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:
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:
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!
- Expressive Watercolours – Flowers & Plants – 1 day class – learn to paint beautiful flowers and plants in watercolours with real style!
- Print Your Own Greetings Cards – half-day lino-cut workshop – discover the basics of lino-cutting and make a number of printed cards from your design!
- Textured Landscapes Mixed Media – 1 day class – get to grips with mixed media, add texture to your painting, and create fabulous landscapes or seascapes!
- Introduction to Oil Painting in a Day – discover many of the tricks artists like Clare use to create beautiful oil paintings using the speedy ‘alla-prima’ technique so you can take your pieces home at the end of the day.
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:
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:
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.
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.