2019 October Conference


Conference Registration Fees:

Conference Fee:  $90.00
Students / Substitutes / Retirees:  $45.00
Note:  Conference fee includes annual association membership

All conference questions should be directed to Alison West at alwest@nstu.ca or Meaghan as registrar mlemoine@nstu.ca.


As per NSTU Operational Procedure 14(e)(iii): receipts of payment and attendance will not be distributed until the conference has concluded.

Conference Locations

Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design

322 Charlotte St, Sydney, NS B1P 1C8.


Rocky Lake Junior High School

670 Rocky Lake Dr, Bedford, NS B4A 0C2

Conference Schedule

9:00 a.m.

Sign In and Refreshments

9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon


12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch (not provided)

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Workshops continued

2:30 p.m.

Annual General Meeting


  • Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design 
  • Workshops

    Participants will be attending ONE workshop during the day


    Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design

    Photography & Self-Care: How to expand your artistic side and use the medium of photography to connect on a level that recharges the art educator.

    In this class we will explore what is required to make interesting and pleasing images as well as create meaning in the context of pushing your creative side. During the workshop, we will discuss understanding framing, photographing people, and getting to know your camera. The concept of creating for self-care is also investigated as a method of restoring creative and personal energy. The skills used in this workshop can also be applied within the classroom and as a method of practice to engage student’s creative interests.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Chad Tobin

    Chad Tobin is (b. 1976) is a photographer based in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Tobin’s visual focus lies within using a small camera to bring a curiosity to each situation he encounters.  His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows both in Cape Breton and Toronto as well as publication in different Canadian photography magazines and exhibition catalogs. Chad Tobin is currently a School Counsellor with the Cape Breton Victoria Regional Centre for Education and spends his free time doing long-term project based photography.


    Lettering Workshop

    Learn the basic techniques of hand lettering and experiment with creating your own unique style.

    Hand lettering can be simply defined as “the art of drawing letters” - it is a specific combination of letter forms crafted for single use, often hand-drawn, with pens, graphite or brushes.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Jennifer Moss

    Jennifer Moss creates lettering and mixedmedia art and designs in Cape Breton.


    Delightfully Different Books

    Together we will fold, bend, glue and decorate our way through a number of very fun and unconventional book projects. Forget what you think a book should look like, these books will push the boundary. We will be working with the simplest of materials and tools - paper, scissors, rulers and glue - and imagination. This year the projects will be specifically designed towards incorporating book arts into your personal classroom curriculum(s). No skills required, kits & tools provided but if you have a ruler and scissors, and any kind of coloured pens, pencils or markers please bring them along.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Katherine Scott

    Katherine Scott is a book artist and multi-media artisan at the Little Pink House Studio in Gabarus, Cape Breton.


    Printmaking Beyond the Basics

    We will be exploring mono printing, gelli printing and printing on slabs of clay to create interesting prints. We will be developing work with lots of layers using materials we create. We make our own abstract stencils with inspiration from Miro and Picasso, make styrofoam stamps, hot glue stamps and more! Having previous experience is not necessary just a willingness to experiment.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Nancy Chiasson

    Nancy Chiasson is a ceramic and visual artist living in Coxheath where she createsbeautiful work inspired by the plant kingdom and Cape Breton's supernatural landscapes and seascapes. Her work includes hand built pottery, mixed media collages and acrylics. You can find her at Nancy Chiasson Designs & Paint Night with Nancy on Facebook


    Pinch Pot Pottery

    This class will explore the creation of pinch pot pottery. We will be using an air dry clay, that does not need firing in a kiln. Once the pinch pot is created we will continue to build on the pot using a coiling method.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: none

    Nancy Oakley

    Nancy E. Oakley is a First Nation artist of Wampanoag and Mi'kmaq descent living on the Eskasoni First nation reserve in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she studied photography and traditional pottery. After moving to Nova Scotia, she studied a year at NSCAD, taking courses in photography, pottery, weaving, and jewellery making.

