TESTIMONIALS

I recently completed the Clay Sculpt level 1 class and it was amazing. 
Carolyne is so knowledgeable, creative and generous.
I would have to say it was the best workshop for jewellery making if any kind I have ever been to. It definitely is a WOW product with a WOW teacher.
I will definitely be going to more if Carolyne’s classes.

Cathy Kennedy‎

9th Jul 2019

Do you want to enhance your skills? I can tell you that classes with Carolyne will certainly take you to the next level!!! I can only tell you what Carolyne as a teacher did for me….she did changed my life..
I Did not want to just want to string beads, I wanted to learn structure and design.
I chose that if I was going down this path of learning I wanted the best I could find wanted to learn Nanette Carter

8th Jun 2019

Do you want to enhance your skills? I can tell you that classes with Carolyne will certainly take you to the next level!!! I can only tell you what Carolyne as a teacher did for me….she did changed my life..
I thoroughly enjoyed the silk knotting workshop I did at Hot Dot Designs. Carolyne is a great teacher with lots of experience, and after doing this workshop, my head was spinning with ideas for future creations. There are so many things you can do with silk knotting – you can create so many looks depending on the materials you use. I also found it very relaxing, & enjoyed sharing the experience with a great bunch of ladies. I’d highly recommend Carolyne’s Hot Dot Designs silk knotting workshop and would love to do another one.

I chose that if I was going down this path of learning I wanted the best I could find wanted to learn Sharon Rice-Stevens

2nd Feb 2019

Do you want to enhance your skills? I can tell you that classes with Carolyne will certainly take you to the next level!!! I can only tell you what Carolyne as a teacher did for me….she did changed my life.. Julie Baran

1st Feb 2019

Silk knotting is one of my favorite workshops and techniques. The versatility is amazing from Pearls to Resin to Gemstones they can all be silk knotted. Carolyne is such a great teacher who makes sure everyone gets repeatable results. Love Silk Knotting!!! Linda Ritchie

9th Jan 2019

Just loved the silk knotting workshop. Very clear explanations by Carolyne Brennan. It was great to complete several projects in the workshop. After the workshop, I make the same projects again at home. I was very pleased with the jewellery and they are pieces that I choose to wear over and over. Now, I just love making jewellery using different colour silk thread and beads types. I would highly recommend this excellent workshop. Carol Marshman

5th Jan 2019

The Silk Knotting Workshop is a must skill to be added to anyone whose interest is making Jewellery. With the number of Silk colours combined with product colour the combinations are endless and definitely enhance design skills. To receive a lesson from Carolyne is an amazing experience. She is always happy to share her years of knowledge with those who have a thirst to learn. If you’re looking to add a new skill or wish to improve on what you know the Hot Dot Designs Workshops are a must do. They have certainly made a difference for me. Nanette Carter

14th Nov 2018

What can I say this is one of the most interesting classes in jewellery I have done.
You will always achieve in the end a beautiful piece. The colours of silk that you use can definitely enhance your piece.
You will always leave a workshop with beautifully finished Jewellery.
Carolyne is an outstanding teacher helping you all the way. Lorraine Rattray

3rd Oct 2018

I have had the privilege to experience many of Carolyne’s workshops including her Silk Stringing & Knotting. Carolyne’s willingness to shares her vast & valuable knowledge allows all her students to be able to create a beautiful piece of high-quality costume jewellery. I would highly recommend the Silk Stringing & Knotting plus all Carolyne’s other workshops to anyone who would like to experience a great sense of personal achievement. Lynette (Grasshopper)

22nd Aug 2018

When I started silk Knotting I just loved it. Carolyne Brennan teaches you the way she knows best, and a teacher who never gives up and is always willing to help and you can never ask too many questions. I still do silk knotting today. Gianna Carrusca

8th Apr 2018

Hi thoroughly recommend the Silk knotting course !! It’s a must for every jewellery enthusiast ?A skill is all you need. It’s quite honestly the best class I’ve ever taken !! I’m addicted to knotting if you can’t get to the class do yourself a favor and do it online !!! You will never regret it.

Moria Duigan Armstrong

4th Feb 2018

I totally recommend the silk knotting workshop with Hot Dot Designs!!! It was a really creative experience that was fun and allowed for the development of a skill that I continue to enjoy, and use, in my jewellery making endeavor. Great for all skill levels too.

