I have been running fused glass workshops once a month for a year now, and they have been so much fun! I have often been amazed by how quickly each person gets into the flow of making their own unique and beautiful pieces – even people who say they have no artistic tendencies and just came along for a nice day in Brighton!
Each workshop is aimed at complete beginners, as an introduction to glass. I tell people about the different types of glass they can use for different effects – stringers (long rods), frit (crushed glass), metals, papers and ‘inclusions’ – soon into the session we start with learning how to cut glass – and that’s when the fun starts!
You can approach glass a bit like a blank canvas, layering and assembling pieces where you want them – a little like a collage. The unique quality with glass is trying to visualise how it will look after it has been fired. A kind of alchemy occurs when it is fired in the kiln – colours deepen, textures change, metals react, bubbles emerge – and it can often be a surprise – mostly a good one though!
Very few people come with an idea of what they want to make, but find that they soon feel inspired by the sample pieces we have in the workshop, or feel drawn to a particular colour, or come across an interesting shape in a piece of glass and start from there.
What I love most about the workshops is seeing the diversity of the pieces people produce – abstracts, seascapes, scenes from nature, detailed drawings, textured pieces, Christmas decorations. People find it quite meditative to absorb themselves into something so focused and completely different for the day.
The workshops take place in our colourful downstairs space in my shop Little Beach Boutique. It is right in the heart of Brighton, in the North Laine area, surrounded by lovely coffee shops, cafes, boutiques and restaurants – a Sunday workshop here could be the perfect ending to a weekend away by the sea!
In case you feel inspired, there are dates and details about the glass workshops on our website – http://www.littlebeachboutique.com
Maybe I’ll see you soon!