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COVID-19 Update from Vitreus Art July 19th 2021


Like so many small businesses, there’s just the two of us, and right at the moment with COVID cases rising sharply, we’re acutely aware of what would happen if one of us had to isolate or got ill.

And of course, we rely on your goodwill, and on your feeling safe and looked-after when you visit us, or take part in a workshop.

We’ve known so many people badly affected by COVID – we’d hate for anyone to go through that after visiting us, or attending a workshop with us.

So we’ll be continuing to wear our visors when you’re around, and we’ll be asking all workshop participants to wear the visors we provide (which are sanitised after each use) or your own face covering if you prefer.

Any workshop attendees who aren’t prepared to wear a visor without a genuine medical exemption will be re-booked on a future date when the number of cases and R-rate are under control – whenever that might be.

We will continue to operate class groups of 5 plus tutor (or fewer), and maintain the 2m bench space and lunch area spacing for the foreseeable and will keep sanitising benches, tools and resources, and providing fresh aprons and sanitised visors for all.

We’d also ask that visitors to the gallery wear a mask or face covering when inside too.

You know that we normally avoid discussing politics in our space, but, quite bluntly, it’s far too early for the very few remaining restrictions to be relaxed, especially when case numbers are rising steeply, and when the overwhelming medical consensus is that the relaxation is going to lead to further rises in cases and the serious consequences that will follow.

It’s hugely regrettable that we can’t enforce this policy legally, and we’re sure there’re going to be some visitors who’ll refuse, but Jenny and I are pretty certain that our lovely regulars and students (that’s you!) will understand, and will want to continue to help slow the spread, and protect others by wearing a mask indoors.

Speaking for myself, as I’m far more vulnerable to viruses than most adults, the idea of ‘Freedom Day’ to me is reckless and I’m genuinely worried about what will happen – to the people I know, people I don’t, and the ability of our most valued institution, the NHS, to cope.

So, please do continue to wear a mask when visiting us – we thank you for it, and the other people around you will too we’re sure.

So far all the customers and students we’ve asked have agreed with the policy, and we’ve seen posts from hundreds of small businesses all-round the UK making the same request.

If we had to close for a period of time because one of us had to isolate, or got sick, the impact on us as a business that works hard to give others enjoyment and satisfaction would be, well let’s say, significant.

We sincerely hope you’ll understand, and agree – the inconvenience of wearing a mask for a while longer is trivial in comparison to the possible alternative outcomes for everyone and we thank you for your co-operation.


Thanks-you for reading and supporting us
All the best in these difficult and frustrating times,

Mike & Jenny

Read on for new workshops, new art and more…

Before we begin – thanks to all the kind folks who nominated us for this year’s Muddy Stilettos awards – its really appreciated.
We won’t know if we’re through to the next round for a while so you’re off the hook for now – instead feel free to read on and relax!
And it’s been good to see so many folks during Bucks Art Weeks.
This is our last year of taking part (as we’re now quite a way outside Buckinghamshire) and it feels a little bit sad to know that – we’ve been taking part for 10 years!
There’s still the last weekend of the event to enjoy though, with us, or roaming around and checking out what’s being exhibited and created.
Jo Cross will be with us on Saturday and Sunday – pop in and have a chat!
In this edition we have two new workshops, reminders of our new artist, new work from some of our best selling artists and a new piece from JT (with a little bit of woodwork from MC).
So – let’s get started!
First up, here’s a totally new workshop you might like if you’re in to glass crafting, or indoor gardening, or both!
This one is our new 3d Copper Foiling Glass Terrarium workshop, held over 4 evenings, starting in November.
You might remember Terrariums starting being fashionable again in the 1980s (after the Victorians first made them ‘a thing’), and they’ve remained a fun thing to make and plant and look at ever since.
On this workshop (suitable for beginners, by the way) you’ll learn how to cut glass accurately enough to fit together into one of two nifty 3d glass-house designs, and then how to construct your terrarium using copper foil and solder.
We’ll even give you some tips on how to prepare and plant your terrarium if you want.
I really enjoyed making my prototype, and Jenny enjoyed planting it for me. It’s a fun project to make, and a good way to learn more about copper foiling stained glass.
This year we’re running this over 4 evenings; next year there’ll be a special weekend course too – details to follow.
As with all our workshops, the maximum group size is 6 including tutor, so places are naturally limited.
And as announced last time, Jenny’s brand new Fused Glass Pocket Vases workshop is now live online and taking bookings.
We’ve done the pilot sessions and the results were great. Now it’s over to you!
You’ll make up to 4 individual glass pocket vases in a half-day class, decorated by your own fair hands, and ready to accept a single stem flower or two, once fired in the kiln.
Fancy learning a little about glass fusing, and making some sweet little vases? This is the workshop for you!