Karen Sarmiento

15th Oct 2017

I can highly recommend this workshop, It would have to be workshop one of the most enjoyable workshops I’ve completed.
It’s relaxing to do and portable. When I go away I take a knitting project.
When I travel I buy beads from that country then silk knot a necklace as a memory. I can repair a sad looking necklace simply with some silk knotting. I would come to class @ Hot Dot Designs and make several colours of the sometimes same project as I just loved the simplicity of the outcome.
 I certainly now have a serious continuous regular pattern of knotting! It’s great!!

Pennie Wilson

3rd Sep 2017

Good morning Carolyne, Just wanted to thank you so much for yet another amazing workshop. I had the best time, you explain everything so well, you are excited to share you knowledge. The encouragement you give to everyone, even when we think our work is awful you are always there with positives. So thank you, you are truly amazing. Looking forward to next Sunday.

Vicki Rapp

13th Jun 2016

I had wanted to make jewellery for years, but could find no one that did more than beading. Since meeting Carolynne, and attending many of her workshops, I now love to create unique jewellery using the techniques she has taught. Every class is such fun, a great atmosphere to learn in, and have a great relaxing day.
Rosemary Kellaway

11th May 2016

Approximately 10 years ago my Husband and I retired from our business of 32 years, I was always a very busy person so retirement was becoming a little boring and I decided that I needed something to fill in my days and keep me from insanity. So this is how my journey started with making jewellery .

My journey started about 6 years ago after going with my daughter to a Craft and Quilt show to see what I may be interested in doing. At that time I didn’t know by meeting Carolyne Brennan on that day that it would change my life in such an amazing way. Carolyne Brennan is the owner of Hot Dot Designs school of fashion jewellery. Carolyne is a master at her work a remarkable lady whose talents are outstanding. So I signed up for a class at the show and from there on it is all history.

I remember my first day I was scared but excited at the same time. Well I turned up at the class, which I might add is in the most beautiful setting you could wish to work in, only to be greeted by the loveliest women they all made me feel very welcome, some of them had been making jewellery for many years. I was mesmerised by the quality of the work that the other ladies were creating not only were the jewellery pieces beautiful but they were all individually designed by each lady. I remember thinking to myself will I ever be able to reach this standard of work.
I survived my first day went home on the biggest high and have been totally hooked ever since, My most favourite day of the week is Wednesday no one gets me on that day. I always have a spring in my step on that day.

Carolyne is a great teacher she is a perfectionist and master at her work always making us achieve a high standard of work, she makes us think and teaches us that by altering a few pieces it dramatically changes the way jewellery can look. Her attention to detail is nothing but top end and top end is always what we achieve, the finished pieces are always being of a high standard. I get great pleasure when somebody asks me where I bought my jewellery from and I proudly tell them that I made it myself, they are always amazed

One of the things I have changed since working with Carolyne, is the way I wear my jewellery, ways which I never did before and that has made a huge difference to the way things look on me. I always feel good about yourself and very proud to be wearing my own individual pieces. Because of Carolyne’s ability to pass on her creative skills to other students and myself I am now very confident at making necklaces, bracelets, rings, ear rings and lots more.

If you are looking for a change in your life or wanting to take a different direction from what you are doing now, I can only suggest you give Hot Dot Designs a chance to bring out your creative skills. I can assure you the satisfaction and contentment that you will get from the classes with Carolyne will be very rewarding and satisfying and you will learn new talents that you never thought possible. You will always take home some incredible and amazing pieces and certainly be very proud to wear them. I believe, it will be a journey that will change your life forever.

Thank you Carolyne for giving me such an opportunity to be involved in your classes and being able to gain some of your amazing expertise, you are a master.

Regards

Lorraine Rattray

2nd Mar 2016

 I luv Carolyne Brennan’s jewellery classes. Miss Carolyne is an experienced designer of unique elegant jewellery. Her classes are warm, friendly and professional. Students come from all over Sydney and Wollongong. Highly recommended.
Anna

19th Nov 2015

If you are serious about creating beautiful professionally finished jewellery then this is the place for you! Carolyne is a great design artist and teacher who understands how to create an encouraging and supportive environment for one to learn in. If you are looking for a great range of beads and findings this is also the place for you…..and the variety and quality is fantastic of all that is offered through this vibrant studio!
Linda Ritchie 
  Beautiful beads. Check. Creativity. Check. Great teacher. Check. Lovely studio and even better garden. Check. If you have ever thought of attending a jewellery class, then this is the one for you. Carolyne brings years of teaching and knowledge to each of her classes and is generous to a fault with both. You only learn the right way to do things with Carolyne and she sets you up with the foundations so that you can go home and create to your heart’s content! Then, when you realize you have forgotten something, or need a special bead, well that is not a problem either, as her on-line shop is just a click away!  Take one class with her and you’ll be hooked, no doubt about it!
Sally Moir

