Summer School

NSW Institute of TeachersSturt's annual Summer School was established in 2000 and is growing in popularity over the years. You can now join our Sturt Summer and 'get creative' in the holidays. Hundreds of like-minded people enjoy our cool-climate campus and share courses across a wide range of art forms plus dedicated courses for young people.

Sturt is an endorsed provider of professional development by the NSW Institute of Teachers, so the Summer School is also a great opportunity for educators to learn and expand their skills in an exciting and enjoyable environment.

For Sturt Summer School 2017, we are offering 23 adult courses (including a 3-day course in Digital Fabrication) and 5 one-day courses for childrenFor this one-week residential school, we also offer accommodation and meals packages. Please note that accommodation package includes all meals and final night party.

For day students, lunches and party attendance are available by selecting those options on the booking form.

Find out more on the Summer School General Information page.

See details for each course below. Click here to go to CHILDREN'S COURSES. You can register online or by using the enrolment form (PDF document): 

Summer School 2017 Enrolment Form Summer School 2017 Enrolment Form (74 KB)

STURT SUMMER SCHOOL ~ Monday 2 - Saturday 7 January 2017

01 Introduction to drawing - from working sketches to a finished artist's book with Marianne Courtenay

Develop your skills to produce strong, confident drawings. Working in the studio with still-life subjects and en plein air – from quick sketches to more fully resolved works, students will experiment with different drawing media and a range of papers and techniques using a selection of your drawings as the basis for making an artist’s book. Suitable for beginners and those who would like to develop their skills.
Marianne Courtenay, artist and printmaker, has kept a visual diary since her students days, providing a rich reference for her work. Her work is held in public, corporate and private collections in Australia, US, UK, Japan and France. Marianne is an experienced and popular tutor who is generous in sharing her knowledge, providing inspiration and encouragement.
Level: Beginners - Intermediate | Cost: $680 + $30 materials

02 Drawn from nature: drawing treasures from the natural environment with Suzanne Archer

Starting with the construction of a simple artists book, record carefully researched small studies of exotic flowers and other treasures from the natural environment to develop imaginative, large mixed-media drawings. The study of objects in detail gives great insight into subjects often taken for granted, generating the opportunity to explore more personal and experimental image making. Students will be encouraged to scale-up the studies to works larger than life size.
Suzanne Archer has been the winner of many art awards including the Wynne Prize in 1994 and more recently the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2010. Suzanne taught at the National Art School for many years and her work is included in many public and private collections throughout Australia. She is represented by Janet Clayton Gallery in Sydney and Nicholas Thompson Gallery in Melbourne.
Level: Some experience | Cost: $770 + $10 materials

03 About a face: mixed media portraiture with David Fairbairn

Extend your ideas, drawing and mixed media skills to make a more emotive and individual response to portraiture. Either work with a mirror or with photos/drawings of family and friends. Create preliminary studies using collage and monotypes to provide the starting point to develop into finished drawings or mixed media works, investigating pose, character, personality and mood. Bring accessories; hats, scarves, assorted clothing to explore different aspects of character and personality and as a fun way to get going.
David Fairbairn has exhibited extensively throughout Australia & overseas since 1981. David has been awarded many prizes including the Dobell Drawing Prize and Doug Moran Portrait Prize. David has taught at many art schools in Sydney and Canberra. He is represented by Stella Downer Gallery in Sydney.
Level: Some experience | Cost: $770 + $20 materials

04 The language of painting with Juliet Holmes à Court

Why do Van Gogh’s sunflowers look so wild? It is Van Gogh’s brushstrokes that captured the energy! By understanding brushstroke, we can powerfully express the mood – be it the shifting forms of Kandinsky or the wild gestures of Pollock. Extend your understanding of paint and brushstroke with exercises experimenting with a variety of techniques that will transfer to your canvas, allowing you to express yourself and your subject more profoundly. By the week’s end students would expect to have worked on 3 different paintings working in either oils or acrylics.
Juliet Holmes à Court is a practising artist, exhibiting at the Australian Galleries, Sydney and Melbourne as well as Mosman and Manly Regional Galleries with work hung in the Archibald and Portia Geach Prizes. 
Level: Some experience | Cost: $680 + $10 materials