Meanwhile in the gallery, Cathy Timbrell and Richard Ballantyne have supplied new work to replace pieces sold recently.
From Cathy there are two delightful jade enamelled copper bowls, and from Richard there’s a selection of new hares and bears.
One of the bigger pieces sold as I was typing this, but there’re still loads of new pieces, including this Polar Bear (with gold!). He reminds me of Iorek Byrnison from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Just gorgeous at £250!
Click the pics to see more from Cathy and Richard.
And I’ve finally got round to putting the new limited edition framed prints from Faye Baines on the website; they’re here, and just delightful, and rather affordably priced to boot.
Click the pics for more.

And there’s this new larger piece from JT to see next time you visit – called ‘Life’, we finished it only the other day.

It sits on a lovely gnarly piece of Oak with a genuine live edge.
Click the pic to take a look at the whole thing, or better yet, call in!
So there you have it – new workshops, new art from our regular gallery artists, a new artist joining us – that’s got to be enough for this time!
As always, thanks for your support, and Jenny and I hope to see you at the studio-gallery soon!
Best wishes
Mike & Jenny
P.S. After this weekend we’re reverting to our usual Tuesday to Sunday open days, closed on Mondays.
P.P.S It may be a while off, but please put the date of this year’s Macmillan World’s Largest Coffee Morning in your diary – 25th September. There’ll be coffee or tea and cake in the morning, and some sort of exclusive mini workshop in the afternoon…….

It’s nearly time to re-open… from Vitreus Art

Welcome back – it’s been a while!

We’ve lost count on how long it has been since we last saw you; but the time has now come for Vitreus Art to fling open our doors and welcome you back; and to look forward to enjoying all that is great and wonderful in the world of arts & crafts and creating.

You will be pleased to hear that while we’ve been closed we have not been idle.
The Gallery and Studio have had a good deep clean and a change-around, with new display tops and additional hanging space, along with a super new counter giving us more room for wrapping!

What’s new in the gallery?
During the time we have been closed we have also had time to make new contacts in the world of arts and crafts, bringing new artists to the gallery.

For a long time we have been trying to find a wire artist; we are now pleased to introduce you to the wonderful ‘wire drawings’ of Devonshire artist Becky Crawford.

I (Jenny) took a wire workshop a while ago, making a small wire sculpture (which I was very pleased with – after a great deal of help from the tutor!) and this little foray of mine gives me a real appreciation for Becky’s work – it really isn’t as easy as her work makes it look!! Click on the ppics to see more of Becky’s work.

Last time we mentioned local wood turner- Rosemary Wright – Rosemary adds delightful colour to many of her turned pieces adding another dimension to her work. Here are two more of her new pieces.

And you may remember we featured Cathy Timbrell’s work last time?
Cathy is a jeweller by profession; but she has recently turned her hand to making these stunning enamelled bowls.
The light bounces off the fired enamels beautifully.
Here are two more of her new bowls – rather striking jade and red and blue colours this time.

Thanks to Niki Thomas for bringing in 4 new belters – just back from the framers. Mystical!