6th Oct 2015

Serendipity brought me to Hot Dot Designs & Carolyne Brennan
I was not even aware that I wanted to do jewellery. I didn’t really wear terribly much jewellery at all. For some reason, when I was at the craft & quilt show, I picked up one of her brochures and decided to do an introductory course. 
Well, that was it…I was hooked!
At the start, my thinking was quite constrained. Colour and design was something I noticed but not with a discerning eye. “The mind doesn’t see what it doesn’t know”. 
Now, I notice a whole lot more! Now I look at things and really observe. I’m nowhere near accomplished but I’m better. So the greatest lessons and breakthroughs – an appreciation of the beauty, in so many more things than before.

I never thought that I would ever be standing in front of a mirror and taking time to work out in detail what I was wearing the next day – “Hmm… which necklace do I feel like wearing….now what will go with that….no not the right neckline…might just go

Carolyne has a deep understanding of her art. As a craftsperson, she is able to share her knowledge and skills and teach effectively. 
Not many people are able to do this. Hot Dot Designs jewellery workshops and Term classes are well planned and well structured. She has a lifetime of ideas that she is willing to share with like-minded people. The work is exciting and fun. 
The environment is nurturing. All in all…a damn good experience.

Eve Fennell

2nd May 2014

Stringing & Knotting Workshop, Thank you so much Carolyne, I truly loved the class and everyone involved. I only wish I lived closer and could come more regularly. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, it was a marvelous and nurturing environment, and I can’t wait for my next class. I told everyone who would listen about it and have worn my necklaces every day since I made them.

Lee from Mudgee

9th Jul 2013

Stringing & Knotting Workshop

I loved loved loved the work shop!

I just want to string knot, string knot string ,knot…. can’t wait till the appoxie clay sculpt workshop on Sunday.

Kristine Pobi

8th Jul 2013

Late last year I decided to make inquiries regarding classes teaching fashion Jewelry, I thought take a couple of classes to see if it was an interest that I would enjoy. I was encouraged to contact Carolyne of Hot Dot Designs and in October 2011 was fortunate to enroll in one of Carolynes “Introduction to Jewellery Workshops”.

From that day learning has become my great passion. Anybody who is interested in learning or who would like to improve their techniques this is the place to come.

Shopping on the Hot Dot Design website is a pleasure and you can be assured that the pieces purchased will be of the best quality.

Nanette Carter

16th Mar 2013

Carolyne, the Apoxie Sculpt was a most enjoyable and productive workshop.

All your workshops are fun and inspiring but this one made me feel like I was really building something. It has so much scope.

Thank you for the work you put into planning these workshops. By having all projects planned and all necessary items neatly sorted for each of us the day flows without interruption and we get so many pieces completed. My mind is now alive with ideas of what I can do myself using this wonderful new product.

I feel I have come a long way since my first class with you about 10 months ago.

Fortunately, my initial passion for purchasing gemstones and beads on a whim has worn off. These prior purchases sit looking at me wondering what I will do with them.It is not until I started the design and creation process did I fully appreciate the need for access to so many different types and sizes of beads, spacers, findings, jump rings, slip rings etc.

You take the hard work out of the purchasing process by having absolutely everything we need available on site.

Leonie Colwell | Knowledge Administrator

29th Oct 2012

Ladies I thoroughly recommend the apoxie sculpt clay level 1 workshop as it is a fun day filled with achievable results that Carolyne guides you through each step of the way. You are encouraged to think independently and consider the vast majority of uses for this product.

I think it is a great grounding workshop for all students even if you don’t think you will particularly use the product, as it encourages problem solving skills and demonstrates a thinking many different ways of using the product and getting different finishes. Highly recommend.

Karen Sarmiento

21st Aug 2012

I love attending classes at the Hot Dot Designs studios!

Carolyne creates a fun environment for you to work on class projects and provides adequate challenge for you to come up with an end result that you are very happy with. 
When I first enrolled in the beginners course, I had no idea how to make jewellery, and it even took me ages to learn how to ease the lobster grip I have to create good eye pins.

