Tag Archives: emily brady

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

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!