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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:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/index.html

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:
 https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/glass-fusing-evening-classes-beginners.html

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:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/cathy-timbrell-enamel-artist-vitreus-art.html

We have also collected new pieces from ceramicist Hilary Audus, (all socially distanced of course) and her new little owl has captured my attention!
 
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/hilary-audus-sculptures.html
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:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/fused-glass-flowers-course-beginners.html

New – Intensive glass  fusing 6-week course, extra dates:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/stained-glass-evening-classes-beginners.htm

And for the aspiring painters, Emily Brady’s next Art for Beginners course resumes in June & July:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/introduction-to-art-evenings.html
 

Plus there are new dates up until September on our website for our regular workshops too – https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/index.html

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:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/stained-glass-evening-classes-beginners.html

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.

News from Vitreus Art – late January 2021

Aloha from Jenny and me!

It’s getting harder and harder to work out how to write these posts without sounding annoyingly cheery and upbeat or downbeat or gloomy, so let’s just jump straight in to what we picture as clear, blue, tropically-warm waters!

We’re writing to you a week early as we’ve got new news you may want to know about!

First up, here’s a fun new evening short course in glass fusing for you – Fused Glass Flowers.
Yes, you read that right – flowers, made from fused glass, by you!
You can ‘plant’ these outdoors, or create a mini indoor garden er, indoors!
Either way, these are fun to make, not too challenging, and look cool once finished.
  
This course runs over two evenings, and is definitely suitable for beginners as well as being stimulating for anyone who’s done a bit of fusing already.
We supply all the materials including the metal ‘stems’ which are about 30cm tall, with biccies and good humour all included, as always!

The first session starts in May, with places already being snapped up so if you fancy getting all horticultural, don’t delay!
Details and pics of the sorts of flowers you could be making are here:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/fused-glass-flowers-course-beginners.html
Although the fun will be big, the class sizes will be small!

And, yes, here’s another new course!

Also just added to the VA website, the new 6-week Introduction to Glass Fusing Intensive Evening Course is designed for folks who want to learn as much as they can about glass fusing in stages, and want to try several different techniques.

If this is you, read up here:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/glass-fusing-evening-classes-beginners.html
We’ve designed this as an evening course so that you can make a number of projects with time for kiln firing in between.
  
This structured course will introduce you to three essential fusing methods over the first 3 weeks, and then encourage you to create your own project/s with the knowledge you’ve gained over the preceding 3 weeks.
These could be several smaller projects employing lots of different techniques and materials, or one or two larger or more complex projects – we’ll help you decide over the initial 3 weeks.

You’ll learn about fusing, slumping, kiln operation and firing schedules, frits, powders, metals and inclusions, compatibility and COE, moulds and more – all in 6 weeks. We’ll even include printed course notes to keep and refer to.

The aim of this fully tutored course is not just educational though – you’ll have fun, and you’ll get to make a number of projects you’ll be proud of.
As with the Fused Glass Flowers, places are limited – hit the link to find out more.


It’s probably time for a reminder about our ‘no-quibble guarantee’ covering all workshop bookings with us:

If it’s necessary to change a date, or re-schedule, or you need to cancel because of illness or local restrictions, or any other Covid-related reason, we’ll find future dates for your workshop as often as needed, and make every effort to offer dates that are easy for you to make.

After 2 re-schedules we’ll also offer either an open-ended credit note worth 120% of the value of the workshop you’ve paid for, or a full refund as well as further dates.

If you’re unwell, or have to shield, or need to change a date for any other reason, we’ll find a way to sort things out to your reassurance.


And if you’re looking for some painting or printmaking fun, we’ve now got new dates for courses and workshops with our wonderful painting and printing tutors Emily Brady and Clare Tebboth.

Have you been inspired by Landscape Artist of the Year, or Portrait Artist of the Year on the box?
One of these courses is bound to help ease you in to the ‘joy of painting’ (thanks Bob Ross!)!

Starting with evening courses, Emily Brady’s Art For Beginners 6-week evening courses are perfectly judged.
  
Friendly with a well-planned structure that guides us all along, not too serious, but rather more productive than ‘sip and sketch’ sessions in the pub.
Great if you’re nervous about starting painting, or need a confidence boost.

For painters who’ve already begun painting and want to step up their skills, Emily’s Art for Improvers 6-week evening courses are also carefully structured. Covering composition, perspective, more advanced mark-making, painting from memory and more, this course will boost your technical skills, appreciation of the media, and, we’re sure, your enjoyment from your art too!

