Monthly Archives: January 2021

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