Tag Archives: jenny timms

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!
  

Lockdown News from the Vitreus Art Studio – April 2020

Well, hello!

We do hope you’re getting the opportunity to enjoy at least a little of the sunshine that we are having at the moment.
We also hope that you are able to be creative in some way – we would love for you to share your creative endeavours with us via our Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/VitreusArt/

Just before we had to furlough ourselves to our home studio I (Jenny) had started taking painting and drawing lessons for beginners with the lovely Emily Brady.
Thankfully, she was able to impart enough knowledge (there is only so much you can learn in 12 hours!) for me to practice at home so that’s what I have been doing.

Far from perfect (working my way there slowly) I have just finished this painting of a place that is very close to mine and Mike’s hearts and we are looking forward to heading there in October (all being well).
The elephant is still work in progress!

So come on, I’ve shown you mine, surely you can share yours with us too?


And now a request – if you have participated in any of our classes or workshops –  be they taught by ourselves or one of our lovely tutors – or visited the gallery and liked what you found, would you be kind enough to leave a review on of the following please? Thank you!
You’ll be helping to continue to spread the word so we can carry on bringing you fun and creative workshops when the lockdown has ended.

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/VitreusArt/

Tripadvisor:
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g2184602-d8113838-r363142235-Vitreus_Art-Potterspury_Towcester_Northamptonshire_England.html

Google Reviews:
https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=dc6iXtv5MIKP8gLKtoqYBg&q=google+reviews+vitreus+art&oq=google+reviews+vitreus+art&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzoECAAQRzoECAAQDToICAAQDRAKEB46BggAEA0QHjoKCAAQDRAFEAoQHjoICAAQCBANEB46BAghEApQzrUGWIrNBmC91gZoAHACeACAAWaIAZQLkgEEMTAuNZgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXo&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwibiNTW-4DpAhWCh1wKHUqbAmMQ4dUDCAs&uact=5#lrd=0x4877030b1fa97965:0x4f6a69e10a538d7d,1,,,


Wow – we actually have some new pieces of art work to share with you on this occasion!
Some new fused glass pieces from me, some new garden panels, a lamp and some commissions completed by Mike, and some pieces not ready to show that we’ve both worked on together.

How many projects were tucked away waiting for the right time to finish? Lots!
Coral – Fused Glass by Jenny; Falling Water by Jenny; Mosaic Lamp by Mike; Commission by Mike

There will be more, too, so plenty to see when we can re-open.

You will be pleased to know that Mike is keeping busy with plans for a new 3D lampshade workshop (because the devil makes plans for idle hands!).
Plans will be revealed once he has the programme in order; but something nice to look forward too.
There will also be new jewellery and glass fusing workshops anon…


Mike has also been busy getting more work purchasable online from the lovely artists who exhibit at the gallery.
The list is growing day by day and currently includes Lou Thomas, Marlene Snee, Clare Tebboth, Richard Ballantyne, Graham Lester, Niki Thomas,  Lesley Passey, Brenda Stewart, Abby Cork, David Burton, Hilary Audus, Brian Kichenside and John Damsell.
The aim is to have work from most or all of the artists we work with fully online by early May.

See them here: https://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/wakefield-gallery.html

He did tell me to keep this bit of info ‘hush hush’ for now, but those of you who know me, know that I always do as I am told!! (Not).
And when you do get to venture out to us, you’ll notice the whole place looks different!

There’s new work from Marlene, Abby and Peter of WdWorks and a fresh new gallery layout.

We even waved a paint brush around!


Mike and I would like to thank you for your continued support, and we are sorry we can’t bring our workshops to you just at the moment – but hold tight they will be back soon.
And should you fancy trying your hand at any of our courses later in the year you can always book online in advance and get the date in the diary, giving you something to look forward to.

By way of a ‘thank you’, to all of you who have happily postponed your workshops with us to later in the year, we would like to arrange a small offer of thanks to you.
For all who have deferred your workshops (without a single request for a refund from anyone, which is fantastic) we would like to offer a free taster workshop to you later in the year.
Please keep an eye on your in-boxes –  when things get back to some form of normality we will schedule these into the diary and send you your own personal invite to join us.