    As an artist she creates culturally significant vessels that imbue her spiritual and traditional knowledge and honour her role as a mother. She creates her pieces on the wheel or hand building larger sculptural pieces and finds inspiration in nature and the creation of life. She incorporates traditional practices in her creations, such as stone polishing and smoke firing and later embellishes each piece with traditional Mi'kmaq black ash basketry, intricate beadwork and/or the spiritual element of sweet grass


    Pick It Up!

    After teaching art at all grade levels & in both rural & city schools, I know how to stretch a budget dollar. During the workshop, we will explore jewellery making with minimum supplies & equipment. As well, we will make use of found natural materials like leaves & drift wood to make interesting pieces. All materials will be provided. We will have fun & you will take some new ideas home with you!

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: none

    Lynda Lou MacIntyre

    Lynda Lou MacIntyre is an artist working in watercolour painting, metal smithing, silk painting and printmaking. Her work, inspired by the beauty of nature and the natural elegance of living, has been exhibited in solo and group shows. Lynda Lou has worked as art teacher for the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board, has taught countless art workshops, has been a mentor for many students and currently teaches jewellery making at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design. Pieces of her diverse work can be found in collections around the globe.

    Rocky Lake Junior High

    Resin Art

    Make jewelry and coasters using an alcohol ink technique.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Tara L. Taylor

    Tara is a performing and visual artist working in Halifax. She is a member of the Melanated Arts Collective, a BIPOC art space in downtown Halifax.


    Medicine Wheel Teachings

    This workshop shares concepts for trying to live a more balanced lifestyle using a holistic approach. It begins with looking at the self and then learning about connections with others. Overall, It can help to create a more positive outlook while traveling through life's journey - (your medicine wheel). Participants will also craft their own personal medicine wheel.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Theresa Meuse

    Theresa was born and raised in the Bear River Mi'kmaw community. She graduated from Dalhousie University in 1990 and went on to work for various Mi'kmaw organizations. She then worked as a First Nation Education & Advisor for several years and is presently working as the Aboriginal Student Support Worker for the Halifax Regional Education Centre. She is a published author, wife, mother of three and grandmother of four.


    Loop in Loop Silver Chain Bracelet

    Have you ever wanted to try your hand at jewellery making? Are you interested in ancient skills and techniques? If so, this workshop is for you! In this workshop we will make loop-in-loop silver chain bracelets, a technique that has been used for at least 3000 years! This technique uses a series of jump rings (little wire rings) that are formed, fused together with a torch, bent, and then woven into a chain. While there are a huge number of loop-in-loop chain variations, this workshop will cover the most basic variety, the single loop-in-loop chain. In this workshop each participant will learn to make loop-in-loop chain and leave with an 8” long, solid silver bracelet complete with a handmade clasp.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary but must not be afraid of fire!

    Ann Perry McCosker

    Ann Perry McCosker was born and raised in the State of Vermont. The child of two craftspeople, she was surrounded by a creative atmosphere that encouraged her to work with her hands. While attending St. Lawrence University she worked in the theater designing and constructing costumes. After acquiring her B.A. in Environmental Studies she was accepted to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) to pursue her interest in costuming. At the suggestion of a friend she took Introduction to Jewellery and fell in love with working with metal; she was so enamored she promptly became a Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing major. McCosker enjoys bringing skills from her diverse crafts background and passion for historic craftsmanship to her jewellery. Currently she combines the ancient technique of filigree with a sci-fi, futuristic aesthetic.


    Zen Stitching

    Embroidery can be a traditional, sustainable, a simple repetitive act, and as a consequence the process allows time for reflection. Zen stitching is a much-needed course to adopting a less-is-more approach, valuing quality over quantity, and bringing a meaningful and thoughtful approach to textile practice.

    In this course we explore a range of ways in which you can slow down, including using simple techniques inspired by traditional practice; reusing and re-inventing materials; limiting your equipment; and the practical and decorative techniques of mending.

