Fireworks Ceramics Studios, Glasgow. AJ has been involved a variety of UK based projects including Great & Good, a collaborative project funded by Glasgow Arts and Glasgow Museums. She is currently a part of the UNIT(e) residency at G39 in Cardiff.