But now, when I wear the awesome pieces I create, my friends ask me where I got it from and how long it took to make – this class is not only helping me develop my appreciation of the work that goes into a piece of well-created jewellery, but it is also shaping my idea of colours and styles, which I am applying to everything I do.

Carolyne is a true artist, who will invest the time in you if you are willing to give time for yourself to learn and create pieces you will be proud to wear

Melissa Wong

21st Aug 2012

I have been attending two or three workshops each year for four years now and can warmly recommend Carolyne Brennan’s workshops at Hot Dot Designs.

I find Carolyne’s preparation and research for the workshops is second to none. Carolyn is a consummate professional in her field and this means workshops are well thought out, informative and with all safety precautions taken into account. Each workshop is designed with good learning outcomes and is provided in a comfortable and friendly workshop environment.

I have just completed the Apoxie Clay workshop and, as always, Carolyne had everything well prepared for us.We had a great day completing items Carolyne had designed with each piece teaching us the different possibilities using Apoxie Clay in relation to jewellery making.

After completing this workshop, I left excited and ready to start using what I have learnt from the workshop in my next jewellery project.

Mostly, I would like to say Carolyne’s workshops are fun and enjoyable and I always look forward to the next one!

Julie

17th Aug 2012

I have been attending jewellery classes at Hot Dot Designs for more than 2 years and I still look forward to attending class every week to master new skills.

I thoroughly enjoy attending the classes that I find so relaxing. Since I have been attending the classes I have gained self-confidence and I am so proud when I look at my jewellery, which is admired by family and friends.

Attending the latest workshop, Clay Sculpt has opened my mind to new ideas and designing in the world of jewellery. Working with Clay Sculpt was very pleasing and easy and the results were simply fantastic. I am now enjoying experimenting making my jewellery with and enhancing the look of it with Gilders Paste. I am so pleased to have had this opportunity to attend this workshop and to work under the guidance of the much-experienced Carolyne Brennan.

Yvonne Ho

15th Aug 2012

Time flies when you are having fun. Highly recommended workshop.

All jewellery pieces turned out great and I love wearing my bling bling ring

Rashpal Dhillon

15th Aug 2012

Thanks so much for the fabulous workshop on Sunday, loved it!

Very excited ,about the endless possibilities of Clay Sculpt.

As always, you thought of everything to ensure that we all went home with beautiful pieces and had a lot of fun creating them.

I love every minute I spend in your design studio learning and laughing with you and the goils!

What great tonic for the soul

Mary Nelson

14th Aug 2012

I would highly recommend the Apoxie Sculpt workshop, it adds a whole new dimension to the level that you can know take any project to.

For me it’s started me thinking how can I use this product to take my pieces to a higher
Level.

The work shop was great value you walk away with eight new pieces!

Not bad for a days work and enjoyment with a really great bunch of ladies.

Thank you Carolyne!

Vicki Rapp

14th Aug 2012

Great workshop – well facilitated and lots of useful information provided.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait for Clay Sculpt 2!

Judith Madigan

13th Aug 2012

Miss Carolyne of Hot Dot Designs is the ultimate teacher of costume/fashion jewellery making.

As a student for the past 7 years I have been attending Carolyne’s weekly classes and many of her specially designed workshops.

I can honestly say at the end of each class/workshop you walk away completely overjoyed with a sense of accomplishment as the result is always a beautiful and well made piece of jewellery that will last a lifetime.

For anyone who wants this ultimate experience of jewellery making you must ensure you put Hot Dot Designs on your bucket list.

Lynette Byrne

23rd Mar 2012

I had wanted to make jewellery for years, but could find no one that did more than beading. Since meeting Carolynne, and attending many of her workshops, I now love to create unique jewellery using the techniques she has taught.

Every class is such fun, a great atmosphere to learn in, and have a great relaxing day.

Rose-Marie Kellaway

23rd Mar 2012

I first met Miss at the Craft show and sat in on her workshop.

I thought wow, I’d love to learn to do that, and two years down the track I still love attending the Jewellery Classes at Hot Dot Designs and have made lots of Jewellery for family and friends.

Carolyne is very knowledgeable and helpful. If you have ever thought of doing a jewellery class, I recommend Hot Dot Designs. 

Yholla Krauss

19th Mar 2012

Dear Carolyne,

Just a quick note to let you know how happy I am with your classes. 
At last, the kind of class I have been searching for, and was beginning to despair didn’t exist!