Both these courses are recommended if you’ve struggled for motivation during recent lockdowns.
Jenny has certainly enjoyed taking part, and is really enjoying her painting now – having had almost no intimate contact with real paintbrushes for at least 20 years before joining Emily’s beginners’ course!


If you like your painting or print-making in a one-day workshop form, there are plenty of lively classes with Clare Tebboth on the radar for later this year.
These are especially suitable for anyone who’s a bit stuck in a rut artistically!
  

And there’s also Clare’s famous Printing Without a Press full-day workshop too.
Get to grips with several print-making techniques in one day, including lino-cut, and produce an impressive body of work to take home. Jenny and I are always amazed by the results students produce on this workshop – quantity AND quality!
This, and all Clare’s fun workshops are online here:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/index.html
All one-day classes will continue to be limited to 4 or 5 places, with benches spaced out, face visors provided, and sanitised surfaces, plus the full range of measures required by the official COVID-Secure business premises audit.


And now, it’s time to drop a few hints about that most heart-shaped of days coming up in the middle of February!

Will we be able to roam about by then, or meet others, or visit Alton Towers?
Who can tell, but you might want to show someone how you feel about them with an affordable token so here are some suggestions for you, all hand-made, and all available for collection, or with free or nearly-free local delivery or low-cost national post in time for the 14th Feb.

Here are some new fused glass mini ‘Love Tokens’ to hang in a window at just £11 plus postage (or local delivery):
  

And here are some charming new pieces of fine-silver jewellery made by Jennifer-Ann (Jenny’s new nom-de-plume), sold in presentation boxes:
  

Or you could give a flower that won’t droop or shrivel up – a glass flower like the ones made on our Fused Glass Flowers workshop! We haven’t made a rose design yet but we’re sure pansies, poppies and ‘tropical flowers’ will be much-appreciated too!
  

Or (final suggestion!) – in these uncertain times, our Voucher Scheme is perfect, so you can give the gift that shows you have great taste knowing that your recipient can choose their own gift when we can all get out more!

Our vouchers are redeemable against workshops and courses, or any purchase from our gallery, and have a loooooooong expiry date with the option to extend at no cost if needed.
Info and online purchase here:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/voucher.html

Well, that’s lots of new news for now – thanks for reading and supporting us – we hope we can all carefully move towards getting out and being creative in person more over the next month or two.

Take care
Mike & Jenny

P.S If you like the look of the silver jewellery we showed you earlier and fancy making some for yourself (or a significant other!), these new video introductions might whet your appetite!

The four short videos give you an introduction to the PMC (Precious Metal Clay) Silver Jewellery workshops we run. The videos cover most of the stages in making silver jewellery, showing the kinds of projects you’ll work on, and the tools and processes you’ll be learning about.

Enjoy responsibly!
  

Jenny and I have been taking the time to reflect on what we’ve achieved recently – updates from Vitreus Art

Well – it’s high time we eased in to 2021!
Jenny and I have been taking the time to reflect on what we’ve achieved recently and a lot of that is thanks to you – so thanks for your ongoing support!

And thanks also if you nominated a pandemic-hero for a free glass art workshop in recognition of what they’ve done for others recently.

We had loads of really deserving nominations – some that almost made our eyes a little moist – although I still say that was just dust in the room in my case!

We asked our arty chums Clare and Jo to make the final impartial judgement and we’ve now contacted the winners with an invitation to choose their workshops.

We’ve also taken some time to develop new workshops.
There’ll be a great new glass fusing workshop (from me, Mike, this time) next newsletter  – we’re just finalising the format and costings right now.
It’s rather different from the other fusing workshops you already know about so watch this space.
It’ll be fun, informative, and will definitely appeal to gardeners and lovers of 3d projects.

New soldering and glass cutting master-classes on website now…

Following some great suggestions from past students, two new ‘masterclass’ workshops have just gone live – for anyone who’s already working in glass and wants to develop their skills further.
We’ve run similar bespoke sessions on request so it seems like the time to offer these more formally.
  
First off is the new Copper Foil Soldering masterclass.
Want to get your bead soldering smoother, learn how to address common soldering challenges when working on your own, and learn more about taking care of your soldering iron? Want to discover how to achieve a smooth edge bead to strengthen your foil?
Want to experiment with patinas and learn how to make your end result smooth and professional-looking?
This masterclass in soldering is for you!

Or maybe you’d like to develop your glass cutting skills?
This session is great for both stained glasses and glass fusers.