05 Painting: studies in still life with Charlotte Thodey

A practical search for solutions in the ‘Still Life’ genre with an emphasis on composition, tone and colour decisions to finely detailed finished work with a respect for individual style. We use seasonal fruit, foliage, vegetables, china and linen as props. Learn to make big decisions about small things! The process is both meditative and exhausting.
Charlotte Thodey has exhibited her work for over 25 years and has produced a number of posters for the Botanic Gardens and Historic Houses Trust as well as devising and illustrating books. Charlotte regularly teaches classes at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and exhibits her work in Australia and France.
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $40 materials

06 Playing with pastels with Tricia Taylor

Pastels are unique in their ability to shine through colours as they layer over each other. Playfully explore using a variety of techniques – glazing, scumbling and how and when to use underpainting. The course will cover different genres including landscape, seascape, still life, flowers and figures. Starting with the basics or to refresh if you are already competent, the course will cover the essentials of line, tone, colour and edge, including colour mixing, theory and the colour wheel.
Tricia Taylor, best known for her seascapes, became a Master Pastellist with the PSA in 2011. Winning many awards, including Pastellist of the Year, Tricia’s work has been widely published. Tricia is an experienced and popular teacher, with workshops in Australia as well as internationally including Fiji, New Zealand and the USA. 
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $10 materials

07 Fast track to successful watercolour painting with Savva

Develop your own style of watercolour painting, discovering your own unique voice. Learn the basics of perspective and drawing, mixing paints and tonal values with demonstrations on capturing light and how to paint shadows. Painting plein air (weather permitting) and from photographs, students will be shown how to simplify complex scenes; landscapes, cityscapes, reflections.
Savva lived and studied law and fine arts in Athens, Greece, returning to Australia to continue his studies. Working as a professional photographer including the official photography for Sydney 2000 Olympics, Savva travelled extensively, photographing and painting, eventually returning to his passion of painting, teaching and conducting workshops throughout the world.
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $10 materials

08 Botanical painting in watercolour with Beverley Allen

Working from the one subject (supplied by Beverley), you will observe and note botanical features, discuss drawing techniques of light, shade, composition, perspective and do a tonal drawing prior to painting. There will be discussion on the mixing and layering of colour and the use of colour and tone to create a botanically accurate and 3 dimensional painting as well as demonstrations of watercolour techniques from the initial washes, through the various stages to dry brush detail and ‘finishing’.
Beverley Allen worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, going on to botanical art. Beverley has shown her work internationally including in Japan, USA and the UK with work held in many private and public collections. 
Level: Some experience | Cost: $770 + $15 materials

09 Calligraphy with decoration and gold leaf illumination with Peter Taylor

Starting with calligraphy basics in Italic, the secrets of fluid flourishing and other tricks of the trade, students will then explore ways to develop their own unique style. Using an easy ‘never fail’ method of applying gold leaf, you will learn the skills medieval masters used for borders and illuminated capital letters, creating a modern-style trail decoration that is useful to embellish many calligraphic alphabets. A range of simple and/or complex projects will be offered, suitable for framing, a special bookmark or to start a text. This course is suited equally for beginners and those with experience.
Peter Taylor is a highly experienced teacher, having initially studied in London with The Society of Scribes and Illuminators. Peter’s professional practice incorporates many prestigious commissions, with several published books released in Australia, UK and NZ. 
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $10 materials + pay tutor approx $50

10 The wonderful world of woodcuts with Basil Hall

Working in painterly ways to colour woodblocks, students will be encouraged to experiment with different woods, layers of texture, tone and colour. Using translucent layers of oil-based product and multiple colour blocks, investigate how colours work together and experiment with different inks and a variety of timbers, noting their respective qualities. Students can create an artist’s book using their own, or each other’s prints if they are interested.
Basil Hall, printmaker, has lectured at ANU and Charles Darwin University and run workshops in Australia and overseas, with work taking him increasingly into remote Indigenous communities. He is constantly investigating new ways of working with artists, adapting existing techniques to suit the skills people already have and looking at safe alternatives to traditional ways.
Level: Some experience | Cost: $680 + $100 materials

