We are so very excited that we can invite all our lovely students and visitors back to Vitreus Art on Tuesday 16th June (subject to no changes from official guidance)!
We have certainly been missing you all very much, but our doors will be open again soon.
As with all businesses opening soon, Vitreus Art is following the most up to date guidelines to keep us all safe.
Both the gallery and the studio have been deep-cleaned with all surfaces, floors, tables and chairs cleaned and then wiped down with The Wharf Distillery Sanitizer (thanks Lawrence Connisbee!), which is made to the ‘WHO’ guidelines and is 80% alcohol.
Cleaning is a major priority for us and all tables and chairs and hard surfaces visitors could come in to contact with will be cleaned and sanitised between uses.
Our mutual health and safety is our priority so a few changes have been made and will remain in effect for as long as required:
· The Gallery and Studio now have their own doors.
· Studio entrance is for those attending classes only
· We ask that on entry to either the studio or the gallery you make use of the hand sanitizer and wear a mask (which are provided, if you don’t have your own)
· Class sizes going forward will be for 4 students only – this ensures the required 2 meter distance between work tables and room to move around the studio.
· We can accommodate 2 people in the gallery at a time – this allows for safe distancing; there is also a one way system that we ask you to follow.
If you’d prefer to visit out of hours we’ll be happy to make an appointment – to talk about a creative project you’d like to make, commissions, or to allow personal viewings of any of the work we have (and there’s lots of new work on the walls now!).
· As always we have hand-washing facilities available and more hand sanitizer on hand.
· We have always had a policy of each student having their own set of tools on our workshops, but it’s more important than ever that these tools are not shared between students – even if you want to be helpful.
Not sharing is the new helpful!
· Tea and coffee will still be provided for workshops, with washing up of mugs followed by sanitizing between each use.
· Finally, we will be unable to provide lunches during our workshops for a while so we must therefore ask that anyone attending our workshops brings a packed lunch with them.
· Finally, Finally if there is anything you think we have missed please feel free to tell us; these are new and strange times for us all and we all need to work with each other to make our world a safer place to be.
We’ll be operating different opening hours for the time being, starting on June 16th:
11am to 4pm – Tues, Wed & Thurs
11am to 6pm – Fri – Sat
11am to 4pm – Sunday
Or by appointment outside of these times.
Workshops will take place as per the times they are advertised, from July in our re-organized space.
As you can see, we’ve changed the layout of the studio and gallery to make space in the studio for classes, and layout out the gallery area to encourage distancing.
We understand that you might be reluctant to venture out on or shortly after the 15th June – so get in touch if you’ve seen something on our website or Facebook page and would like to test drive it at home rather than come to us.
When you are ready to come over, you’ll find new art and craft from Peter of WdWorks, Lou Thomas, Sam Burke, Linda Johns, Abby Cork, Marlene Snee, Ken Flegg and more.
There are lots of online mini-galleries to view on our website here:
And we’ve made lots of new pieces in lockdown too; these are just a few examples…
Hit this page to see all the new pieces we’ve made – there are loads!
Workshops resume (cautiously) in July
The good news is that we should be able to resume workshops in July.
This could change, of course, but the plan currently is:
The first workshops to start are the ones where spacing can be easily achieved without reducing the learning enjoyment and where no tools or materials need to be shared.
The full list of workshops due to take place in July is below but there are a few we’d like to highlight.
On Friday Clare Tebboth will be running her next Wild With Watercolours 1-day workshop.
As places must be limited for spacing, there’re just two places available on this session – open to all painters who want to develop their use of watercolours in imaginative ways.
On 4th July Clare is back again, to teach her one-day Introduction to Painting and Drawing for absolute beginners. Again, there are just a couple of places free on this one.
And then we have a pretty full month of workshops – most of which have one or two spaces remaining.
On each workshop the studio will be laid out for maximum space between work-spaces. Take a look at the photos of the studio to see how we’ve positioned the benches and teacher’s station.
It’s probably going to feel a bit strange for a while, but so many people have been asking about when classes can start again we felt this was a good time for an update!
As we said before, if you’ve booked a workshop and can’t attend, or prefer to join a session later in the year, just let us know. Just as some are itching to get back to being creative, some are understandably cautious.
So here’s the list of July workshops. As usual, there’s lots of info on the web page for each session.
If you want to discuss any potential concerns you have about how a workshop would run before booking, just reply to this email.
July classes with places –
- 3rd July – Wild With Watercolours with Clare Tebboth – £120 inc materials & lunch
- 4th July – One-day Introduction to Painting & Drawing for Beginnerswith Clare Tebboth – £110 inc lunch & materials
- 5th July – Glass Tack-Relief Fusing for Beginners with JT – £139 inc lunch & materials
- 11th – 12th July – 3d Copper Foiling Stained Glass Weekend course for Beginners with MC – £249 inc all materials & lunch
- 16th July – Glass Fusing Tealight Holders for Beginners with JT – £60 inc materials and refreshments (half-day workshop)
- 17th July – Fused Glass Lanterns for Beginners with JT – £149 inc all materials & lunch
- 19th July – Stained Glass Leading for Beginners with MC – £149 inc all materials & lunch
- 22nd July – Stained Glass Copper Foil Lanterns for Beginners with MC – £149 inc all materials & lunch
All workshops are here:
Finally, next time we’ll include details of the mini workshops we’ll be offering exclusively to everyone who’s agreed to move the date of a workshop as a result of CV as a thank-you.
And now it’s time to say thanks for reading, thanks for your support and do remember to support as many of the independent businesses around you as you can – they and we will be especially appreciative over the next few months!