You’ll work on exercises designed to take your glass scoring and breaking to the next level, under our close guidance. We’ll show you how to successfully break tricky shapes and help you understand how glass behaves when breaking so you can continue to learn on your own.
We’ll also cover the merits of the different cutting and breaking tools you may be tempted to purchase in our usual unbiased way, and help you understand how better workshop layout can help you cut your glass better!

You’ll find lots of info on the website pages for each session – follow the links below.
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/stained-glass-classes-glass-cutting-workshop.html

https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/stained-glass-classes-soldering-workshop.html

Workshop dates up to July now online…

As none of us can be quite sure yet when it will be safe to resume workshops, we’ve added new dates for our most popular classes up until July.
Fancy getting a bit crafty but not sure if it’s a good time to book?
Have a look at the workshops we’ve got from April onwards and sign up in confidence.
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/index.html

We like to think our no-quibble guarantee is the inspiration behind all the travel companies’ offers we’ve been bombarded with this month!

Put simply, if it’s necessary to change a date, or re-schedule, or you need to cancel because of illness or local restrictions, or any other Covid-related reason, we’ll find future dates for your workshop as often as needed, and make every effort to offer dates that are easy for you to make.

After 2 re-schedules we’ll also offer either an open-ended credit note worth 120% of the value of the workshop you’ve paid for, or a full refund as well as further dates.

If you’re unwell, or have to shield, or need to change a date for any other reason, we’ll find a way to sort things out to your reassurance.

There are new dates for all our regular workshops in glass, silver PMC jewellery, silk painting, painting and printing with Clare Tebboth, art courses with Emily Brady, and our stained glass evening courses with Vitreus Art too.
This page has links to all the courses and workshops with new dates this year.
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/index.html

Mini tutorials – what would you like to see?

Following on from the soldering and glass cutting master-classes we’ve just set up, we’d like to have a go at making some helpful videos for our lovely students while we’re in lockdown.
We’re popping over to the studio next week to record some little video tutorials.
What would you like to see?

For example, one of the videos we’ve been asked to make will show how to torch fire PMC silver. We know some new PMC jewellery makers find this tricky when starting out, and there’s always the risk of melting the clay and wasting it.

Maybe there’s an aspect of stained glass or glass fusing you’d like some guidance on?
Drop us a line and let us know. If it’s possible to do a little video to help you, we’ll give it a go!

New art online and available to buy:

Since we closed at Christmas we’ve been enjoying photographing lots of the new work we received from our lovely local artists, and adding it to our website.
There’s so much fantastic creativity around it would be a shame not to share it with you!

You’ll find the latest work from all the artists below now online and ready for you to view and purchase.
And of course, any purchases made online are automatically covered by distance selling regulations (although these are due to change soon thanks to Brexit). If you change your mind you can cancel your order within 14 days, and if you’re not happy with what we deliver or ship to you, you can return it to us, as long as you notify us within 14 days.

We know it’s sometimes difficult to imagine how a piece of art will look in your room.
In other times we’ve always offered to bring a piece to you to ‘road test’ at home.
As we can’t do that currently, we’ll happily create a mock-up of your room with a chosen artwork on the wall, scaled approximately (as best we can), using a photo of the room you take and send to us. It’s good fun – get in touch to try this service!

So here are the artists who’ve brought us new work recently or whose online galleries have been updated this month, and links to where you can see more – just click the pics. Enjoy!
  
Julie Edmunds – contemporary mosaics
Robin Souter– oil paintings
  
Marlene Snee– watercolour paintings
Richard Ballantyne – quirky bird and animal ceramic sculptures
  
Penny German– prints and oil paintings
Lou Thomas – oil, pastel and acrylic paintings
  
Kirsteen Holuj – ceramics
Juliet Brown (Julissimo Jewellery) – silver jewellery from cutlery and semi-precious stones

We’ve also updated the galleries online for these wonderful artists:
Clare Tebboth – oil, watercolour and acrylic paintings
Niki Thomas – oil, watercolour and acrylic paintings
Hilary Audus – bird and animal ceramic sculptures
Ken Flegg – fused glass sculptures & bowls
Diane Griffin – ceramic scroll vases
Roger Loxton – Fused Glass
Jane Warwick – pen, ink and mixed-media paintings and prints
Sam Burke – Fused Glass

We’ll be adding and updating more from our other artists in the coming weeks too.

And there’re also new fused glass pieces from Jenny to look at here too.
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/stained-glass-art.html
  
We’ll be cracking on and making more pieces, some large, some small soon – we’ve got some commissions to finish, further new workshops to develop, and some re-organising and re-hanging in the gallery all on the to-do list.