A class that teaches the right way of doing things; the why’s and because…A class that starts at the beginning, allows you to progress at your own rate, and only after you have mastered each step. A class that gives you confidence to address design and colour issues, that insists on attention to detail, that challenges you every step of the way.

Carolyne, I really am your number one fan. I can’t thank you enough. Your classes are professional, and you fill them with fun and a true desire to help us produce perfect pieces. Above all, the generosity with which you give so freely of your vast knowledge is something that I appreciate so much, and am forever grateful for.

Thank you for this creative journey that I am finally on, you make it very special,

Sally Moir

21st Jul 2010

Last year, I attended one of Carolyne’s “Introduction to Jewellery” workshops. Not having had any experience making jewellery before, I found the experience absolutely enjoyable.

The first thing that caught my eye when I got to Carolyne’s place was the lovely surroundings and once I entered her workshop, I felt like a child in a lollie shop with some many lovely beads to choose from!

During the introductory session, Carolyne talked to the group about colour, shape, the importance of using good quality materials and applying a good finishing to your jewellery pieces. At the end of the day, all students displayed their work and it was interesting seeing how different all jewellery pieces were from one to another as every one of us put their personal touch to them.

The session was very enjoyable; so much so that I decided to become a regular student. Carolyne is not only an accomplished artist with many years of experience under her belt but also, she is a motivating teacher who loves sharing her knowledge with others. She is an honest individual with a great sense of humour. Her classes are fun!

I would happily recommend Carolyne’s workshops to anyone who is genuinely interested in jewellery making. You will not be disappointed.

Alicia Anderson

29th Jun 2010

Hi! My name is Moira Armstrong. I have been with Hot Dot Designs school of Fashion Jewllery since February 2008.

I travel up from Wollongong each week for classes. It is the highlight of my week.I truly look forward to it. Carloyne runs an extremely efficient business and works tirelessly at it . She is an inspiration to us all. 

Moira Armstrong

24th Jun 2010

For 25 years I have worked with glass; lead lighting, mosaic and fused/slumped functional pieces. The latter 2 years I had been making glass beads and fused glass pendants. Making the beads and pendants was enjoyable but they were stock piling and friends suggested I make them up into jewellery. A friend showed me how to string beads, at this point I didn’t even know what a crimp was.I tend to favour larger pieces and it was this that guided me to look for something to enhance my work. This lead me to the Bead and Gem Show 21 months ago where I met Carolyne Brennan and as soon as I saw her fantastic wire work I knew this was what I needed. From the time we first met I sensed a kinship and I enrolled in the term classes (up to my 8th term now) as well as attending several Sunday workshops.

I was initially impatient with the classes, I was taught how to make eye pins, and fine beaded earrings, what did this have to do with what I wanted to do. But I quickly came to realize that Carolyne was truly teaching me, not only to be patient but how to do everything properly, understand the basics and address principles of design. All the techniques lead progressively toward higher level techniques.

Carolyne is an excellent teacher and she constantly impresses me with her skill. She has ten students in the class all at different stages, making completely different projects, she switches from one to the other and without a seconds hesitation is focussed on that student’s progress. She encourages problem-solving and creativity in the students and maintains her own professional development as a life-long learning process.

Carolyne’s professional approach to classes is evident with the extensive range of techniques and projects she has developed to enable students to grow, step by step. The classes offer opportunity to meet with likeminded people, sharing personal stories, creativity, and laughter. Carolyne is a warm, caring and fun person who creates a sense of belonging and camaraderie in the classes. This is further enhanced by the beautiful Balinese garden setting and pet parrots with their enchanting personalities. It is testament to how much Carolyne has to offer that there are students who continue attending classes for more than 6 years.I am very glad that I met Carolyne and attend her classes; she is a highly professional teacher, skilled artist, an outstanding businesswoman and a supportive and kind friend. 

Janis Rietdyk - TAFE Teacher (Business Studies / Training and Assessment)

24th Jun 2010

Dear Carolyne,

I wish to thank you for providing the workshop as I found it very beneficial and will be able to put a lot of the information and techniques into practice.

I look forward to being able to attend other workshop in the near future and will keep a lookout for what is happening.

Please include me on any mailing list you have that promote your workshop etc. Once again thank you for an enjoyable day.