11 Understanding photography with Bill Green

Master basic technical information to unlock the true potential of your equipment and how to make it work for you. Learn through a series of discussions, slideshows, portrait, model and landscape photo-shoots, moving from basics to a more confident way of shooting. Gain an understanding of light, colour, aesthetic and compositional considerations. Working as a group provides great feedback and an alternative way of seeing. Camera with the capacity to shoot in manual mode and lenses required.
Bill Green has lived and worked as a photographer in London, Los Angeles, Sydney and Melbourne with most of his career spent photography musicians, actors, film and TV identities for the film, television and music industries. Bill’s personal work explores industrial and urban landscapes and architecture.
Level: Beginners - Intermediate | Cost: $680 + $10 materials + shared model costs

12 Organic indigo vats: shibori and resist printing with Julie Ryder

Learn to use and maintain an organic indigo vat, getting optimum results using natural materials and no harmful chemicals! Explore the many aspects of shibori; clamping, stitching, pole-wrapping and more, producing stunning blues. Learn resist paste printing and dyeing in the same vat to produce gorgeous blue and white prints. Experiments with small samples will enable you with knowledge and confidence, to pursue larger projects on your own, concentrating on a project of your choice towards the end of the week.
Julie Ryder, textile designer and artist, has a strong interest in natural dyeing, hand-printing and sustainable practices. With over 23 years teaching experience, Julie exhibits her work regularly, both nationally and internationally and has been the recipient of many awards, grants and residencies.

Level: All | Cost: $680 + $40 materials

13 Fusion tapestry weaving with Dimity Kidston

Discover the joys of blending colours and textures using a variety of materials, including wool, cotton rags, string, plastic bags and other recycled materials. Students will complete one sampler and a small textural tapestry. Every aspect of tapestry making will be covered including designing the cartoon, warping up, combining various materials to achieve an exciting visual feast and finishing off techniques. 
Dimity Kidston is passionate about offering people form and function and has been creating decorative yet functional objects in textiles and ceramics for over twenty years. Dimity’s hand loomed textiles are well known in Australia and overseas – her work is renowned for its contemporary take on a traditional craft. Dimity runs a successful business that includes exhibiting, sales through selected stockists and online sales.
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $90 materials (or $20 BYO loom/bobbin)*
*For those who bring own loom/bobbin, $70 materials fee will be refunded during Summer School. Please see Sturt Shop.

14 An expedition into basketry with Brooke Munro

Learn new techniques including open core coiling, cord making, knotless netting, wrapped core coiling and random weaving to construct sculptural forms. Using foraged natural and pre-prepared plant fibres, students will learn to construct vessels and sculptural forms, playing with a variety of materials to create texture and form. Learn to identify, harvest and treat the various natural fibres with encouragement to explore sculptural forms using your newly learnt foundation skills.
Brooke Munro draws inspiration from nature, encompassing traditional crafts, with an emphasis on texture and form using combinations of found materials with natural fibres. Brooke creates handmade home wares and objets d’art for her business, Mr and Mrs Munro, with work regularly featured in Home Beautiful, Country Style as well as teaching and exhibiting.
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $100 materials

15 Weaving: an explosion of twills with Ilka White

Get to know the diversity of twill; designing your own twill structures on 4 and 8+ shafts, exploring the ‘rules’ of twill, stretching and then breaking them. Play with advancing, undulating reverse, return, broken and mirrored twills, combinations twills, warp, weft and double faced twills, plaited, blocked, S and Z twills on opposites. With a mix of theory and practice, students will work back and forth between graph paper and looms. Round-robin warps on looms will allow for lots of samples to be played with, an exploration that may influence your weaving for years to come!
Ilka White’s art practice spans textiles, sculpture and art-in-community. Her cross-disciplinary and often collaborative work uses traditional making methods in contemporary ways. A well-seasoned teacher, Ilka has taught at RMIT, ANU as well as workshops.
Level: Intermediate - Advanced | Cost: $680 + $45 materials + $30 warping cost (if applicable - payable at the start of the course)

