Monthly Archives: December 2013

Everyone’s talkin’ ’bout mindfulness. We like ‘immersion’…

Yep, it’s all around us. Not snow just yet, or Christmas-related bonhommie – that’s all

Porthleven - venue for the Vitreus art stained glass course in Cornwall
Porthleven harbour evening storm – get immersed!

dissipated. It’s beginning to look a lot like  a mindfulness bandwagon and I don’t really subscribe to much of that kind of stuff.

Jenny and I have become much more aware of the concept of immersion this year though.
We’ve had the pleasure of teaching several students this year who have been actively seeking some form of escape or release – in some cases from difficult home situations, in others from impending medical procedures or uncertainty.
I use the word ‘pleasure’ because in those cases being immersed in learning a new art form has provided that escape or release and that gives us pleasure – of course.

This was all brought to the fore during a chat with Amy Bramble who runs a fast-expanding Yoga practice. Our conclusion is that in the current climate – economically and socially – a lot of people are quite understandably seeking new, more wholesome, experiences that will help them deal with modern life. Some explore spirituality or religion, some succumb to shopping ‘therapy’ while others opt to examine their potential for creativity.

Just this morning during a discussion on Radio 4, the idea that buying ‘experiences’ instead of conventional presents for Christmas was identified as a growing trend and this is the kind of business we’re in with our stained glass courses.
Imagine being able to spend a whole week in an inspiring envionment, with like-minded people getting really stuck in to an artistic pursuit.
That’s what I’d call immersion and we’re always delighted when our course participants tell us how the experience has helped them.

So this year Jenny and I are developing a plan to build on the foundation of our twice yearly week-long stained glass courses and bring other art forms, and maybe Yoga in to our Cornwall-based work. Perhaps you can join us? We hope so!

Happy new year when it comes,

P.S. you can find out about our courses in Cornwall here.

Always a pleasure – delivering a commission to a client

Often a nervous pleasure – will the client like the piece?

Stained glass commissions by Vitreus Art
Two internal stained glass panels with etched details

Will it fit, are the colours as expected?

These troubling uncertainties and more are almost always dispatched within a few minutes of arriving and unveiling. In fact, so far I can’t remember a client not being happy with the end result.
Good luck? Good clients?

Maybe, but we do try to tilt the table in our favour too – we always show the client the design in person on paper before proceeding and we always invite the client to choose the glass colours with us.
Yes, it certainly took some time to create our samples kit but it’s been an investment, no question.

And I should confess we have made a piece or two that had to be ‘adjusted’ to correctly fit the aperture. That’s how we learn though, isn’t it?
Making mistakes is not a failure – not learning from them is; these days we make accurate real-world templates and laugh in the face of mere measurements!

So we’ve delivered some commissions this year – a couple of sizeable ones and plenty of smaller ones. And the reception has been positive in each case. In fact, in many cases fullsomely positive. I often find this is the case when the commission is especially personal, like the two window panels pictured above.
These incorporated several design themes portraying places and times and important objects in the clients’ lives and the date of their wedding anniversary too – cleverly melded together in a pair of designs by Jenny with etched details and judicious choice of glass.

Right now we’ve got a nice project on the drawing board (literally) and in due course when the client has approved the design and we’ve created the four individual panels involved and figured out how to mount them in the couple’s garden, we’ll go through that nervous anticipation experience again. The first unveiling of 2014 probably, with hopefully many more.

Happy new year when it arrives,
Mike (and Jenny)

P.S. You can see more of our recent commisions on this page of our website: