I have started to teach fused glass workshops in the basement of the shop. I can’t wait to show other people why glass is so much fun! Glass is a fascinating medium. I discovered it on a weekend workshop and it soon became a favourite hobby of mine, and, later, my main source of income.
After an introductory workshop, I was hooked. I rented a workspace in the Open Studios on Brighton Seafront and started to teach myself. Fused glass is made up of layers of sheet glass, decorated with other forms such as crushed ‘frit’ that adds sparkle, depth and texture. It is arranged almost like a collage and essentially ‘cooked’ in the kiln so that it melts, or ‘fuses’ together.
That is when it changes occur – it is like alchemy! Colours deepen, or alter altogether, sharp edges soften and round off. It loses its brittleness.
Recently, we’ve had a little run of inspiring and thoughtful messages conjured up by our creative customers to personalise the framed glass tiles which we make here in Little Beach Boutique – and I wanted to share some with you…
It was Father’s Day this weekend, and as a present for her father, one customer chose the Brighton and Hove Peace Statue tile, which is a beautiful angel, screen printed as a silhouette onto a fused glass tile. In the frame we have written the words “I’ll be your angel because you have always been mine”. Such a lovely personal touch…
Another customer chose our Hove Beach Hut tile for her friend’s birthday because the area holds special significance for them as a place they grew up together. The message reads “Hove is home…We didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun”. So beautiful, I would love someone to give that to me!
For a child’s christening, the Peace Statue was chosen by another customer. This time, they opted for the glass tile to be made with copper foil, which forms the infused blue bubbles within the glass. It is a beautiful turquoise blue and really stands out. As a godmother to her niece, she chose words that reflected love and protection, personalising her tile with the words “I promise to help you and lead you, to encourage you, to care for you, to always love you”.
I was feeling inspired by a sunny Brighton myself, this week, and made some new glass tiles reflecting the boats on the calm blue sea. I chose the words “There’s something beautiful on the horizon” to write underneath the tile. This piece is made with crushed glass, called frit, and fired on quite a cool temperature so that the glass doesn’t go fully liquid in the kiln. The result is a lovely texture that reminds me of the sea.
Of course, you could choose any message you like to write underneath and I could also make a similar tile with the boat in a different colour, to make it really individual!