16 Introduction to hollow form making in metal with Vito Bila

Learn to make a variety of hollow form vessels in sheet copper, covering the techniques of sinking, hand raising, cutting, folding and joining. Learn hammer forming techniques to make objects such as bowls, cups and pots, with more complex forms being explored through pattern making and fold forming techniques in paper. Raising is a labour intensive process with periods of sustained hammering – participants need the steady use of both arms and be comfortable standing and/or hammering for prolonged periods.
Vito Bila’s practice has focused on non-functional metal vessels, exploring a dynamic and unconventional combination of processes, engaging in a dialogue between hand-made, digital and industrial techniques. Vito is a Melbourne based practitioner and educator, exhibiting his work within Australian and internationally.
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $80 materials

17 Textile techniques in wire with Angharad Rixon

Textile techniques can be beautifully rendered in metal wires giving artists a rich vocabulary of texture to explore. Learn new techniques; knitting and crochet, including Viking knit and invisible spool knitting, weaving including traditional loom, tablet and vice-supported weaving and braiding covering bobbin lace, kumihimo and finger braiding. Samples will be created in each technique with students going on to explore their own projects using their newly found skills, deepening their knowledge and developing their own aesthetic.  Ingenious techniques that can be used in combination with ceramics, wood, other textiles and of course jewellery.
Angharad Rixon is an historian specialising in textile techniques, interested in structures, surface treatments, textile materials and the relationship between commerce, design and craft. Angharad has taught at numerous international institutions including NABA, Milan and Roberto Capucci Foundation, Florence.
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $60 materials

18 Handbuilding: dreamscapes, imagining yourself as an animal with Bev Hogg

Create a lively expressive anthropomorphic ‘you’, conveying attitude through a combination of imagination and personal exaggeration. Expand your visual language exploring core construction techniques, experimenting with surface treatments, coiling, slab building, modelling, pinching, stamping, carving, slips and engobes, practical demonstrations and exercises to generate ideas and skill with plenty of time for play and discovery.
Bev Hogg is a practising ceramic artist and educator. Her vibrant, multi-faceted practice includes exhibiting in Australia and overseas, conducting workshops around Australia and most recently at ANU, Canberra where she lives and works. Bev has completed many public art projects in mosaic and concrete.
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $75 materials (incl 2x clay + fire)

19 Developing colours in glazes with Greg Daly

Expand your ceramics practice with glazes. Using line blends, colour blends and overlay grid tests, develop colours and surfaces in a number of different glazes, learn different application techniques to further develop these glazes. Firings will be oxidised and reduced, predominantly to stoneware with as many as 1500 tests produced amongst the group. Students will learn how to select and use glazes for further use in application to their own work.
Greg Daly, internationally renowned ceramic artist, has a passionate interest in glazes for over 40 years. With over 70 solo exhibitions behind him, Greg has won many national and international awards and is the author of two books on glazes. Greg was the president of Craft Australia from 1992-1995 and currently heads the ceramics department of ANU.
Level: Intermediate - Advanced | Cost: $680 + $45 materials

20 Wood: sculptural wall relief with Linda Bowden

Learn the principles of sculpture as it relates to the wall. With lots of demonstrations on building methods and shapes that create dynamic relationships between the wall and the work, learn to translate a 2D image to 3D. Developing ideas through the creation of a cardboard marquete, some of the cutting and joining techniques will transfer to wood as well as exploring Linda’s own techniques and create your own work in plywood and found wood objects.
Linda Bowden is a practising artist and educator, known for both intimate as well as large scale works, with her work exhibited in various solo and group shows including Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi and Cottesloe. Linda has been a sessional teacher at NAS for several years.
Level: All | Cost: $680 + $25 materials

21 Fine furniture: table making with Peter Young

Learn how to make a table, no matter the size! Creating a side table in Victorian Ash, learn traditional mortise and tenon joinery, the Festool Domino loose tenon system, as well demonstrations on different ways to use machines to cut joints. Using hand planes, chisels and cabinet scrapers you will learn how to tune and sharpen them and use them correctly as well as finishing methods. A great springboard to a huge range of design opportunities. 
Peter Young is a professional studio furniture designer/maker dedicated to excellence, with the aim to design and build furniture that stands the test of time. Peter has trained in Australia as well as Canada and the US, developing a wide range of technical skills which he brings to his professional practice and teaching.
Level: Some experience | Cost: $770 + $90 materials