For now stay home, stay safe, stay well and most of all, keep being creative.

Best Wishes,
Jenny and Mike

The art of giving – guest post from Jenny Timms

Jenny Timms - stained glass artist
Jenny Timms – stained glass artist

The Art of Giving….(or not)!
A guest post by Jenny Timms of Vitreus Art

A few days ago I spent a very pleasant evening at my first Christmas Shopping Evening. Mulled wine and mince pies, Christmas tree and decorations – all in place to make those coming through the door get into the ‘Spirit of Christmas’. Already I hear you cry… It’s only November!!

For me personally Christmas should be about being with your family and friends, eating lots for food, playing silly family games and possibly having one or two glasses too many of Gran’s sweet sherry.

But, for so many it’s all about the ‘bad’ advertising running on the TV (and this year seems particularly bad too me). The kids making a list of all the nasty plastic toys, that will probably just about make it into the New Year, if the batteries last that long; the latest electronic gadgets, the most expensive perfumes and the list goes on.

What happened to the wonderful jumpers granny used to make and wrap? I hear children talking with each other about the most expensive gifts (yes, more than one!) on their list, and they’ll put them at the top, ‘coz mum and dad think what’s at the top is the most important!

Mum and Dad are stressing because most of the gifts on the kids’ lists are around £100 or more each, and they still have the turkey to buy. The children give little or no thought to the cost, it’s just the latest thing in the playground and they must have it.

So what to do?
Say ‘No you can’t have it’, and potentially ruin Christmas because you will ultimately upset the children and they will sulk all day?
Or buy the gift on the top of the list and have a semi-happy day because they have received at least one gift on the list?

Well, for me personally I would say ‘No’; they’ll get over it (bah humbug, I hear you cry) – honestly they do, mine did. And because of my saying ‘NO’, they have learnt the importance of what Christmas means in our house – family time, not purchasing power!

All of my personal views don’t mean you can’t buy gifts. Indeed, I do buy gifts for the family, but they are gifts that have thought associated with them – not advertising power! Hence why I spent last Thursday evening at the Hertfordshire Craft Collective at their Christmas Shopping evening – it’s a place that makes and sells some lovely arts and crafts and interesting vintage fashion.

Also, over the next few weeks in the run up to the ‘Big Day’ – why not take time away from the High Street and visit some of the wonderful Arts & Craft Events that spring up at this time of year.
At these events you will find art, craft and gifts being sold by the artists and crafts people that actually made them – these are not items that have been mass produced or mass advertised, but lovingly created with time, energy and creative thought by an artist.

So before you hit the High Street or the online shopping button – think, what do your gift ideas say about you?
Advertising power, children power – Do they have you in their grip?
Or thoughtfulness and family times – special gifts that you have gone to the trouble to find?

I will now leave you to ponder this.

And to help divert you for the High Street may I recommend you visit the St Albans Christmas Art & Gift Fair on the 3rd December –10am to 5pm?

This is an event organised by Herts Visual Arts and you’re sure to see a wealth of tasty craft and art work, handy for Christmas!
Mike and I will be there with our stained glass Christmas decorations too!
The Old Town Hall, Marketplace, St. Albans AL3 5DJ. www.hvaf.org.uk

And another little suggestion – if you must go to the High Street, why not take a look in some of the lovely arts and craft galleries that have sprung up recently?

Take a look here for some handy places near our studios to visit –
http://www.vitreus-art.co.uk/buy.html – you’ll find them listed on the right-hand side of the page.

And dare I say it before the 1st December?! Happy Christmas to you and your family.

P.S. To those of you that are religious I apologise, I do know that Christmas has more important values for you – but this blog is written with the world of consumerism in mind.

To share your craft…. Or not?

A guest post by Jenny Timms, Vitreus Art.

To share your craft…. Or not?

Vitreus Art - Jenny Timms teaching stained glass
Jenny teaching a group of intermediate students

As you may know I am one half of Vitreus Art – a small stained glass art studio based in Buckinghamshire. We design and make stained glass art to be displayed in the home,in windows or the garden.
We make pieces ranging in size from small simple sun-catchers to large statement, privately commissioned work.

