Meet our Instructors

At NewMakeIt our instructors come from a variety of backgrounds and are specialists in their own area. Here are some of our Instructors. 

Catherine Harasymiw - Pottery Instructor

A sometimes Pottery Instructor, sometimes Illustrator, and self-taught Screen Printer, Catherine Harasymiw currently works out of her studio in Newmarket, Ontario. Spiriting a BFA in Drawing and Painting away from the clutches of OCAD U, Catherine’s gone on to participate in a number of local, and distant art shows, including “Kinesis” a show curated by Twist Gallery in Toronto, and “Portal to Enigma”, a group show in New York City. Many of her slow-fading event posters can be found adorning the lofty telephone poles of York Region and the Greater Toronto Area.

Zoe Clements - Laser and Corel Instructor

Zoe is our in-house Laser Expert and Laser Artist. By using her art and turning this in her multimedia artwork she is experienced in most of the areas at NewMakeIt. Zoe started many years ago in NewMakeIt as one of our first members. Her Laser Artist business could not have grown without being a member. Over the years she has taught her Laser and Corel skills here and for Epilog. As a full time member of NewMakeit, she can be found most days at the Main Area or in the Workshop.  

Katie Argle - Pottery Instructor

Katie works across the mediums of ceramics, printmaking, and painting, exploring the unique qualities of each one. She has been a member of the Hill Potters’ Group for eight years, and before moving to York Region she was the ceramic technician at the Ottawa School of Art.

Dena Farsad - Pottery Instructor

While interested in pottery from a young age, Dena Farsad got her start in wheel throwing at NewMakeIt. After taking a few classes, she set up a home studio and has been creating ever since. She set up her @dfstoneware business in 2020. Dena works primarily with stoneware, experimenting with pottery techniques and glazes as often as she can! When Dena’s not throwing pots, she’s teaching others how to throw pots on the wheel at NewMakeIt. And when she’s not doing that, she’s working on completing her PhD in urban/regional planning and…SOILS!

John Walker, Blacksmith

Metalworking, forging, and casting have been long-time passions of John’s since, as a hobbyist, he first started making knives in a small urban backyard shop some twenty-seven years ago. His first anvil was the head of a ten-pound sledgehammer on which he learned to move and shape hot iron.

Today, John owns and operates Fallen Willow Forge, located on his property in East Gwillimbury where, along with providing ironwork for a log home he built, he does commission forging work and provides blacksmith workshops.

John also operates a mobile version of his forge which is used to provide blacksmith demonstrations at fairs and festivals. He is a regular demonstrator at the Kingston Annual Sheepdog Trials and Festival as well as the Very Victorian Outdoor Christmas Market held in Stratford, Ontario. John is a member in good standing of the Ontario Artist Blacksmith Association.

Anand Sihra - Fusion 360 and Milling Instructor

With over 11 years in the trade, Anand is a second - generation machinist with experience programming and machining in numerous manufacturing industries, including, but not limited to, automotive driveline systems, automotive stamping tooling, aluminum extrusion tooling, industrial equipment components, and geological drilling equipment. He has worked with some of the leading organizations in their respective industries, and is currently running his own machine shop.

Chantal LaFlamme - Welding Instructor

Rohan Brown - Woodworking Instructor

Gwen Park - Jewellery Designer

Gwen is a jewellery designer inspired by the form, colors, and textures of objects, both artistic and common, such as architecture, paintings, and fabrics in fashion. Her work is based on emphasizing clarity and creating designs predominated by abstract motif and simple geometrical lines and shapes, but at the same time, emphasizing patterns and textures, making a balance of work in harmony together. Her designs derive their values from the artistry, craftsmanship, imagination, personality, and spirit of their maker!
Born in Seoul, Korea, both of her parents were greatly involved in the fashion profession for over 30 years. Gwen’s talents and creativity originated from them, but she initially could not see that until jumping into the jewellery field! She first started learning metalsmithing by making items such as tables, candle holders, mirror frames, etc. However, she wanted to do more detailed, ornate, creative, stunning, and pretty works of art, and entered the jewellery world! Since 2006, she’s been challenging herself into the real world on being acknowledged as a great jewellery designer and artist, both locally and internationally.


Kat Michitsch, FCGmA

Goldsmith, Gemologist, Body Piercer

Jewelry making and personal adornment has been a passion of Kat's for most of her life. She was lucky enough to get a piercing apprenticeship at the young age of sixteen, allowing her to pursue a successful career in body piercing. 

After 10 years of piercing, it was time to take the next step to making truly beautiful and professional jewelry. With her unusual knowledge of metal and skin, it gives her an jewelry a truly unique style.

In 2015 Kat graduated from George Brown College Jewelry Arts Advanced Diploma Program, followed by the Gemology Certificate program in 2016, and her Canadian Gemological Society Fellowship Certification membership.

Kat now runs a private studio out of her home, specializing in one-of-a-kind creations, and high quality custom gold body jewelry: she also works as a body piercer at The Black Pearl Toronto.

Kevin Alcock - Blacksmith

While working a career as a farrier for over 35 years, Kevin has turned the skills learned from making horseshoes into an artistic talent. Spending time in his home forge, Kevin has learned to create pieces like hand held tools, small architectural accents, flowers and animal sculptures using forging and various metal working techniques

After having been a teacher of his trade as a farrier and as a 4H leader running a blacksmithing club, Kevin will undoubtedly have a fun and interesting classroom, that will develop skills to take with you throughout your journey as a blacksmith.