Tag Archives: students

Glass Fusing – what’s it all about? Fusing Workshops at Vitreus Art….

Here at Vitreus Art we offer many different types of glass fusing workshops and we know it can be a little daunting to know where to start your glass fusing journey, but we are here to advise.

Primarily we use the same materials in each workshop, the difference comes on how you layer up your glass and then fire it in the kiln.

Glass Fusing for Beginners

Although, we are happy to teach all our workshops to beginners, the one that we believe is the best starting place, is our ‘Glass Fusing for Beginners’ (formally known at Vitreus Art as Fusion/Inclusion).

On this one-day workshop you will learn not only how to create some lovely pieces of glass art; but we will also teach you the basics of how the glass behaves in the kiln, and more importantly what glass fuses with what glass – you may be surprised to learn that not all glass is the same!

A question we get asked a lot is, ‘Is it just glass that you can fuse together?’, the simple answer is ‘no’, but there are things you do need to know, you can’t just put any old thing into your glass!!

Introduction to glass fusing – Fusion-Inclusion

Take a look here to see everything that is included in our ‘Glass Fusing for Beginners’: Vitreus Art Glass Fusing with Vitreus Art (vitreus-art.co.uk).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tack-Relief Glass Fusing for Beginners

If you fancy adding texture to your glass art (JT’s favourite), then you might like to try our ‘Tack Relief’ workshop. We work with the same materials as on our ‘Glass Fusing for Beginners’, but this time we only work with one layer of base glass.  In addition, we will also work with coloured sheet glass, so you will add glass-cutting to your skill set – always a helpful thing to know when working with glass. It’s not as scary as it looks once you have been taught how.

Vitreus Art Fusing workshops - Tack Fusing
Tack-Relief Fusing – learn to make glass art with relief

More information on our ‘Tack Relief’ workshop can be found here: Vitreus Art Glass Fusing Tack Relief (vitreus-art.co.uk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fused Glass Slumping for Beginners

Glass Slumping’  is like our ‘Tack Relief’ workshop, but we then add a 3d dimension to our work. The starting point for this is a 30x30cm sheet of fusible glass, and you can decide if you want to make one large piece, a large bowl or platter, or we can cut the glass into smaller sections and you could make several pieces, the choice is yours.

Vitreus Art glass fusing workshops - Slumping
Fused Glass waves – make two of these on our 1-day workshop in Slumping

Click on the link to find out more Vitreus Art Slumped Glass Fusing Workshops (vitreus-art.co.uk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fused Glass Lanterns, Pocket Vases, Tealight Holders, Fused Glass Jewellery

If you are looking to make something that is a functional piece of glassware rather than a piece of artwork, then look no further than these classes: –

Fused Glass LanternVitreus Art Fused Glass Beginners Classes – Make a Lantern (vitreus-art.co.uk) this one is similar to the ‘Tack Fusing’ workshop with lots of lovely texture,  but you get to make something that will give lovely light in your room and/or garden.

Vitreus Art glass fusing workshops - Fused Glass Lantern
Decorate a lovely lantern in one day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tealight holders & Pocket Vases – If you fancy having a go at glass fusing and don’t have the time to devote a whole day then these two might be up your street.

Vitreus Art glass fusing workshops - Fused glass Tealights
Fused Glass Tealight holders – make 4 in half a day
Vitreus Art glass fusing workshops - Fused Glass Pocket vases
Pocket Vases – make four sweet water-tight vases in half a day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vitreus Art Tealight Holders Glass Fusing Workshops (vitreus-art.co.uk)

Vitreus Art Pocket Vases Glass Fusing Workshops (vitreus-art.co.uk)

These two workshops are run as a morning or afternoon session, so if time is tight these will be a perfect fit for you. Or if you want to try your hand at glass fusing, but not quite sure, these will give you a little taster.

Fused Glass Jewellery workshop where you create pieces of glass art that are wearable – Vitreus Art Fused Glass Jewellery Making with Jenny Timms (vitreus-art.co.uk) this is similar to our ‘Fusing for Beginners’, just on a much smaller scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pebble Bowls made from Fused Glass

Pebble Bowl – (For me, JT) a pebble bowl is more a piece of art than a useable item, but if you wish to use yours than it would work perfectly as a fruit bowl or similar, not great for holding your soup though!!

Vitreus Art glass fusing workshops - Pebble bowl
Fused Glass Pebble Bowl – made over 3 sessions

This workshop is run over a course of 3 sessions of  2.5 hours, the first session you create your glass sheets of colour, 2nd session your can let go of all your inner tension and have a smashing time with the hammer and your glass. All the smashed glass goes back into the kiln to make your ‘pebbles’. On the final session you will take the time to carefully place your pebbles in the mould, to create you bowl!