There is also new art from our regular artists Clare Tebboth – Painter and Art tutor, Lesley Passey – Painter and digital artist, and Hilary Audus – ceramicist.

So there is a plethora of new work to be seen, make sure when you do visit have time to enjoy it all.
Click on the pics to see more.

News about workshops!
If you’ve missed creating with other people you will be pleased to know that workshops can resume from 17th May.

We will be maintaining the same small class sizes – 5 students at the very most plus 1 tutor for short classes.
This allows us to adhere to the rule of 6.
However, In most cases there will bejust 4 students per class allowing that extra bit of space that we all need just now for lunch.

Benches, tools and all facilities are sanitised between uses.
We also have sanitising hands-wipes and sanitiser for the use of each student along with visors, so you won’t have to wear our mask all day, if you don’t won’t too!
And of course lunch is provided from The Bell Plantation Café (nom nom)!

You can find all our workshops listed here on our website:

If you want to know a little more you can now virtually meet the tutors and hear what is included in many of the classes – by viewing  newly created video introductions to painting and drawing classes along with several of our own workshops.

The website pages for each of Clare Tebboth’s one-day workshops include a short video where Clare tells us what each class is about.
And both of Emily Brady’s Art For… evening courses in painting and drawing now have short videos too!

As well as featuring directly on the workshop pages they relate to, all our videos are gathered together on one additional website page too, here:

You might like to subscribe to our Youtube channel to keep up to date – we’ve got lots of videos to record yet – you wouldn’t want to miss out!

Bucks Arts Weeks – This is will be our 10th year of taking part….!

Bucks Arts Weeks will be taking place in June and it’s great to see this event taking place in person, as well as online this year.

There will be workshops taking place in the studio during these 2 weeks, along with demos in the gallery by accompanying artists Louise Thomas, Jo Cross and of course Vitreus Art!

We will be adding a list of demo dates and types of demonstrations to our events page once we have finalised who will be doing what.
But in the meantime please make a diary note of the dates:
Bucks Art Weeks – Saturday 12th to Sunday 27th June (inclusive).

South Northants Art Trail – Saturday 2nd – Sunday 10th October 2021
We will share more on this event in due course, but do save the dates for now.

Well  – Monday 12th April is fast approaching and we are very excited to be able to get back to what we love most!
We are looking forward to seeing and/or hearing from you soon.

Take care and keep well; and don’t forget we will still be adhering to Social Distancing when we open, so please do ensure you wear your mask when visiting, thank you.
And if you forget them we have disposable ones on hand for you.

Thanks for reading.
Jenny & Mike

P.S: Expect to see new work from Glass Blower Alison Vincent next time.
Here work is amazing and we’re excited to see what she’s been making!

P.P.S – A little reminder on Gallery opening times:
Monday 12th April 10am to 5pm
After this our usual Opening times will be Tuesdays – Saturday 10am to 5pm Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays – 11am – 4.30pm

Open up for news from Mike & Jenny – aka Vitreus Art

Jenny and I hope you’re well and looking forward to restrictions easing a little next month?
Following our look at two of our favourite women artists last time, we thought we’d tell you a little about another of our under-recognised arty women heroes…  Clara Driscoll.

Clara (1861-1944) was one of the glass designers and studio managers at the Tiffany Studios of New York. Louis Comfort Tiffany himself must be the most significant figure in the history of contemporary stained glass, but the role of his many designers (the majority of whom were women) is less well-known.

Although L.C.Tiffany is known for being a difficult man to work for, he did recognise the contribution his designers made, financially, if not publicly.
Clara herself earned around $10,000 a year at one point – making her just about the highest paid artisan employee working in New York at that time.

Clara worked at the Tiffany Studios on and off for 20 years, and is perhaps best known (now, if not at the time) for her designs for the most famous Tiffany lampshades – the Dragonfly, designed in 1900 and the Wisteria, designed in 1901.
The Wisteria design itself was a pattern – from which many examples were made, each comprising around 2000 individually-cut pieces of glass, selected by eye for colour and texture.
In 1906, the price for a “Wisteria” lamp was $400.00, making it one of the more expensive lamps in Tiffany’s line.

