Monthly Archives: March 2021

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.