    Suitable for beginners or those looking to reconnect with their craft and to find a new way of working.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Kate Ward

    Kate Ward is an interdisciplinary artist whose interests include textiles, ceramics, jewellery, printmaking and intermedia. She is the recipient of numerous international scholarships, residencies and exchange programs. Her work has been selected for national and international exhibitions and awards and her work is represented in national and international collections. Kate is currently curating the 2018 Uncommon Common Art outdoor exhibition in Kings County, the recipient of the 2018 AFCOOP Super 8 Bursary, and a selected Artist for Resident in Iceland and LAIR at Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design in 2018.


    Spinning Yard to Handweaving

    Demystifying the fibre arts of spinning and weaving using simply constructed and accessible tools.

    Learn how to create your own handspun yarn from naturally sourced fibres on a drop spindle. Next, we will take the freshly made yarn and use it in the construction of a simple woven coin pouch.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Kristina Vermeulen

    Kristina Vermeulen is an interdisciplinary artist currently based in Eastern Passage, N.S. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from NSCAD University in 2007. Having grown up on a hog farm in the Annapolis Valley, much of her work has been heavily influenced on exploring the rural experience and the routine nature of raising livestock.


    Macrame Wall Hanging Workshop

    At this workshop you will learn how to make your own macramé wall hanging using natural three-ply cotton rope and a structured mount (driftwood, dowel, copper pipe options). You will learn three basic macramé knots with variations. Diagrams will be provided to accompany instruction. You can follow the wall hanging pattern provided or create a unique design of your own. We will also discuss alternative material options as well as classroom project ideas for the skills you will acquire.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Allison Baker

    Allison is a BFA trained multidisciplinary artist working from her home in Shad Bay, Halifax, NS, Canada. Her company Shad Bay Weaving comprises of hand woven tapestries which are 100% unique and made of natural and/or upcycled, ethically sourced materials.


    Gardens as Art

    Gardens can be considered works of art inspired by nature and its highly sophisticated and often overlooked forms. We will have a playful look at the relationship between elements of the garden and elements of art in various forms.

    We will discuss reasons for making and collecting tangible art and garden making.

    Attendees will look at nature and make a piece of art using items found in nature.

    Teachers will take away ideas to encourage their students to observe nature in a fun and appreciative way through art.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Jane Rostek


    Mixed Media Painting

    For both the beginner and experienced painters, this workshop expands your approach to paint by introducing a broad range of painting applications. Projects introduce you to image-transfer techniques, collage and mixed media composites. You will experiment with various painting techniques such as frottage, layering, stencils and impasto. Through instructional presentations of contemporary work and critiques you will be encouraged to further your understanding of mixed media techniques while learning about contemporary painting.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Melinda Spooner

    Melinda Spooner is an artist and painter living in Prospect, NS.


    Multi Colour Classroom Sccreenprinting

    Screenprinting is magic. Simple but technical, dynamic yet practical – it's an art form that lends itself to many possibilities. This workshop is for all teachers who want to bring screenprinting into classrooms. Our focus will be on: building screens; understanding the basics of mesh and squeegees; stencil making for a variety of ages and abilities; multi-colour print techniques; ink varieties; and classroom management. Folks will come away with samples, some DIY screenprinting gear, and confidence to take this into various classroom contexts. Added bonus: access to screen printing resources/technical support during Open Studio sessions at Wonder'neath!

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: All welcome. No experience necessary. Bring apron or work clothes

    Melissa Marr

    Melissa Marr is an artist and educator based in Halifax. She is the co-founder of Wonder’neath Art Society, an arts based non-profit that brings the public together with practicing artists in dynamic studio explorations. She has a BFA from Mount Allison, and a Master in Education through Acadia. Melissa has designedworkshops for students from P - 12 across the province. She has consulted and written curriculum for the Dept of Education, CBC, and AGNS. She has extensive experience creating art in collaboration with schools and neighbourhood groups and enjoys pushing the boundaries of simple mediums to see what’s possible.