And now – one more question for you if we may?

We’re contemplating running a Beginners Glass Fusing evening course over the summer.
The idea would be to experience lots of different fusing techniques and materials, one project per week (or over two weeks possibly), building up to a body of work that explores a number of the key glass fusing techniques, and giving you a good introduction to what’s possible with fused glass.

Alternatively, where a student has already done some fusing already, they could work on a more complex or larger project over the course. There would be full tuition throughout, and hand-outs to keep.

We’d love to hear your ideas or suggestions. – just email if you’d like to send your feedback!

Contact details are here:
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/contact-us.html

Well – it’s time to say – stay safe and well and we hope we can all get back to being creative in friendly groups soon.
Best wishes
Mike & Jenny

In Case You Missed it – the latest News Update from Vitreus Art…

Well, it’s just over a month since we re-opened at our new place at Bell Plantation and it’s been a super busy few weeks. We’re so grateful to all our visitors and customers – new and old.

As we’ve had quite a few questions about workshops lately (and a lot of bookings – thank-you!) let’s start there!

Workshops a c-19 update

So far feedback from students on the workshops we’ve run has been very positive.
The measures we’re taking are in line with the Government ‘Covid-Secure’ audit supplied to small businesses and include:

  • workbenches 2m apart from nearest neighbour, as are the lunch tables
  • benches, chairs and surfaces sanitised between workshops
  • aprons washed between uses, goggles sanitised between uses
  • minimising use of shared tools and sanitising those needed between uses
  • we’re providing face visors which are sanitised between uses, plus hand-washing facilities are nearby
  • separate student and teacher loos and washing facilities, cleaned periodically during the day
  • workshop space kept separate from gallery with separate entrances
  • mugs and cutlery washed and sterilised between uses

As before, if you’re booked on a workshop and are concerned about any aspect of your safety, get in touch. If we can accommodate you on a later date and that’s what you’d prefer, we will.

Lunch is provided by the Bell Cafe and is included in all our 1-day full workshops.

We’re steadily catching up with workshops postponed from earlier in the year, but as the workbenches are spaced out by 2m with the same spacing for the lunch tables too, class sizes are smaller than before. If you’d like to join a workshop, don’t delay booking!
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/index.html


Workshops coming up in Sept:

Workshops coming up in October:

Dates for early 2021 will be added to the programme this month, and we’re planning further Christmas Decoration workshops too – look out for those next time!

Read on below for Clare’s own description of her excellent and fun workshops – Printmaking, Mixed Media Madness, Oil Painting in a Day and Wild With Watercolours.


New artists joining us for September

Welcome Tina Ashton and Carol Read, and Julissimo Jewellery and Robin Souter to our family of excellent local and regional makers.

Last month Robin Souter delivered his dramatic new seascapes and mountain scenes just in time for our opening; Juliet Brown (aka. Julissimo Jewellery) brought her delightful jewellery made from old silver cutlery in ready for our re-opening.
  
And we’ve just received Tina’s charming new canvases and Carol’s new porcelain bowls – in time for you to take a look this weekend! And just as I was writing this, the first of Carol’s pieces sold….

There’s also plenty of new work from our established artists too – Richard Ballantyne has clearly been busy over lockdown, as have glass fusers Ken Flegg and Sam Burke, Upcycled bowl master Graham Lester brought in some stunning new pieces (one of which sold the day after it arrived).
     
Talented painter and art teacher Clare Tebboth delivered a collection of new work and Lesley Passey has launched her new mysterious mixed-media depictions of cityscapes.
  

Much-collected Jane Warwick has brought in pieces from her lively new Rainbow collection too.
But of all the artists we know, Niki Thomas wins the prize for the most impressive lockdown explosion of creativity. I visited her studio last month and was amazed at the new work on show!
We have a selection of her newest pieces and they look terrific.
  

By the way, both Lesley Passey and Niki Thomas are taking part in the South Northants Art Trail in October.
Well worth a visit to their studio right after you’ve visited us!

And there’s even more new work expected this month – keep an eye out….


Macmillan Cancer Care World’s Largest Coffee Morning 25th September – a slight change of plan!

As larger indoor social gatherings are still considered a C-19 risk, and as it’s not so easy to eat cake and drink coffee with a mask on, we’ve decided to run a number of taster workshops this year and early next year to raise money for Macmillan instead of a traditional coffee morning.
We’ll also be offering cake and coffee (or tea, fruit infusions, or hot chocolate) to visitors during the October South Northants Art Trail in return for donations to Macmillan.

