What do you get for the woman or man who already has everything – apart from somewhere to keep it all?!
Most of us have wrestled with this question ourselves, or will do at some point.
There’s an understandable resistance nowadays to buying more stuff – many of us of a certain age have the things we want or need – and we may have a finite space to accommodate more.
Certainly my own little country cottage is already pretty full!
What many of us increasingly value is new experiences – and especially ones that stretch our creative minds.
Just a couple of years ago a study by Deloitte announced that spending on what it defined as ‘leisure experiences’ was outstripping retail spending by almost 50%, and was growing at 5% a year in the UK – noticeably faster than any growth in the UK’s overall economy.
And as some wallets get tighter, spending on leisure pursuits remains important to many – defying expectations from some.
One of the growth areas in what might be classed as ‘leisure experiences’ is the creative course or holiday.
Course providers (and this tallies with our own findings at Vitreus Art) are reporting that bookings for creative activities, especially ones with a defined outcome – like a hand-made object, or a series of paintings – are increasing year on year, despite a general gloominess on the high street.
Perhaps this signals that shift away from shopping being a leisure activity in itself and towards a wish for more fulfilling leisure time?
Speaking to students who’ve attended craft courses at Vitreus Art we hear observations like “I’ve never made anything by hand before and I didn’t expect it to feel so good” or “I love being able to switch off my phone and tune out distractions while I’m learning new skills.”
Inhabitants of most large towns and many small ones are well-served with places to discover the satisfaction of an artistic or craft activity – there are craft workshops and art schools in or near all the larger towns in the area, with many smaller independent art schools and course providers.
It doesn’t have to be gentle crafts like card-making or needlework either: we know of glass blowing studios, blacksmiths’ forges and chainsaw sculpting courses in our area too!
At the Vitreus Art craft & art studio, you’ll find stained glass courses including traditional and modern styles and glass fusing classes using a kiln to melt and manipulate glass into unique pieces of art.
You can also discover the remarkable properties of Precious Metal Clay, allowing absolute beginners to create their own pieces of 99% pure silver jewellery.
Students keen to develop their painting and drawing will benefit from our tutor Clare Tebboth’s lively teaching style, producing work to a high standard while having fun!
And there’s always glass work being created and local art on show at the working studio and gallery.
Vitreus Art is located at Bell Plantation, just off the A5 near Towcester, Northants, UK. On site you’ll also find the Bell Café, garden centre, and a number of other independent retailers with plenty of free parking.
So if you’d like to buy a gift for someone who already has everything, or discover the long-lasting satisfaction of making your own piece of art, visit the studio in person or online at www.vitreus-art.co.uk/classes.
Make 2022 the year you exchange buying more ‘stuff’ for an unforgettable creative experience!