Vitreus Art Pebble Bowl Glass Fusing Workshops (vitreus-art.co.uk)

These bowls are things of beauty – not sure I’d be putting anything in mine (just saying).

Screen Printing on Glass

A new workshop to Vitreus Art for 2022 is our ‘Screen Printing on glass’, here we get to use glass powders and stencils to create 2 or 3 dimensional images on to sheet glass.  Most of the work for this class is in the preparation in creating your own stencils Screen Printing with Fused Glass workshop with Vitreus Art (vitreus-art.co.uk)

Vitreus Art glass fusing workshops - screen printing on glass
Screen Printing on glass – a new workshop at Vitreus Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New workshops – fusing with Float Glass

Mike is also venturing into the glass fusing arena – he has now expanded his glass range to include a different type of glass to that used in many of our fusing workshops.

Using ‘Float’ glass Mike is now offering Glass Fusing workshops in:

Vitreus Art glass fusing workshops - Fused Glass Flowers
Fused glass flowers – make 2 over two evenings ready for planting

Glass FlowersFused Glass Flowers – Vitreus Art Glass FusingCourse for Beginners (vitreus-art.co.uk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ocean WaveFused Glass Ocean Wave Making workshop with Vitreus Art (vitreus-art.co.uk) we have a feeling this is our most popular fusing class currently!

Vitreus Art glass fusing workshops - Ocean Wave art on wooden base
Fused glass ocean wave on wooden base – all materials provided, including the base!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Christmas Decorations too –

 

Vitreus Art Glass fusing workshops - fused glass icicles
Fused glass icicles – make up to 6 in one easy evening session ready for Christmas

Fused Glass Icicle Christmas Decorations Making workshop with Vitreus Art (vitreus-art.co.uk)

Fused Glass Christmas

Vitreus Art glass fusing workshops - Fused Glass wreath
Fused Glass wreath made in half a day (or an evening)

Wreath Making workshop with Vitreus Art (vitreus-art.co.uk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fused Glass Sunflower

Mike and I are very lucky to know some very talented glass artists, and we have invited one of them, Roger Loxton, to come and teach the fused glass ‘Sunflower’ workshop here at Vitreus Art.

Roger has been creating these sunflowers for some years now and they are always a hit in the gallery. So, we thought we would give those of you who wish to try making your own the opportunity Fused Glass Sunflower workshop for Beginners with Vitreus Art (vitreus-art.co.uk)

Vitreus Art Fusing workshops - Fused Glass Sunflower
Fused glass sunflower – created from scratch over two days

You will learn how to cut glass (if you don’t already know), one the first day you will make the centre of the sunflower, and this will be fired overnight and will be ready for the next day. On day 2 you will cut our all your petals and assemble your sunflower ready to go into the kiln.

 

 

 

 

 

Longer courses in glass fusing

For those of you who would like to jump in the deep end, we run a 6-week evening course. The first 3 weeks are spent learning several different techniques in glass fusing and the final 3 weeks are spent creating your own glass fused project using the skills you will have learnt in the first 3. Vitreus Art Glass Fusing Intensive Evening Course for Beginners (vitreus-art.co.uk)

Vitreus Art Glass fusing workshops - 6-week Glass fusing evening course
Fused glass bowl made on our intensive fusing evening course

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, for those of you who have done some glass fusing before, whether it be at Vitreus Art or elsewhere we are running our ‘Turning up the heat’, two-day intensive workshop.

If you are possibly thinking about purchasing your own kiln, but not sure where to start, or find it a bit daunting when you have looked then this course might be the one you need before making that large purchase. Or if you have purchased your kiln, but it’s just sitting in the corner of your studio as you are too scared to plug it in, or not quite sure how to programme it!!

Vitrgeus Art glass fusing workshops and courses - 2 day fusing course for improvers and intermediate learners
Turning Up the Heat – 2-day intensive glass fusing course

This workshop is taught by both Mike and Jenny (me). Mike will give you a good grounding in all things technical from the kilns to how and why glass behaves at different temperatures, whilst Jenny will run you through the pretty stuff along with the how’s are wherefores of how to prepare your kiln before firing it up. We will work on small projects making notes of what we are doing and why, and what part the kiln plays in the process.

 

 

 

 

We hope this has helped you decide on which course would be best for you, but if you do still have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Get creative with Vitreus Art, plus news from the gallery – from Mike and Jenny

Well it’s February and we are heading for longer and warmer days, and with the longer days hopefully that will inspire you to get creative, if you haven’t been already!
We have some great workshops coming up, and bookings are coming in thick and fast, so if you fancy trying to get creative this month, or anytime during the year don’t dilly dally!!
But more on that later.

