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
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!
Workshops coming up in Sept:
- 6th Sept – Mixed Media Madness for all Painters
- 11th Sept – Fused Glass Kiln Carving
- 12th Sept – Precious Metal Clay (PMC) Silver Jewellery for Beginners
- 18th Sept – Printing Without a Press for Beginners
- 20th Sept – Fused Glass Lanterns for Beginners
Workshops coming up in October:
- 2nd Oct – Oil Painting in a Day for Beginners
- 16th Oct – Wild With Watercolours for all Painters
- 17th Oct – Intro to Painting & Drawing in a Day for Beginners
- 18th Oct – Precious Metal Clay (PMC) Silver Rings for Beginners
- 23rd Oct – Precious Metal Clay (PMC) Silver Jewellery for Beginners
- 24th Oct – 3d Copper Foiling Stained Glass for Beginners
- 28th Oct – Stained Glass Leading for Beginners
- 30th Oct – Glass Fusing Fusion/Inclusion for Beginners
- 31st Oct – Glass Fusing Tack-Relief for Beginners
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!
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.
Want to know more? Hit this page for links to all of the workshops at VA and get creative with Clare.
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!
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!