Mike (the other half, of Vitreus Art!) and I started our company a few years ago after taking a one day stained glass course. This was after seeing some glass work which we both really liked in our favourite place – Porthleven, Cornwall (pay it a visit sometime, it is the most Southerly Harbour on the UK mainland – and it’s a wonderful place).

Anyway I digress, sorry.

Mike and I now teach our craft (or is it an art form? That I think is another question to look at another time).

One of the questions we’re often asked by our students, and others is, “Aren’t you teaching people to become competition?”
Well,  maybe we are, but I don’t mind. It’s taken us sometime to get to where we are, so I think it will probably take our students sometime to catch us up (I hope!).

In years gone past people would have learnt the craft – which was needed back then to create windows for the home – by being trained as an apprentice or by the craft being handed down from father to son. But that is no longer the case. If you want to learn the craft of stained glass art you have to study at college or like us take a simple course and follow that up with years of practice.

Personally, for me I think it is important to share this craft with others, as otherwise it risks being a dying art form.

Both Mike and I get an immense amount of pleasure seeing our students arriving in the morning with little knowledge of what they will be going home with at the end of the day, and then  seeing them leave us exhausted, but having achieved so much, in just 8 hours!
They will have learnt many new skills and will be taking home a beautiful piece of art work which we hope they will treasure for many years to come.

Some of our students will go on to take up the craft; others may tell their friends about the course. We’re always delighted to hear from past students who have bitten the bullet and bought a set of tools and started making pieces!

Even if they do no more glass work, their friends may join us and take up the craft – so one way or another this chain will go on and the craft thrive.

So for me, yes, it is important to share the craft, and I hope others agree.

Get in touch or leave a comment and tell us about your craft experiences!

Jenny

Herts Open Studios – another chance to meet artists at work

Stuart Grieve - photographer and digital artist
Infra-red photograph by Stuart Grieve

Here it is again – Herts Open Studios, organised by HVAF.
This year is the 21st anniversary of the biggest and most diverse art event in Hertfordshire – the county which boasts Henry Moore among its best known artists.

Each year we (Jenny Timms and I) ponder on the inevitable hard work that we know will be involved in putting on a good show.

Each year we remind ourselves that the chance to meet art lovers, talk about what we do and what they like, and to demonstrate how our stained glass is created is an invaluable opportunity.

The way we look at it is this:

  • It’s a chance to communicate to others our passion for what we do
  • It’s an opportunity to show that we know what we’re doing!
  • It’s a great vehicle for gauging opinion on some of our experimental ideas – which may get turned into viable pieces of art or they might get abandoned.
  • It’s an enjoyable social gathering, with artists and members of the public mixing and talking about what they’ve seen and which studios they plan to see next.
  • And it’s a buying opportunity – you can buy art direct from the artists who created it, at prices that are likely to be much lower than in galleries.

This year we’ll be exhibiting  in the garden of fellow artist and good friend Stuart Grieve and his wife Margaret.

Stuart will be showing his new Infra-Red photographs – very ethereal, almost ghostly – and large originals and prints of his very striking digital art.

We’ll also be crossing fingers for weather too, but come rain or shine we’ll be showing so do visit us – even if you need your umbrella!

You can see details of all the other artists in the Dacorum area here:
http://www.hvaf.org.uk/Open-Studios/Open-Studios-2011/Dacorum

You can see examples of Stuart’s work here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/photo_quest/

We’ll be at:
41 Hempstead Lane, Potten End, Herts HP4 2RZ.
Look for the yellow signs and please don’t park on the grass!

  • Sat 10th – 11am to 5pm
  • Sun 11th 11am to 4pm
  • Sat 17th – 11am to 5pm
  • Sun 18th 11am to 4pm
  • Sat 24th – 11am to 5pm
  • Sun 25th 11am to 4pm

Visit www.hvaf.org.uk for details of all the studios open during the season.

And as an extra incentive to visitors, we’ll be making Christmas decorations (we have a big order to fulfill) and we’ll be selling them to visitors at half their usual price…

Hope to see you there!
Mike