In recent auctions, genuine examples have sold at Sotheby’s for $715,000, $817,000 and then in 2013, an example from the collection of Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza sold for more than $1.5m. This was nearly double the top estimate despite the lamp having noticeable signs of age and oxidation, and 30 cracked pieces of glass!

We have a gloriously illustrated book on Tiffany lamps at the studio – you’re welcome to have a leaf through next time you visit – and maybe plan your future auction acquisitions!

Coming slightly back down to earth, you’ll find plenty of new pieces from our own studios just added to our website and on-display from April 12th!

For example, here’s a new fused glass and reclaimed wood piece by Jenny, called Ebb and Flow.
The wood is Laburnam, and is finished in wood oil. The glass section is made up of fused glass sea ‘pebbles’ melted together over a mould to give a glossy depiction of the ebb and flow of the sea where it meets the shore.

And I’ve been experimenting with copper-foiled glass on copper rods – starting with these flowers.
There will be other styles of pieces to follow, including feathers and leaves, and options to buy these made to order in pots or on wood.

We’re looking at adding similar projects to the list of pieces you could make on the 3d Stained Glass workshops we run…(the next 3d-foiling session is in May).

And there are more fused ‘bendy’ glass pieces and wall pieces from Jenny too, including these: Lollipop Tree and Coastline.

Also new on the website (and in person next month!) – lots of entrancing mixed-media paintings
from Lesley Passey (seen above on the day she delivered 5 new large works of art).
Each is created out of many layers of photographs, painting and added textures – all beautifully framed by our own local framer and each makes a statement.
Ready for you to enjoy at home! Click the pics to see more.
And a little reminder that we have new turned and painted wood delights from Rosemary Wright,
many of which show off her interest in the clean Japanese aesthetic currently in vogue.

And how about getting a bit arty yourself when we’re all allowed to?

Arty crafty workshop activities should be allowed to resume from 17th May.
We’ll be keeping the visors, workshop spacing and sanitising, and small class sizes – group sizes will be maximum 6 including tutor.

We’ve re-organised the workshop and gallery areas to give more space for lunch too.
And our ‘Covid-bookings-promise’ will continue to apply – re-bookings, transfers, credit notes or refunds all available in case of class cancellation or illness.

So here are a few highlights from May and June….
The full programme of workshops for the next 6 months is on the VA website of course, with lots of info, pics, booking details and the small-print in our COVID-19 FAQ which you can find linked from each workshop website page.

May classes with places available:
21st May – Printing Without a Press with Clare Tebboth for Beginners
22nd May – Stained Glass Copper Foil 3d 1-day course for Beginners
23rd May -Scented Candles for Beginners

June classes with places available:
5th June – Glass Fusing Fusion-Inclusion for beginners
7th June – Pebble Bowl Glass Fusing for all levels (3 evenings)
8th June – Art for Beginners Evening Course (6 weeks)
13th June – Fused Glass Lanterns for Beginners
16th June – Fused Glass Tealights for Beginners
19th June – Introduction to Oil Painting for Beginners
20th June – Fused Glass Slumping for Beginners
23rd June – Stained Glass Design Workshop for all levels
25th June – Fused Glass Kiln Carving for all levels
26th June – PMC Silver Jewellery for Beginners
27th June – Stained Glass Foiling for Beginners
30th June – Scented Candles for Beginners

All classes and courses can be found here:

You’ll notice that there are some workshops and courses especially for the painters and printers…
Clare Tebboth’s highly productive Printing Without a Press runs on May 21st.
And Clare will be running her exciting Oil Painting for Beginners 1-day class in June too – and it really is suitable for beginners, as well as all painters who’ve yet to discover the magic of oils!

