Monthly Archives: September 2011

To share your craft…. Or not?

A guest post by Jenny Timms, Vitreus Art.

To share your craft…. Or not?

Vitreus Art - Jenny Timms teaching stained glass

Jenny teaching a group of intermediate students

As you may know I am one half of Vitreus Art – a small stained glass art studio based in Buckinghamshire. We design and make stained glass art to be displayed in the home,in windows or the garden.
We make pieces ranging in size from small simple sun-catchers to large statement, privately commissioned work.

Mike (the other half, of Vitreus Art!) and I started our company a few years ago after taking a one day stained glass course. This was after seeing some glass work which we both really liked in our favourite place – Porthleven, Cornwall (pay it a visit sometime, it is the most Southerly Harbour on the UK mainland – and it’s a wonderful place).

Anyway I digress, sorry.

Mike and I now teach our craft (or is it an art form? That I think is another question to look at another time).

One of the questions we’re often asked by our students, and others is, “Aren’t you teaching people to become competition?”
Well,  maybe we are, but I don’t mind. It’s taken us sometime to get to where we are, so I think it will probably take our students sometime to catch us up (I hope!).

In years gone past people would have learnt the craft – which was needed back then to create windows for the home – by being trained as an apprentice or by the craft being handed down from father to son. But that is no longer the case. If you want to learn the craft of stained glass art you have to study at college or like us take a simple course and follow that up with years of practice.

Personally, for me I think it is important to share this craft with others, as otherwise it risks being a dying art form.

Both Mike and I get an immense amount of pleasure seeing our students arriving in the morning with little knowledge of what they will be going home with at the end of the day, and then  seeing them leave us exhausted, but having achieved so much, in just 8 hours!
They will have learnt many new skills and will be taking home a beautiful piece of art work which we hope they will treasure for many years to come.

Some of our students will go on to take up the craft; others may tell their friends about the course. We’re always delighted to hear from past students who have bitten the bullet and bought a set of tools and started making pieces!

Even if they do no more glass work, their friends may join us and take up the craft – so one way or another this chain will go on and the craft thrive.

So for me, yes, it is important to share the craft, and I hope others agree.

Get in touch or leave a comment and tell us about your craft experiences!

Jenny

Herts Open Studios – another chance to meet artists at work

Stuart Grieve - photographer and digital artist

Infra-red photograph by Stuart Grieve

Here it is again – Herts Open Studios, organised by HVAF.
This year is the 21st anniversary of the biggest and most diverse art event in Hertfordshire – the county which boasts Henry Moore among its best known artists.

Each year we (Jenny Timms and I) ponder on the inevitable hard work that we know will be involved in putting on a good show.

Each year we remind ourselves that the chance to meet art lovers, talk about what we do and what they like, and to demonstrate how our stained glass is created is an invaluable opportunity.

The way we look at it is this:

  • It’s a chance to communicate to others our passion for what we do
  • It’s an opportunity to show that we know what we’re doing!
  • It’s a great vehicle for gauging opinion on some of our experimental ideas – which may get turned into viable pieces of art or they might get abandoned.
  • It’s an enjoyable social gathering, with artists and members of the public mixing and talking about what they’ve seen and which studios they plan to see next.
  • And it’s a buying opportunity – you can buy art direct from the artists who created it, at prices that are likely to be much lower than in galleries.

This year we’ll be exhibiting  in the garden of fellow artist and good friend Stuart Grieve and his wife Margaret.

Stuart will be showing his new Infra-Red photographs – very ethereal, almost ghostly – and large originals and prints of his very striking digital art.

We’ll also be crossing fingers for weather too, but come rain or shine we’ll be showing so do visit us – even if you need your umbrella!

You can see details of all the other artists in the Dacorum area here:
http://www.hvaf.org.uk/Open-Studios/Open-Studios-2011/Dacorum

You can see examples of Stuart’s work here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/photo_quest/

We’ll be at:
41 Hempstead Lane, Potten End, Herts HP4 2RZ.
Look for the yellow signs and please don’t park on the grass!

  • Sat 10th – 11am to 5pm
  • Sun 11th 11am to 4pm
  • Sat 17th – 11am to 5pm
  • Sun 18th 11am to 4pm
  • Sat 24th – 11am to 5pm
  • Sun 25th 11am to 4pm

Visit www.hvaf.org.uk for details of all the studios open during the season.

And as an extra incentive to visitors, we’ll be making Christmas decorations (we have a big order to fulfill) and we’ll be selling them to visitors at half their usual price…

Hope to see you there!
Mike