    Makerspace 101

    The classroom in the 21st century is transforming. The makerspace movement is an approach to incorporate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) into the P-12 classroom. A makerspace provides opportunities for our students to develop their critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creative skills while engaged in meaningful problem solving projects. In this session participants will learn about the maker mindset and philosophy, creating and sustaining a makerspace, and developing art-based projects for use in a makerspace. Participants will also experience a variety of low tech to high tech hands-on makerspace activities that they will be able to incorporate into their practice Monday!

    Chris Cocek

    Chris is a Technology Integration Lead Teacher (TILT) for Halifax Regional Centre for Education located in Nova Scotia, Canada. He supports over 60 schools and many more teachers and students with the planning and integration of new and emerging technologies in classrooms from K-12. Chris is also a part-time instructor with Mount Saint Vincent University and St. Francis Xavier University where he teaches courses related to technology education. Chris recently graduated with his PhD. in Educational Studies from St. Francis Xavier University with a dissertation that focused on the online learning experience of educators.


    Making a Statement with Jewellery

    Use of personal adornment is universal across ages and cultures. Learn how to use leather and textiles combined with inexpensive, easily obtainable supplies to craft bold, one of a kind wearable art in the form of accessories.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Rita Van Tassel

    I acquired my BFA from NSCAD in 2002 and soon after began running an art program for youth at risk with HomeBridge (based in Dartmouth). After graduating from the MSVU BEd program in 2008 I taught Jr. and Sr. High Art in Halifax while also creating and selling a line of unique textile and leather accessories. Since 2014 I have been living in Lunenburg and running The Lunenburg Makery, a textile-based Maker space where we design and produce needle felting and hand-stitched felt kits. I also run workshops both in the shop and in the city as well as continuing to produce my own accessories to sell at markets and to other stockists across Canada.


    Clay Narratives

    In this workshop we will be generating ideas and techniques for sharing stories with hand built clay objects. We will be practicing a variety of hand building techniques and discussing how to further connect participants’ work to ideas, stories, places and/or people.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: none

    Devon Vankoughnett

    Devon studied ceramics at both Langara and NSCAD. Has been an arts educator for over ten years with the Halifax Center for Education and currently runs the Glass and Ceramics Arts Lab at Rocky Lake Junior High.


    Hand Printing Workshop

    Try hand printing by rubber stamps and other materials , learn basic carving skills .

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Carloe (Shan) Liu

    Carloe (Shan) Liu is an illustrator, printmaker, and art teacher. She was born in China, studied media arts in Japan, and has a masters degree in Fine Arts. In 2018 Carloe immigrated to Canada. After working as a graphic designer for years, she gave birth to her son, Lufei, and started focusing on illustration. She likes to use watercolour, oil pastel, coloured pencil, and linocut print. Carloe lives in Halifax with her family.


    Engaged Learning Through Art Integration

    This is a visual arts integration workshop, so bring your most challenging social studies, math, science or language arts outcomes and we will shape them into art based projects. This workshop is for teachers of all kinds looking for ways to make learning engaging and hands on. We will explore some techniques with commonly available art materials and dispel some myths about "creativity" along the way.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Robin Jensen

    Robin is an artist and educator in living in Halifax, NS. She is currently the Visual Arts Specialist for the Halifax West Family of Schools. She sells jewellery through her company Hello Crow and she is the president of the Nova Scotia Art Educators Society.


    Beginner Book Binding

    In this class participants will learn how to make two notebooks. First we will bind a simple pamphlet style book, then will then learn how to make a more advanced hardcover version. Katherine will also discuss how it is possible to adapt these projects for a wide variety of ages and materials.

    Recommended Prior Knowledge: No experience necessary

    Katherine Victoria Taylor

    No one ever expected Katherine Victoria Taylor to be a bookbinder but no one is surprised by her love of books. She initially fell in love with bookbinding while she was at NSCAD earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is the organizer of the Nova Scotia Chapter of The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artist’s Guild as well as the the Letterpress Gang. She has been apprenticing with Joe Landry for two years and has worked on such notable projects such as the Book of Negroes mini series as well as projects for King’s and Saint Mary’s University.



    "Failure and its' accompanying misery is for the artist his most vital source of creative energy." Montgomery Clift