Learning new things – Glass Fusing

I’m in the middle weekend of two long weeks at home alone with Pookie while Leon is away on a training course. Before he left I told him I was jealous. I can’t remember the last time I learnt something new in a formal setting, let alone gained a qualification for it. And so, I’ve decided that I need to make an effort to try new things, develop things I already enjoy and hopefully acquire some new skills.

What better way to start it than taking my lovely Mam to a glass fusing workshop for her birthday. This hour long taster session took place in a transformed Miner’s Bath House which is now home to the shop and studio of glass artist Helen Grierson.

Me, my Mam, and five others sat around a large table in the studio as Helen introduced us all and allowed us to choose a template for our piece. It was supposed to be a Christmas themed workshop and so the templates were robins, Christmas trees or snowmen. However, not wanting to make something I’d have to put away in January, I chose the bird template and set about turning it into a swallow. My Mam did the same and chose to make a blue tit.

Helen showed us the supplies she had available; a whole rack of ‘frit’ in a rainbow of colours, a variety of shades of glass rods and dishes of cut glass she’d prepared for us in advance. Nothing was too much trouble as she cut individual pieces of coloured glass at anyone’s request, made us coffee, plied us with cake and gave handy hints and tips to help with our techniques.

After coating our templates in clear glue we carefully sprinkled, arranged and placed the different coloured glass onto our templates. They’d be fired in the kiln that evening and ready to pick up later in the week.

This was a great little workshop as a taster to glass fusing and actually very therapeutic. Helen took the opportunity to show us the amazing pieces that her customers had made on the half day and day long workshops she runs. It is certainly something I would consider in the future and I can’t wait to pick up our creations!

You can find out more about these workshops here http://www.helengrierson.co.uk

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