22 Traditional woodwork: handmade bar stool with Paul Nicholson

Make a bar stool constructed entirely with hand tools. Starting with rough sawn timber, learn to dress the components with a bench plane – the seat base will be constructed from two boards, planed, jointed and shaped. The mortise and tenon joints will be cut by hand and after assembly, the joints and the profiles of the legs and rails will be shaped with spoke shaves, rasps and card scrapers with the stool finished with oil.
Paul Nicholson, furniture maker and woodwork teacher, focuses on traditional techniques, the use of hand tools and the development of hand skills both in his furniture-making practices and his woodwork classes. Paul has a strong interest in tool making with many of the tools used in the course being his own hand made tools.
Level: Beginners - Intermediate | Cost: $770 + $100 materials

23 MODFAB: digital fabrication with Ben Roberts

Monday 2 - Wednesday 4 January
This 3-day course has been created with artists and designers in mind. With a day spent on each area, the course will complete the following; design and printing of a headphone wrapper using 3D modelling, design and creation of a laser cut enclosure for an FM radio using the laser cutter and the design and creation of a door handle using the CNC router. All materials will be supplied. Students are asked to bring their laptop computer but arrangements can be made if this is problematic. 
Ben Roberts is passionate about spreading the innovative technology of 3D printing and is a director of MODFAB.

Level: Some computer experience | Cost: $580 inclusive

Accommodation: Should you require accommodation during this 3-day course, please contact Sturt - phone: 02 4860 2083 or email:


CHILDREN'S COURSES ~ Monday 2 - Friday 6 January 2017

For 2017 Summer School, we have 5 children's courses available where each course is offered as a stand alone day course. Each day is a different course, and children can enrol in several courses. A discounted cost of $440 applies if enrolled if enrolled into all 5 courses from Monday to Friday (please use option 006 below to register). Please note that children's courses include morning tea and lunch each day for the course fee.

001 Children's drawing and mixed media

Monday 2 January, 9.00am - 4.00pm
A fun and inspiring workshop experimenting with drawing using pencils, charcoal, crayons, pastels and other mixed media creating a variety of effects and exploring the vivid and brilliant world of line and colour.
Age: 7-12 years | Cost: $95

002 Children's painting

Tuesday 3 January, 9.00am-4.00pm

Explore colour and texture in this painting workshop. Learn a variety of techniques, including palette knife and impasto to create wonderful and exciting works.

Age: 7-12 years | Cost: $95

003 Children's 3D assemblage

Wednesday 4 January, 9.00am-4.00pm

Go crazy with ‘found’ materials (old toys) to create highly inventive, crazy 3D sculptures.

Age: 7-12 years | Cost: $95

004 Children's clay: funky fantasy creatures

Thursday 5 January, 9.00am-4.00pm

Let your imagination go crazy! Starting with the development of ideas students will be guided through the techniques of making and colouring a clay creature.

Work will be fired in the Sturt kilns after the workshop is finished.

Age: 7-12 years | Cost: $95

005 Children's clay: under the sea

Friday 6 January, 9.00am-4.00pm
Using slab construction and coiling techniques, draw from your imagination to create extraordinary, mystical sea creatures. Students will be guided through the entire process from origination of ideas, through to making and colouring. 
Work will be fired in the Sturt kilns after the workshop is finished.
Age: 7-12 years | Cost: $95

006 Children's courses Monday to Friday

Monday 2 January: Drawing and mixed media
A fun and inspiring workshop experimenting with drawing using pencils, charcoal, crayons, pastels and other mixed media creating a variety of effects and exploring the vivid and brilliant world of line and colour.

Tuesday 3 January: Painting

Explore colour and texture in this painting workshop. Learn a variety of techniques, including palette knife and impasto to create wonderful and exciting works.

Wednesday 4 January: 3D assemblage
Go crazy with ‘found’ materials (old toys) to create highly inventive, crazy 3D sculptures..
Thursday 5 January: Clay: funky fantasy creatures
Let your imagination go crazy! Starting with the development of ideas students will be guided through the techniques of making and colouring a clay creature.
Friday 6 January: Clay: under the sea
Using slab construction and coiling techniques, draw from your imagination to create extraordinary, mystical sea creatures. Students will be guided through the entire process from origination of ideas, through to making and colouring.
Age: 7-12 years | Cost: $440 for 5-day courses