Exploring my creative side

This week I was invited to join an introduction to glass art workshop at Fired Works gallery in Chalfont St Peter. I am the least arty person in the world, I spent my art classes at school staring out of the window while the teacher always commented that any 'pieces' I did manage to finish were 'unusual' and usually featured a lot of stick people.

Marie who owns the gallery and works with fused glass to create totally unique items such as coasters, clocks, lamps and even adds silver to make some beautiful jewellery asked me to join her workshop I popped in on Tuesday evening with no idea what I was doing!

I should not have worried, Marie explained everything so carefully, the different types of glass and the how the firing schedules create a variety of effects. We had plenty of inspiration from the varied pieces displayed throughout the gallery. Marie keeps her workshops to a maximum of four students so ensure everyone can ask for guidance and learn more about this fascinating art form.

So after a health and safety talk - protective goggles are essential, a piece glass in your eye is not part of the experience, we got to work creating our first piece, a sun catcher. I decided to keep it simple and chose to design a piece based on daisies. My youngest son loves picking daisies when we are at the park and instructing me to make daisy chains so I thought if it worked out it would be a nice piece to display in our playroom at home. I used pre-cut green slivers of glass as stems and blades of grass followed by slightly thicker pre-cut white slivers as the petals. What's great about glass art is that you can lay your design out on the blank canvas and keep on rearranging it until you are happy with your work so nothing is concrete until you apply the glue to keep your design in place.

There are so many different sizes of glass available to use you really can mix and match to create something really special. I found the process quite therapeutic I was able to switch off totally from mum mode and focus on what I was doing. Perfect 'me time' which is so rare in our busy lives.

Next we moved onto a larger blank canvas around 20cmx15cm which again was pre fired giving a smooth surface on which to work with. I have a bit of a thing for blossom and on previous visits to Fired Works I spotted a blossom tree that I totally fell in love with, of course it was made by Marie so looked amazing but when I realised it was possible to recreate a mini version on my canvas I had a go. Marie assured me trees are very straight forward so I went for it. I used a glass paint to trace out the outline of my tree trunk and branches and filled it in with small pieces of crushed glass. I then added the blossom with pink crushed glass and larger gem sized piece of glass. My pieces were then ready for the kiln.

Three days later this is what my finished pieces look like

Marie kindly sent me some images of other pieces created in this and previous workshops, as well as
the adult workshops Marie also runs workshops for children aged eight and over to make sun-catchers.

We were all made to feel very welcome at the workshop and thoroughly enjoyed unleashing our creative sides, Marie was on hand to guide and support all the students in the relaxing environment of her studio and gallery.

For more information on upcoming courses do visit the Fired Works website or Facebook page or call 01753 899 108.

I did not receive any form of payment for this blog post, if you are a local Bucks business and are interested in collaborating then do get in touch with me mrsktaylor81@gmail.com 

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