With all this Anchor, Open Studio AND mosaic excitement it had escaped my notice somewhat that "Workshop Week" is nearly upon us! With a few spaces remaining on each of the nights next week(!), and a very special workshop taking place on the Thursday evening, I thought I would give a little more detail on what the classes entail.
The object of the class is pretty simple, to have fun whilst learning the basics of glass fusing, through making your own piece of fused glass to take home and treasure forever. My workshops are always very informal, there's always a lot of blethering going on during classes; a few lasting friendships have even been formed during my classes (no marriages as yet, though you never know!!) I absolutely love teaching, and I hope that my passion for the medium and enjoyment of sharing this with others is translated through my demo, and my enthusiastic assistance throughout the class.
I start by teaching the absolute basic, essential skill of glass fusing - glass cutting. It's one of those "easy when you know how" techniques, which, when you get it right can be extremely satisfying! The class has a wee practise of this, before I move on to the main demo, where I introduce a few basic techniques to decorate your glass and complete your final piece. This includes working with different forms of glass sheet, frits, stringers and powders, a wee bit of technical information, including topics such as compatibility information, flow control and a few design basics. I love nothing more than geeking out about glass, so on request, and if prompted by the class I can go into a lot more detail, it's really up to you!
The demo lasts around 30mins, (depending on how geeky I'm allowed to be) then it's up to you - 2 hours of making-time during which you can transform your glass into the object(s) of your choosing.
People really have made a wide variety of items over the years (I started teaching this class way back in 2012, in my first Aberdeen based studio "Oil and Glass," on Victoria Road, Torry) You really can use the glass provided to make a multitude of things, either independently, or as a group. On group workshops, especially if there's a team building element, the task has been to create a number of separate pieces, which, when joined together, create one large piece; this can be very effective and extra challenging! Couples have worked together, so that they could make one larger piece between them. One chap made individual pieces of jewellery for every female member of his family - birthdays for the year ahead? Sorted! Most commonly though, people use their glass to make either a set of four coasters, a tile, or a selection of suncatchers ( with the addition of wire between the layers of glass to hang them)
For an extra wee charge of £5, your tile can be popped back in the kiln overnight and shaped, into either a candle holder/sweetie dish or slightly curved so your piece can be freestanding.
Pieces have to be fused in the kiln overnight, so unfortunately you're not able to take them home on the night! Pick up days are arranged for when pieces are ready, or they can be posted out to you.
I now hold a series of workshops every couple of months (or sometimes sooner) whcich takes the form of a workshop week, where I teach every single night, and both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. This is for a couple of reasons, a very practical one, I need to reorganise the set up of my studio to accommodate you all ( so I may as well do a few classes whilst that has been done,) and it helps my artistic practise, as I can now paint for a few of weeks at a time without any interruption in the studio.
And so, to next week's workshops. They are scheduled for 6.30pm - 9pm every evening (apart from Friday when I'm having a night off!) then 2pm - 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
On Thursday, May 4th, I'm holding a special Star Wars themed workshop, when you are invited to bring along any Star Wars memorabilia or imagery to use as inspiration to make your very own Star Wars inspired piece of fused glass. Fancy Dress is optional, I for one though will definitely be dressing up! (any excuse!!)
To book any of these dates online, simply visit www.shelaghswanson.com/classes
A few reviews!
"As someone with no artistic ability at all, it could easily have been an unmitigated disaster, but Shelagh was so good in her explanations, and had such an obvious love for what she was doing, I am pretty sure she could guide just about anyone through the workshop! It was good fun, Shelagh was enthusiastic and encouraging, and I can't wait to go and pick up my "work of art" later!"