Christmas upcycled glass wreath taster sessions as a trial on 25th September…
If these sessions are a success we’ll run some more nearer to Christmas – on 11th November (evening) and possibly one other date, depending on demand.
So who fancies getting ahead of the game and making an upcycled glass Christmas hanging ‘wreath’?

Not only will you go home with a funky glass wreath upcycled from off-cuts, £15 of your class fee of £20 will go to Macmillan and support the good work this essential charity does – especially important currently as fund-raising opportunities for most charities are so limited.
  
We’ll set up a booking page this week and send an email and announce on Facebook when booking opens.
As we can only safely accommodate 5 on each session we expect them to be over-subscribed.
Look out for the announcement soon. To get on the early-bird first refusal list reply to this email to ‘yes please!’


The South Northants Art trail in October is coming up!

There will be 37 artists exhibiting in 13 venues, including 6 at Vitreus Art!
The Trail directories are now out, and the South Northants Arts website has details of all the venues and artists taking part.

There are several new artists this year, and we also welcome the Forge Coffee Lounges at Culworth and Evenley to our Trail.  All the exhibitions are free and you’ll be welcomed at all (but please wear your mask!).


In her own words…

We asked Clare Tebboth to tell us about her one-day workshops so our many new subscribers can find out what they’ve been missing up till now!
  
Clare says:

MIXED MEDIA MADNESS (capitals intended!)
I’m really looking forward to teaching this fun workshop.  If Lockdown has got you started creating art or maybe you feel a bit stuck in a rut with your techniques –  then why not take this exciting workshop exploring the potential of different materials and mediums.

Add texture and depth to your paintings, find out the best way to achieve your desired effects in your paintings.   A wide range of materials, mediums and collage pieces will be available for you to try.  After creating a sampler of different effects you will be guided to create your own compositions.
This is a very enjoyable and productive day which previous students have found extremely beneficial when developing their art practice.
Refreshments, lunch and fun included!

Introduction to Painting and Drawing

This introduction to P&D will equip you with all the basic knowledge and skills you need to get started on  your artistic adventures.  We will cover drawing skills, colour mixing, composition as well as exploring other mediums.
You will leave armed with a range of completed artworks and hopefully a thirst to do more.  Previous students have attended this workshop as a spring board to joining in with our other one day workshops or weekly art classes.

Taking the plunge and joining a workshop can be daunting but I promise you won’t regret it!
There’s lots of individual help and advice, plenty of biscuits and refreshments, a delicious lunch and lots of laughter guaranteed!

Printmaking – Printing Without a Press

A whirlwind tour of all types of printmaking which can be achieved without an expensive press.
You will learn the delights of monoprinting, the intriguing art of lino printing and without doubt get addicted to Gelli plate printing.(everybody does!)  This is a very busy day, bursting with information and chances to try out these techniques.

A popular course which students always leave with arm fulls of masterpieces and ideas for future print days.
It’s a joy to teach as everyone has such a great time.
Oohs and aahhs as prints are peeled back and revealed and lots of scribble notes to record how different effects are achieved.

Class sizes are small so you get lots of individual help.  A real feel good arty day suitable for everyone!
Refreshments, a delicious lunch and lots of fun guaranteed.

Introduction to oil painting

Do you yearn to understand the secrets of oil painting?   Are you fascinated by the vibrant textured oils you see in galleries? This workshops is a speedy introduction to all the basics of oil painting.
You will be guided to create several paintings during this intensive day.
We will look at composition and colour mixing, ways to finish your paintings and care for your brushes.

You will learn about the different materials and supports available.
Previous students have been amazed at the fantastic results they were able to achieve during this busy workshop!

A thoroughly enjoyable day packed with lots of useful tips and advice from an experienced artist.
Class sizes are small to allow for lots of individual help and advice.
An informative day – biscuits, refreshments, a delicious lunch included.

Thanks Clare!
Want to know more? Hit this page for links to all of the workshops at VA and get creative with Clare.
https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes/index.html

Well – there’s quite a lot to digest – we hope to see you at Bell Plantation, welcome you on a workshop, see you during the Art Trail, or chat with you in some way.
Thanks for reading and keep safe!

Best Wishes
Mike & Jenny

P.S. Many thanks to Mr & Mrs M for sending us this photo of these three brand-new original watercolours by Marlene Snee – bought as a group. We took the paintings to their home to see how they’d look in situ and you can guess the rest.

It’s often difficult to imagine how large or unusual pieces will work in your own home so we happily offer this service to all our local-ish art loving visitors. Don’t hesitate to ask!