It was a misty Saturday morning but I didn’t care as I was off the The Glasshouse Studio in Knaresborough. Established in 2014 The Glasshouse Studio offers glass fusion workshops for up to 6 people. It’s run by Jane who confesses she’s not always been arty but was inspired by a course that her family bought her one birthday in 2004.
I arrived to a semi-detected house which held a very big secret… walking past the house and towards the studio at the bottom of the garden I saw (a very misty) but most certainly a view to be envious of. I just hoped for the mist to clear to see the view in all its glory. Heading into the studio I was greeted by the warm welcome of Jane and the smell of freshly brewed coffee and pastries – yum!
Glass making workshop in Harrogate
There were only three people on the course today which made you feel like you were really having a one to one session. One of the ladies I knew, my good pal and business partner Jo from Harrogate LIVE. Jane started by talking through the glass, its different forms and how she sources the glass. Her ethics are fantastic, everything is recycles, reused or repurposed. Nothing is wasted.
Our first mission was to get to grips with cutting the glass. Jane said “It’s best not to panic.” I immediately started to panic about not panicking – why do we do that! Then Jane said “You’ll probably get cut finger” Well panic had set it! Jane calmly talked through how to cut a piece of glass, making it look so easy and then it was our turn. We were given a small square piece and told to cut away – either away from you or towards you, using a pen cutter. Actually it was easy – cut fingers? Not me! However, you do have to be really careful when working with glass, there are sharp edges but Jane’s plaster box is well stocked.
Designing my glass master piece
Now we were on to our second mission – coasters. My mum’s birthday in December and I thought these would make a fantastic present. I wanted them all to have a similar theme so chose similar colours and incorporated coppers but with different designs and techniques. I was in my element; crating art using glass and copper is my new favourite thing! It fell very silent in the studio as we all concentrated on our first masterpieces. Jane had a pleather of items you could use, from sheets of copper, aluminium, lead and copper wire to powdered glass, glass confetti and glass rods. There were loads of stencils and cutters to create the coaster you were after. I had so much fun creating my four coasters, now proudly sat in the kiln ready to be fired later.
Before lunch we were given our brief of our third mission – to get creative. Here we could choose from a plate, sushi dish, cheese board, candle lamp, spoon holder, window hanger or simply a piece of art. Lunch isn’t provided for you. At first I thought this was odd seen as though the day costs £90 but when Jane explained it is hard to cater for everyone, taking into consideration dietary requirements and still running the course. It was a beautiful day so we decided to wonder into the beautiful market town of Knaresborough (just a 5 minute walk from the house). We headed to a local bakery, which was full of delicious sweet treats and freshly baked pies. Heading back to the garden we finally saw the stupendous view; overlooking Knaresborough’s famous valley. It is so very peaceful at the Glasshouse Studio; I could have gotten my yoga mat and started in Hindi squat!
After a lovely lunch, I’d decided I was going to make a candle lamp. I love candles so I set to on a complicated design. I wanted to create texture and graduation from greys to white, leaving a strip of clear to allow more light through. I’m extremely proud of this piece and I can’t wait to bring it home and light a candle behind it. The items you make take around 24 hours to fire then Jane has to bend them into the shape you desire. You’re looking at about a week later for your finished pieces.
As we were running ahead of time Jane let up make another piece. I made a sushi dish with a very simple pattern using powdered glass. It was a long day from 1am to 4pm but it went in the blink of an eye. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and recommend it to anyone. Just look at my finished pieces:
It’s great as a gift or book yourself on before Christmas and make your families presents!
To enquire contact Jane on 07780 683366 or visit her website here.
If you enjoyed this you might alos like my workshop on lino printing. Read about it here.