Debbie

31st Jul 2007

Firstly, both Rachael and I enjoyed the workshop on Sunday and confirmation of some of the basic skills and the refinement of those, which are so very important.I would like to join one of your term classes, probably the Saturday 12 – 2.30 class. Which fortnight do they start? I am also interested in a couple of the workshops – bridal hair combs and bridal necklace

Bev Gunn

31st Jul 2007

Hi Carolyne, I arrived home yesterday with a little headache but pleased that I stayed the day as I get a bit panicky at times. I had a look at my own collection of earrings this morning (I have some made by friends) and realised that quite a few of them were not very well made at all and some even worse than my efforts !! One particular friend has made them really well and I can now see her hard work and talent in her work.

So I just wanted you to know how I appreciated your professionalism and kindness, what a great teacher you are and I am so pleased that I was able to be a part of your workshop. I feel it was a good experience for me even though I won’t go forward with it and now when buying earrings I will know what to look for thanks to your expert advice and knowledge.

Jean Youngman

30th Jul 2007

I have known Carolyne re Hot Dot Designs for about a year and worked in her studio under her guidance and tuition in that period of time.

Aside from thoroughly delighting in her classes I am constantly amazed as to how she has pulled an untidy cottage craft / hobby industry into a structured, module and intelligent business that caters for an extremely diverse group of people….. Ranging from fashion conscious teenagers, to housewives and mums, to artists, to corporate people looking for time out, to enterprising business women needing to make a living.

It is truly a creative mind that can turn a bag of beads and string into a cash flow business that means something different and yet the same to such a diverse group of people, while still holding the promise to reach far into the future.

This business of Carolyn’s has the potential to become part of our education system in schools and technical institutions, in Fashion studies ( as in accessories), in Art studies ( as functional sculptures) and for forward thinking people in Medical studies ( as in diseases of the mind and alzimers treatments).

Carolyne’s classes although highly individual and creative are also broken into structered components that allows an easy and painless transgression from beginners to advanced skills levels without the pain of frustration or failing. A truly ingenuous achievement. These classes also have very low work and safety issues that allow for economy of running costs and….whilst in the area of costs have the ability of running with a cost as low as a $5.00 pair of earrings or as high as a $1,000 necklace. Again a very versatile business component.

Carolyne is the only person I know of that has been able to bring the craftsmanship and knowledge of silversmith jewellery and blend it with the arts mediums of design, ceramics, glass, and wire to make these functional sculptures…. THEN…. transfer and structure all that knowledge into a highly saleable business format with the potential of becoming institutionalised of franchised.

Well done Carolyne and thank you for all your years of tireless work.

Kerry Anne McMeeking

18th Jun 2007

I had been looking for a jewellery making class for a long time and had no luck finding a teacher with the experience, creativity and innovation I was wanting until I came across Carolyne Brennan and Hot Dot Designs at the Bead Show last year.

Luckily for me Carolyne had a vacancy in one her classes which she was happy to let me join. I am now in my second term and have also attended several of her special 1 day Work Shops to learn to make and put together some very interesting pieces of jewellery.

Her structured classes and her easy to understand instructions make the lessons informative and her encouragement to think about colour and design for myself make the time I spend there in her studio worthwhile and fun. Her Studio is also well stocked for all things needed for beads, findings etc thereby making it convenient for her students who are attending her classes.

I think Carolyne’s expertise in this craft is unsurpassed. I am looking forward to a continued association with Hot Dot Designs and Carolyne Brennan.

Christina Kay

17th Jun 2007

I have the pleasure of being a student of Carolyne Brennan – ‘Hot Dot Designs’ for a little over a year now.

Carolyne is an inspiration to all who are willing to learn the techniques of jewellery making and design. Through her dedication as a teacher and a friend, she has taught me more than just jewellery making and design. Her approach is unique, and through her constructive criticisms she has broadened my knowledge to look ‘outside the square’ and explore things in jewellery making that I never thought were possible.

‘Your limits are limits of your imagination’

Carolyne is always their to lend a helping hand and allows you to experiment and gain confidence in all aspects.

Having done many of Carolyne’s classes, her knowledge and skills has helped me make my jewellery stand out from the rest. I have learnt many different techniques, have learnt that it is ok to experiment, make mistakes and explore all possibilities to design and create pieces that have great finishes and are unique in every way.

Carolyne is truly a dedicated and inspirational individual whose classes are always interesting, challenging and enjoyable.