For anyone who’s yet to discover the magic of any sort of Painting or drawing, Emily Brady’s Evening Course – Art For Beginners – is a well-structured and friendly way-in to art, building up your confidence and gently easing you towards a body of work over 6 evening sessions.
All these and more are on our website now.

But – please note – because we have to accommodate new workshops plus rescheduled workshops from earlier this year and last in just over 6 months of 2021 there may not be multiple sessions for some workshops; if you like the look of a class or course, don’t let procrastination be the thief of opportunity!

And one last thing – we’ve loved seeing and sharing what you’ve created during various lockdowns and time spent indoors. Do keep sending us photos – no matter what medium or level of experience!

Well – it’s time to say cheerio and stay safe,
Best Wishes
Mike & Jenny

P.S. One place has become free on the next Intensive Glass Fusing evening course.
This is a new 6-week course for anyone starting out in glass fusing.

Lots of different projects to try, loads of techniques, guidance, written notes on firing and kiln schedules, all starting in June.
Details are here:

An update from Vitreus Art – new art, new art and craft workshops – read on…

We are itching to get the studio and gallery open again, and to give you all a warm welcome back to your classes, but we have to wait a little longer, sorry.

In the meantime Mike (yes, JT here this time!) and I are in the process of giving the a gallery and studio a very deep clean and revamp.
All the artwork is off the walls and safely tucked away as is the 3D artwork so that we can give the gallery a lick of paint and make the place all clean and sparkly for when we can open our doors and welcome you back (hopefully, not too long now) with a new layout, and new art to enjoy.

While we have been tucked away safely at home, Mike has been working tirelessly on looking after the website; currently your window to the gallery, working with new artists,and testing new workshops – like the Fused Glass Flowers course.

We would like to welcome Cathy Timbrell to Vitreus Art – Cathy is a jeweller by profession and we have been lucky enough to know Cathy for quite a few years.
We even made the glass work that now sits in her front door.
Apart from the jewellery Cathy designs, she also creates the most exquisite, jewel-like enamelled copper bowls.
They are simply beautiful (don’t tell Mike, but I am currently hankering after one myself).
Take a look here and I think you will see why:

We have also collected new pieces from ceramicist Hilary Audus, (all socially distanced of course) and her new little owl has captured my attention!
He is just so cute, I am sure you will agree!

Whilst Mike has been busy with the website, new workshops and sending out online orders,  I haven’t been idle either.
I have always fancied making a piece of fused glass art with movement, so I took the opportunity during this quiet time to do some experimenting, not something I have time for often.
But here is the result of my efforts – I hope you like it, I confess I was rather pleased with the outcome.

With the date for easing of lock-down not known yet we just want to let those of you who have classes and or courses booked or received gift vouchers recently, we are being as flexible with moving dates as and when needed as much as we possibly can.
When allowed to open we will still be maintaining our smaller class sizes for the foreseeable future; this will ensure that everyone will be safely distanced and allowing for the lunch time break-out area to allow for social distancing too – if you are unsure about anything please do get in touch.

If you are looking for something to ‘look forward to’,  we have now put new dates in the diary, as we know you are ‘itching’ to get back to being creative, as much as we are.

We have developed some new evening classes for you to take a peek at, but be warned, these are selling like the proverbial ‘hot cakes’.
The first 2 courses for the fused flowers workshop sold out within a few days of the last newsletter and the first 6-week Intensive Fusing course is now fully booked, so we have now added some more dates for you.

New – Fused glass flowers 2-week course, extra dates:

New – Intensive glass  fusing 6-week course, extra dates:

And for the aspiring painters, Emily Brady’s next Art for Beginners course resumes in June & July:

Plus there are new dates up until September on our website for our regular workshops too –

Oh – and there’s the next session of our stained glass evening course to look forward to – suitable for beginners and up.
Design and make your own stained glass panel – leaded, foiled, or even a simple 3d project.
Details are here:

All the best and looking forward to when we can all see each other again soon.
Stay creative, stay safe and keep well.

Jenny & Mike.