Firstly, we wanted to let you know about all the wonderful new artwork that has recently arrived in the gallery.
Some arrived and then left very quickly, like this lovely little fox, but we do still have some lovely pieces from ceramics sculptor Hilary Audus.
  

Painters Louise Thomas and Niki Thomas (not related) have delivered some amazing, colourful paintings.
  
We are loving the heavy and moody skies in Lou’s new Greenland paintings (more on our website) and this very evocative painting by Niki, another moody painting with loads of movement given by big, bold brush strokes.
There are 5 more new paintings in the gallery and will be on our website soon.

Unsurprisingly, Anne Gilbert has certainly become a very popular artist at Vitreus Art in the short time she has been exhibiting with us; her paintings of wildlife are full of character with each creature bringing its own personality to each painting.
We have a good selection of Anne’s prints in the gallery ready for framing, and we also have a couple already framed and ready to hang directly on your wall.
  

And painter Clare Tebboth has delivered some distinctive heart-shaped prints of the originals shown here – and there’s just time to arrange for these to be framed in time for Valentine’s Day – if you’re quick!
And there’re more new pieces from Clare on our website too…
  


Have you ever thought of commissioning a piece of artwork for your home?
Well, these lovely people did, and we are pleased to report that both couples were delighted with their pieces.
We certainly get a buzz when teaching our skills to all our lovely students and sharing our years of knowledge.

But, the buzz you get when someone commissions a piece of work for their home and are more than happy with it, when you eventually get to show it to them – well that’s a feeling we just can’t put into words, it’s AMAZING (totally inadequate word for how we feel), and we ‘thank’ each and every one who has commissioned work from us, be it recently or sometime ago – thank you.

Quote from the clients:
Internal window – ‘Hello Jenny,  well!! Momentous day today – the window went in!!!! It’s going to be boarded over for protection as there is still plastering and painting to do but i got a quick pic of the sun coming through…. Isn’t it just stunning??’.
  
Pen y Fan – ‘First things first, what an amazing picture – you’ve done a fantastic job, thank you so much.
You’ve managed to capture everything so well – truly a very skilful artist!
I think we’ll definitely be keeping it here at home, to remind us of Wales when we’re not there.’

  


We recently entertained a lovely lady who travelled from Devon for a 3 Day intensive glass fusing workshop.
Her requirements for the course were, ‘I want to learn it all’!!
Well, for a 3-day course that’s a pretty big ask, but we certainly gave her a good grounding to take away so she can start her glass fusing journey.
We did a lot of talking about kilns and how to prepare them, along with moulds used, and we touched on full-fusing, kiln carving, draping and tack fusing with pieces being created in all of these techniques – what a whirl-wind of glass fusing it was, but we all had fun.

‘I can’t tell you guys how much I enjoyed last week.
You are really superb teachers – so engaging, encouraging, fun, honest and approachable.
I learnt so much last week – which fills me with excitement.  I have to tell you, I was exhausted having put my brain into learning gear after all these years!  I thought that I had a base knowledge, having done a couple of glass fusing classes – I giggle at myself now, having learnt so much with you two over three days, I realise, I didn’t have a clue!

I feel equipped to start my own journey of glass fusing now, with confidence, thanks to you two.
Your professionalism and depth of knowledge really is second to none.
I have ordered my kiln – with confidence and sorted out my cabin space.  I have also ordered everything else I think I will need.
Thank you again for your kindness and patience – you are such lovely people, with a real warmth to you both.’
  
Here are just two of the pieces made during the workshop.

Workshops – well what do you fancy trying?

The Fused Glass Sunflower workshop, the first set of dates we announced sold out within a few days of putting it on the website.
We have now added some new dates, so if you want to make a beautiful fused glass sunflower for your home don’t miss your chance this time.
  
Just two places on the May dates remain and 4 for the August dates.

Everyone loves a wave!
Last time we announced the dates for the Fused Glass Ocean Wave workshop we sold out fast.
  
So we have added 3 more dates for the year, don’t take too long to think about it, or you might just miss you chance!

  • Sunday 14th August – Fused Glass Ocean Wave – 3 places remaining
  • Friday 23rd September – Fused Glass Ocean Wave – 5 places remaining
  • Saturday 19th November – Fused Glass Ocean Wave – 5 places remaining

We know that not everyone can commit to a whole day for our workshops, or you might like try before booking a full day so for the Precious Metal Clay (PMC) workshop we have come up with a half day taster session.
You will get to use 5gms of clay to make a pair of drop-earrings to take away with you on the day.
  
There will be a little waiting time, between the drying and firing but that will give us a little time for tea and biscuits!
Classes will run from 10am to 12.30, price is £45 per person.