Amanda Salhab

16th Jun 2007

I first spoke to Carolyne Brennan in September 2005 after reading her advertisement in a beading magazine. I had wanted to try my hand at beading but had not come across any body that showed a great interest in teaching me. I had been into several beading shops and even though they held classes, their manner was some what off putting and casual. After reading every word in the first beading magazine I purchased, I came across the advertisement for Hot Dot Designs. I was excited. When I rang, Carolyne answered the phone and after explaining my dilemma about not being able to find any body interested enough to teach me beading, she said she would take up the challenge. We talked for what seems like ages and I made arrangements to attend one of her Saturday morning classes.

Being self conscious about myself and lack of confidence, I was not sure what the morning would bring. I had nothing to worry about. Carolyne put me at ease and introduced me to her other students that were there that morning.

She was friendly and professional at the same time. It had already been established I had not done any beading what so ever. Carolyne taught me how to make great eye pins in my first lesson spending a great deal of time with me going through technique and good finishing. I made three pair of earrings that first day and was hooked on beading.

I can not say enough nice things about Carolyne; I go to classes most Thursday nights, travelling from Randwick to Chester Hill. I also go to a lot of her workshops she holds and have met a lot of like minded woman.

Carolyne has a great amount of patience, taking time with all her students teaching them as well as letting us challenge ourselves with design and colours as well as giving us the confidence to try new creations.

Under Carolyne’s tuition, I have gone from some one that thought was totally hopeless at most things in life, to a woman that makes pretty good jewellery. I have an outlet that takes my jewellery and I sell a lot to people I work with. Carolyne has given me the confidence in my own abilities that I am in the process of setting up my own website.

I will continue to take lessons from Carolyne, because not only do I still have a lot to learn but she has become an important person in my life as well as a good friend. She is certainly the best teacher I have ever had and I often recommend her to other people who want to learn the art of beading.

Oh and did I mention it is through Carolyne that I have become totally obsessed about beads and beading. When I mentioned this to Carolyne, she said it was not obsession, it was passion…

Lyn Watson

16th Jun 2007

The first time I entered Carolyne’s teaching studio I wasn’t sure what to expect.

What I discovered was a paradise….Carolyne’s paradise…..hidden in her backyard which just happens to be a Balinese garden.

Carolyne Brennan is a woman who is passionate about design and jewellery making.

There is a saying “do what you love and the money will follow” and I suspect this could be true for Carolyne.

Carolyne has woven a sound teaching base with passion, wisdom, integrity and enthusiasm and we learners get the pleasure of creating an individual jewellery piece by the conclusion of each class.

We all come from varied backgrounds. Some of us spend up to two hours travelling to reach Carolyne’s studio on a Sunday morning.

This effort is testament to the pleasure and enjoyment we get back from Carolyne’s teaching and sharing of camaraderie.

What I have come to appreciate and experience in each of her classes so far is a safe place for women to gather and experience

  • a space for sharing our personal stories
  • permission to let go of past judgements on creativity, learning and perfection
  • be free to enjoy the journey to discovering our own creativity
Cheryl Dolan

16th Jun 2007

I started attending Carolyne’s classes in Dec 06 and have always looked forward to attending her classes.

Carolyne provides an atmosphere where one can learn, test out your creativity and most importantly to have fun.

Carolyne is very patient and her instructions in jewellery making and teaching style makes you never want to leave her workshop.

The other aspect of attending classes is that it gives you an opportunity to meet a diverse group of wonderful woman where you can share experiences and opinions while learning.

Carolyne is full of energy and an inspiration !!

Catherine Mannix

15th Jun 2007

I met Carolyne over two years ago when I started attending her jewellery classes. I have enjoyed attending her classes and workshops ever since. In her jewellery classes, I learnt new jewellery making techniques and added my own flair to my pieces by dabbling in colour. Upon attending my first class with Carolyne, I told her that I “could not do colour”. Well, two years on I can do colour, design and more!!! Carolyne has provided me with all the essential skills that has enabled me to be able to design and make my own uniquely individual jewellery pieces. She is a great teacher in that she has helped to develop my creative and design abilities but is always there to offer suggestions and encouragement.

Kristine Mobberley

15th Jun 2007

Dear Carolyne,

I just wanted to thankyou personally for yesterdays experience. I thoroughly enjoyed myself under your tutelage and enjoyed the company of the other ladies. I hope to continue the experience and have the passion necessary to design and make jewellery. I am trying to move beyond ‘the box’ and pick up where I left when I finished school.

many thanks

Ivanka Dwyer

26th Mar 2007

Good Afternoon Carolyne,

Thankyou for your email and for a truly wonderful learning experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and everybody’s company. I look forward to the next experience and more helpful tips to make my jewellery have an edge.

