A couple of weeks ago, my mum and I had the BEST DAY EVER(!!) at an ornament making workshop held by Chantal of Inlight at her studio in Hove.
I found the workshop on Groupon and got it as a Christmas present for my mum – I had to tag along of course, just to make sure she was enjoying herself. My mum is like me, and loves anything crafty or creative. She’s also always happy to have a nice day out. We were joined by another mother and daughter combo, these ones had both received the workshop for Christmas from their daughter/sister.
The three hour session started with cups of tea, and an explanation from Chantal about the basics of glass fusion, what we could do with our glass, and what effects different decorations would have on the finished product. Before we went, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but I was quite worried about serious burns from molten glass, and the effect that those might have on my life.
I needn’t have worried, as it turns out that you start with a solid sheet of glass, which you cut into the shapes you want. First of all, we drew out some templates and practised cutting them out on sheets of cheaper glass, then, once Chantal had checked our work, and explained how to avoid any of our mistakes in future, we were set loose on our allocated bit of nice glass.
The technique used involved scoring the shape you want into the glass, before snapping the excess off with some pliers. This was a bit scary at first, but it all worked out fine, and we were soon cutting out squares, icicles, owls and birdies to our hearts content. Once cut out, they were decorated with small bits of glass, copper wire or foil, special paint, and silver glitter.
There were so many ideas floating round, not to mention Chantal’s beautiful work hanging above us, it was hard to decide what to do!I settled on a crazy-eyed red owl, an abstract square and a blue bird, while mum went for a partridge, a blobby rectangle, and a kitty cat (modelled on her own cat, Hank). It’s funny how we both work in such different ways – she’s much more abstract in her designs, whereas I like everything to line up very neatly (strangely, I’m the messy one). You can see my designs after and before cooking at the top, and mum’s below.
Chantal took our creations away and cooked them in her kiln, before we picked them up a few days later. I was really pleased with how they turned out, and I loved the opportunity to try out a different craft for the day.
I’d love to go back and try another of the workshops – the jewellery making one really caught my eye!