Best wishes and stay safe,
Mike and Jenny
Have you opened up a magazine or Sunday newspaper supplement lately to find bold claims being made about the power of creativity to boost wellbeing?|
There’s a good chance you have – it’s one of the most written-about topics in the health world at the moment and there’s a growing appreciation that enjoying a creative pastime or artistic activity can indeed improve that sense of ‘living well’.
It’s not all anecdotes –creative experts worked with civil servants to research a report in 2017 with findings that agree – being creative helps keep us well and socially engaged.
And in 2018 age UK released its own study – Creative and Cultural Activities and Wellbeing in Later Life. This considered the links between participation in artistic activities and the wellbeing of 15,000 respondents aged over 60.
Overall, these and other studies conclude that being involved in art activities or belonging to creative groups has real potential to enrich all our lives, at any age.
To get our own informal insight, Jenny and I at Vitreus Art asked some of our students how they felt they benefited from the art workshops they attended at our studio.
One said, “I lost track of time, I was so engrossed in what I was making”. Another said, “I haven’t learned something totally new for years – how refreshing”. A third said, “I love being able to forget about work, the cold, dark winter and home chores”.
And then there’s the new vogue of TV programmes devoted to traditional crafts and restoration skills, along with painting and pottery competitions pulling in sizeable night audiences!
This, plus the rise of the maker-movement and growing appreciation of traditional skills means the idea of making one’s own craft or art is more appealing and more accessible than it’s been for years.
And independent shops selling hand-made or upcycled goods and craft-collectives where makers collaborate to supply and sell are injecting some much-needed vibrancy and variety to our town centres.
We’re are all better served than ever when it comes to places to learn new skills, or to discover the joy of making now.
There are friendly card-making and stitch-and-bitch groups in towns of any size now, there are independent shops and galleries selling hand-made goods and art close at hand, and several art workshops running craft courses in just our area alone (Northants, UK).
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 in to unique pieces of art.
You can also discover the amazing properties of Precious Metal Clay, allowing complete 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 and productive teaching style, producing work to a high standard while having fun!
A working glass studio and art gallery as well as friendly art workshop venue, there’s always glass work being created by resident artists Jenny and Mike, or craft workshops being taught. Visitors are welcome to call in during gallery hours to find out more.
Vitreus Art is located at Wakefield Country Courtyard, just off the A5 a few miles south of Towcester. On site you’ll also find the ARTtea Room and plenty of free parking.
So if you’d like to learn a new craft or create your own art, visit the studio in person or online at www.vitreus-art.co.uk and make 2019 the year you improve your own wellbeing!
There are few stained glass projects more satisfying than making a piece that’s decorative and practical at the same time!
Our established stained glass mirror workshop gives you a chance to experience this joy for yourself in a beginner-friendly environment.
And now, after quite a bit of planning and thinking and experimenting, we’ve developed a new workshop – 2 days to make your own stained glass column lamp.
We’ve decided to go for a column lamp design for a couple of reasons – it’s a cool, modern design that suits contemporary home decor moods, and it’s a practical project for a beginner with two days to spend, and no prior experience.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy to make a lamp like this though – there are some challenges to overcome, and that’s what this workshop is all about!
Firstly, cutting your glass. For lamps, one generally uses opal glass – it conceals the lamp and gives a pleasing, diffused illumination. However, the partial opacity of opal glass means cutting on top of the deisng (how stained glass is usually cut) doesn’t work as the design’s cut lines are indistinct, or more likely, invisible!
This is where the lightbox comes in, as the photo shows. Make sure the lightbox you use is sturdy enough to use as a cutting surface, like the ones we use in the studio. Most art lightboxes won’t be – they’re designed to be used for tracing.
It’s essential to make sure all the sides of your lamp will fit together precisely too. This depends partly on the accuracy of your glass cutting, and how you set up your sections when grinding.
This workshop will share all of these techniques with you.
Take a look at how I’ve set up my grinding and soldering jig here – using pins and aluminium strips to ensure the sides of my lamp sections are parallel, and that the sides end up the same size!
I used this when grinding the glass, and then again when soldering.
All our stained glass classes for beginners include an emailed PDF info pack, sharing with you where you can buy tools, glass and hardware. Many of our students have gone on to set up their own studios and have told us this information was invaluable to them, along with our advice – provided free to anyone who’s attended one of our classes!
Now – soldering your pieces together.
This is where things get a bit trickier! It’s not possible to solder foiled glass unless it’s horizontal. Just a moment thinking about how lamps are made up of several ‘sides’ joined togther and it’s clear that some arrangement to hold the pieces together while soldering is needed.
This is where a jig comes in!
We make all our own kit like this – you may find something suitable online if you don’t have the resources to make your own kit.
The jig needs to perform two functions – holing sides together to allow them to be soldered on the outside, and then to hold them for soldering on the inside.
The jigs we use do both tasks to make life simpler for our students – and ourselves!
Soldering a lamp like this takes a bit of skill, and rather more patience.
Over the years we’ve been teaching lamp-making on our extended courses we’ve developed some techniques that take some of the worry out of this essential stage.
We share these on our workshops of course, and the aim is for each student to finish up with a well-soldered lamp.
The next stage – soldering a brass ‘spider’ gives the lamp more strength, and a means to mount the lamp holder.
For the lamps made on our 2-day workshops we update this with a modern, low-energy LED lamp, which we provide.
The skills and techniques are the same though, so if you fancy making a different type of lamp, you’ll know how to approach it.
The next stage is to patina the lamp – giving a finish that’s a blend of traditional and modern – enhancing the look and making the solder lines look smoother too.
And then it’s time to mount the lamp on to its base. We provide a stained wooden base to finish off the lamp, and conceal the bottom edges of the glass sections.
Want to have a go yourself on our lamp-making 2-day workshop?
This link takes you the page on the Vitreus Art website where you can check out the details and book your place.
Mike – Vitreus art