New Glass fusing workshops scheduled - don't miss out!
I've always been a creative person, but my life before glass was spent in engineering and HR/Training. In 2007 I taught myself to make small glass cabochons for jewellery and with a lot of experimentation, trial and error, plenty of research and reading, some masterclasses and 3 more kilns, my studio has grown from it's humble beginnings in the spare bedroom to a large dedicated space plus the garage (I have a very understanding husband!)
With a background in engineering, I find the technical aspects of kiln-formed glass work very rewarding; feeding my inquisitive nature and satisfying the 'what if...?' I'm a bit of a magpie for tools and love all the aspects of physically making something by hand (and kiln) - takes me back to my days as an apprentice engineer!
Another path on my glass journey has been to share my skills by delivering training sessions for a local arts organisation and running fusing classes in my studio - so even my HR training didn't go to waste - funny how everything comes full circle in the end!
Kiln formed, or 'fused' glass, essentially involves taking various forms of glass (sheet, powder, frit, stringers, cane etc) then cutting, layering and arranging it before heating it in a kiln to fuse the layers and components together. Working predominantly with Bullseye glass from the USA, my work encompasses a large colour palette and a wide range of textures. I love working with glass powder and frit which can be built up to develop depth, introduce accents and painterly effects.
I use various techniques to create my own unique sheets, slabs and canes, which are then incorporated into other designs. Sometimes a piece may require several firings.
Glass is such a great medium for all kinds of applications and locations - especially good in bathrooms and kitchens where heat and moisture won't affect it at all.
From vibrant jewellery to large wall panels and splash-backs, lighting sconces, sculpture and vessels; a piece of kiln formed glass is guaranteed to brighten up any space!
I'm sure everyone says that they draw inspiration from nature and their surroundings - how can you not? I seem to have always lived amongst a lot of trees, finding that the woods give me plenty of ideas, with changing colours and textures throughout the year. I find myself being inspired more by shapes, textures, and colours than by any particular theme; preferring the creation of abstract rather than literal images. This works well in applications like splashbacks and large wall installations, where a client wishes to incorporate glass into existing schemes or styles - the dynamics of the glass speaks for itself and I always strive to bring out it's best qualities when working on a commission or gallery collection. My creativity is equally as driven by process and if I am fascinated by a technique, I often find that by exploring its possibilities and pushing its boundaries, more ideas flow and things evolve naturally. This also has the added benefit of ensuring I'm constantly learning & developing both my artistic practice and my craft.
Vessel in Mauves - "Attractive Armour"
I run whole day glass fusing courses for beginners, in small groups of 4, at my studio in Chatham. I also run workshops for improvers and specific 'skills days' for glass artists who are expanding their knowledge of glass fusing. There will also be themed and seasonal glass fusing days throughout the year.
Dates are announced here and on my Facebook page and it's then first come-first served. If you don't subscribe to FB then you can be added to my course waiting list and I will contact you with updates.
I also offer on-demand sessions - ideal for when a group of up to 4 friends would like to share the experience - we just need to sort out a mutually convenient date.
COST: The whole day costs £110 per person
This includes all the necessary tools, equipment, firings and glass. You can expect to make at least 2 or 3 items, sometimes more, depending on the sizes of the work and speed you work at. Everything is fired by me and available within a fortnight for collection (some things need more than one firing), or I can post out for a small additional fee. I will keep you topped up with tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit - you just need to bring a packed lunch.
Whether you are with friends or amongst new acquaintances, you are guaranteed to have fun! There have been many students returning with projects they want to make, or bringing along their friends or family next time - even people who say they don't have an artistic bone in their body, are surprised how creative they become once they are immersed in the atmosphere of the glass studio for a day!
A word of warning - glass fusing is addictive!!
Helen - "I never thought I was at all creative but I made some glass I was totally thrilled with and had such a good time too!"
Tracy - "Today went so fast, and I had a brilliant day! I am definitely coming back with my mum and sister next time."
Pip - "I loved spending the day in Bev's studio, surrounded by glass. Bev was so encouraging and helpful - I couldn't be more pleased with what I made and I already have ideas for what to make next!"
Here's a heads-up of the schedule for workshops coming up for the rest of 2018
If you have a space crying out for a piece of unique glass art, then commissioning something designed just for you, couldn't be easier - just pick up the phone or drop me an email to discuss your ideas.
Sometimes a visit to your home or work place is helpful to look at the space and look at colours - this can all be arranged prior to any commitment to the project.
Once a design and price is agreed, a 50% deposit is required, with full payment due upon delivery/collection.
Store Street Gallery
32 Store Street
143 Lee Rd
At my Studio
Work can be viewed by appointment at my studio. Visitors are welcome - just get in touch
Or if you want me to email you photographs of currently available work, I'm happy to do that too!
I will be launching my spring collection of work at the Benenden Art Show
The Show takes place on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th April - more details to follow...
It's easy to keep up to date with the latest news from my glass studio - just follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, where I regularly post news, features, new work, exhibitions and course dates.
You may also find the occasional video of how things are made, or the view from my studio, and sometimes of the very helpful studio supervisor, Harvey the Schnoodle!
If you want to read more than the odd FB post, follow my blog for a greater insight into the mind of a glass artist!
Things that crop up and amuse me, or issues I feel strongly about are all fair game for a blog post - the pets also pop up from time to time!
If you like my blog, please leave me a comment so I know you're there ;0)
If any of the above workshops take your fancy, then please get in touch using the CONTACT ME button.
If none of the dates on the schedule suit you, but you still want to try glass fusing, or if you want to book a bespoke day for just you and your friends (max 4) then please contact me or call to discuss on 07966 461572.
Once your attendance is agreed I will email you an invoice with payment instructions and joining instructions will be sent nearer the course date.