Dates for this are Tuesday 1st March and Thursday 21st April – and of course if there is a lot of interest we will add further dates for later in the year.
This one is yet to hit the website, so if you are interested please let us know by replying and we can pop you in the diary.


And don’t forget we aren’t all about glass and jewellery, we have two very talented artists teaching their skills with a paintbrush, palette knife, and all things 2D!

Emily Brady starts her ‘Painting for Beginners’ evening course on Tuesday 1st March, running each Tuesday evening 7-9pm for 6 weeks.
  
Emily will take you from an introduction to pencils and simple mark making through to a simple still life looking at shadows and light, then on to colour theory with paints and moving on to simple landscape and finishing with a portrait.
You really don’t need to have done any artwork previously, all you need is the want to learn.
There are now just 4 places available on this course, so don’t miss your chance, follow the link and get your place booked.

Clare Tebboth runs our ever so popular painting and drawing course on Thursdays during the day, but these are always fully booked. But if you should fancy learning with Clare the next workshop she will be running is her ‘Expressive Watercolour Flowers’, on Friday 25th March.
  
If you want to know more, hit the link and you will find a little video of Clare explaining what you will learn.
As with all the one day workshops at Vitreus Art everything you need for the day is included, as is your lunch and refreshments during the course of the day.


If you’d like to give a gift of a workshop for Valentine’s Day (or on any other occasion!) – we can provide vouchers for a sum of money, for a particular workhop on a specified date, or a workshop voucher for a date to be agreed in the future.
Hit this website page to arrange, or get in touch and we’ll sort everything out!


As you know Mike and I love all things Stained Glass and one of our favourite places is Ely Cathedral.
The cathedral itself is beautiful, but there is of course the added bonus of the Stained Glass Museum – if you like glass you may find it an interesting place to visit. But don’t go when it’s foggy!
Home – Ely Cathedral / Visiting the Stained Glass Museum Ely The Stained Glass Museum, Ely

Well, we do hope you have enjoyed your read this week, and you didn’t consume to many biscuits whilst reading our updates!!

Thanks for taking the time to read and we look forward to seeing you soon, either in the Gallery and/or studio or if you can’t get here in person, you can always drop us a line and show us what you have been creating lately.

PS: Don’t forget, if you have been on one of our workshops and/or been a customer in the gallery and you have enjoyed your experience please do leave a little review – just search for Vitreus Art on Google and leave a review there on the right hand side.
Thank-you!

What do you get for the woman or man who already has everything – apart from somewhere to keep it all?!

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!

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

Flickr – fantastic for artists of all kinds

Stained glass garden panel finished, ready for cleaning
Stained glass garden panel finished, ready for cleaning

You know how sometimes you wish you’d started using something a long while ago because it’s just so brilliant?

That’s the position I’m in with Flickr. I’ve been recommending Flickr to artists who didn’t feel the need for a website of their own, or who couldn’t afford one (although ‘free’ websites are readily available now).

Because we’ve had our own website from the start we’ve put off developing a presence on Flickr, but now we have, boy do we wish we’d done it before!

We’re using it to publish photos of students on our stained glass classes.
Of course we’ve been taking photos of class attendees working, and the pieces they make, since we started teaching about 3 years ago. But we’ve lacked that simple way to make them available without selecting and emailing them.

Instead, any of our students can choose to copy the images that feature them or their work and save them.

Why didn’t we do that before?!

Have a look at our Flickr stream and let me know what you think.

And of course, we want other folks to be able to see what we do – after all, we’re looking to drive traffic to our website and grow our visitors and business.

So we’ve added folders of stained glass pieces we’ve made as commissions, and a selection of glass art from our archives too.

What a great way to get your artwork in front of a larger audience – I’m sold!

To all artists capable of photographing their work – Flickr is a brilliant marketing opportunity for you – it just needs a bit of thought and planning.

A couple of tips:

  • Make sure you get good photos of whatever it is you’re doing – a good selection of shots that are in focus, well-lit and well composed is invaluable for all sorts of marketing activities
  • Make sure you get the permission of your students (or anyone else in the shot) to use the photo
  • Take photos at the highest resolution your camera offers, and downsize on your PC if necessary
  • Keep a record of which photo is where and when – useful as an archive and helps to track your progress as an artist
  • Don’t post the high-resolution versions on Flickr – you’ll use up your 300mb monthly allowance very quickly – resize them first
  • Tag the images to aid search engine indexing – think about which words people might use if they were looking for photos of what you do
  • Watermark your images if there’s a chance others might use them for unauthorised commercial use
  • Fill in your profile on Flickr so people can find you, contact you, or visit your website

If you’re an artist or a craftworker, or an avid user of Flickr, I’d love to hear any other tips you have that others can benefit from!

Happy posting….Mike