A guest post by Jenny Timms, Vitreus Art.
To share your craft…. Or not?
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!