Have a fabulous week and successful bead & gem show in Perth.

Until we met next time.

Suzie Calderbank

26th Mar 2007

Carolyne, thank you so much for today’s inspiration and ideas ! it is fantastic to have a professional opinion on what you are doing and the opportunity to improve and learn new skills. our session was greatly appreciated. please let me know when you get in your super pointy cutters and I will order a pair. have a lovely xmas and new year, mine will be filling with new designs to try thanks to you.

Regards Kim Ashbridge

Kim Ashbridge

18th Dec 2006

Hi Carolyne,

I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful day yesterday. It was very relaxing and enjoyable. You are such a wonderful teacher and very knowledgeable.

I am looking forward to attending more classes in 2007.

Have a lovely Christmas.

Yours truly,

Felicity Jackson

11th Dec 2006

Hi Carolyne,I loved Sunday’s workshop!!! :)I didn’t get to sleep till 2am that night as I couldn’t stop thinking about new ideas and possibilities. The workshop has really got the creative juices working again so thankyou a million times for that! 🙂 I’ll definitely be wanting to shop in the studio for beads and findings some time. You were right when you said I need bigger blue beads to go with the green foil bead I was using in the first pair of earrings, so I’ll be looking for some of those on Saturday. A big shop for beads and findings can wait though, till a bit further on into the course.Thank you a hundred times again – the workshop totally re-kindled all the enthusiasm and got the brain working again and I haven’t been able to stop thinking all week about what I want to learn!Hope to see you Saturday,Rachel

Rachel

15th Nov 2006

Carolyne Brennan is an excellent teacher because she not only has a great deal of professional expertise, she treats every person as an individual and tailors lessons to suit their ability level and taste in jewellery. Nothing is too much trouble. Carolyne provides praise, challenges and encouragement in a supportive environment.

After four years I still can’t wait for my next lesson and know I will always learn something new

Lee Denton

8th Nov 2006

Hey Carolyne,

Thanks for the email. I had a great time on Sunday, you are such a great teacher. I have been to quite a few classes/workshops over the years so that comment doesn’t come lightly. You have well structured classes, that are both well organised and extremely well run.

Michele

8th Nov 2006

Hello, Thank you for a very good “introduction” on Sunday. I think everyone enjoyed themselves! I liked the choice of beads you made too after a little apprehension though…lol..Loved your little colourful friend too. Absolutely lovely. I look forward to learning further from you in the future. Very soon!

Amber

7th Nov 2006

Hi Carolyne, Thank you for getting back to me. I would love to do the course you suggested in December however, I definitely think any course you have to offer is worth it – I thought I knew how to make earrings but wow you put me in my place, I have had to completely change my method and may I say I am definitely feeling the difference – it’s so much easier to follow your methods – I already feel less strain and better posture. And that floating pearl necklace would have taken me forever, I would have gone around measuring distances and marking the tiger tail with liquid paper and then having to make sure the crimps covered the marks but now I actually have a purpose for my beading board. Another milestone is that I am now sitting and sketching my design ideas and thinking about how the wire will go before I take the plunge and waste wire when my method doesn’t work. Anyway, I really appreciate all that I came away with from the workshop. I have filled in the workshop update and re-attached it. Please add me to your mail list so that I can be updated on any future workshops. Take Care

Danielle Hobbes

7th Nov 2006

Hi Carolyne,

Thanks so much for your fantastic teaching skills, have really learnt alot. Would love to come visit you at your workshop at some stage to make my Turquoise necklace. Do you have set times where students can come in to work on their own designs?

Jennie

26th Oct 2006

Hi Carolyne,We really enjoyed the class yesterday and considering we had no prior experience other than admiring jewellery we think we did quite well too.We are happy to be slotted into the 9am classes at the end of April (starting 29 April) as I may have to miss a couple of weeks in March due to other commitments.
Regards, Angela and Sandy

Angela and Sandy

20th Feb 2006

Dear Carolyne
I had a great day on Sunday, fingers a bit sore, but I enjoyed myself. Your technique for making loops is great and I find it much easier than the 90 degree turn etc.

Pam Russell

6th Feb 2006