Which workshop should I choose? Will it be too hard / challenging enough?
The beginners’ workshops are designed to cover the basic knowledge and skills with the whole group, with time to practise glass cutting and explore the range of materials available. They are ideal for those with no prior experience or anyone who feels unsure about their designing skills. (see below for more information about designing)
The intermediate classes go at a slightly faster pace, with the initial whole class input focussed on designing options and trickier cutting skills. If you have some previous mosaic experience or glass cutting experience or creative confidence or are regularly practising other craft skills, then you are welcome to join the intermediate workshops even if you have not completed a beginners’ class with me. Because the class sizes are small, I can also cover basic skills with you on an individual basis. Just bear in mind that, if you haven’t experienced the beginners class, this may be quite a lot of new information for you at the start of the class, so I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed!
The advanced classes are for those of you with glass mosaic experience, who would like time to pursue an individual and more challenging project. You will need to have some idea of what you’d like to achieve before the class, so that I can prepare substrates and poles ready for you. We will discuss this together beforehand and I can give suggestions and examples of what might be possible. Get in touch if you would like more details or would like to be put on the waiting list for these sessions.
Why are the workshops over 2 days?
Most of my workshops are 2 sessions. This is because in order to be frost proof and suitable for outdoor use, I use adhesive which requires 12 hours to dry. If you canot make the second session, then I can give you the grout and instructions for a DIY approach at home.
I’m worried that I won’t know what design to make?
I totally understand that for some of you, starting the design process can feel overwhelming, even on a small piece, so whilst some people are confidently creative, I have lots of ways to help those of you who feel they need assistance in getting started on a project:
I suggest you start with a beginners’ workshop and keep your design simple.
I provide plenty of photographic examples of previous students work for inspiration as well as my own designs, so that if you feel creativity is not your strength, you can base your design on the patterns and shapes of one you can see. I can show you step by step how to achieve it, whilst allowing flexibility for your own creativity in choosing colours, textures etc. The great thing is that no two have ever turned out the same, even though you are following the same principles!
Remember, it’s not always essential to have a plan- Some students just enjoy the process of choosing some materials they like, experimenting and letting their ideas develop as they create something, with little idea of how it will turn out. You don't have to focus too much on the destination, just enjoy the journey.
Some people do come with a definite plan or idea, which I will help them to develop. If you have an idea, but want help with basic drawing skills, or are not sure how to create it as a mosaic, that’s no problem.
Once you have mastered the skills and learnt a few tips and tricks in a beginners’ class, you will have much more idea of what is possible. Many students are already planning their ideas for the intermediate class, before they finish their first piece! I have many examples of more challenging work on display in the studio and garden, to help you feel inspired.
My class sizes are small, so there’s plenty of opportunity for individual help with whatever you need.
Is there disabled access?
There are 2 small steps up to the studio, so unfortunately it is not accessible for wheelchair users. Please note, there are also a steep set of stairs up to the toilet facilities.
If this presents a problem for you, get in touch and I’ll let you know if I run a workshop at another venue which has disabled access.
Are refreshments provided?
I provide tea, coffee, soft drinks- as much as you want, plus cake/ biscuits to keep us going- of course! Let me know if you have any allergies or dietary requirements when you fill out your enrolment form.
If you are attending a full day workshop, please bring a packed lunch. There are shops/ cafes approx 5 minute drive away, where you can buy lunch if you prefer.
What is being done to make the workshop COVID safe?
The following measures are being implemented to ensure that, to the best of my ability, we will all stay as safe as possible:
New improved larger workshop space. You will be given your own work area and set of sanitised tools and encouraged to stay there as much as possible.
Enhanced cleaning of the workshop and toilet facilities prior to and after the workshop.
Students are asked not to attend workshops if they have any of the symptons or have tested positive- I would rather reschedule your workshop.
I am up to date with recommended Covid jabs.
We will follow Government advice on students wearing masks.
Please bring your own hand sanitiser and apron. (I do have spares if you forget!) Wipes and disposable gloves will also be provided
I will continue to serve tea and coffee for participants. Shop bought cakes/ biscuits will also be served. If you wish to bring your own refreshments instead, please do so.
In the event of any confirmed student cases of COVID-19 within a week of the workshop, students will be contacted and informed.
Hopefully, these measures will reassure you that the safety of us all is extremely important to me. These measures may change in line with the guidance given.
I am travelling some distance and want to plan an overnight stay, can you suggest anywhere?
I have students travelling from many different parts of the country, so these are local places they have stayed and recommended.
The Tawny Owl pub is 5 minute drive/ 15 minute walk. Quite a few students have stayed here and reported it's friendly. Just check, because they have music nights sometimes. Great if you want a lively night, but perhaps not the best option if you want a quiet night! Also check breakfast service times.
Blunsden House Hotel. 10 minute drive. More expensive if you want to treat yourself to some luxury. They have a swimming pool and leisure facilities.
Premier Inn- North Swindon. 10 minute drive. Pub next door serves breakfast and dinner.
White Hart Pub. 15 minute drive. Room and food recommended by students.
Stanton House Hotel. 15/ 20 minute drive. Lovely setting, next to a country park. Accomodation and food recommended by former students.
Campanile- 15/ 20 minute drive. Students have said good value for money.
Check out other suggestions on trip advisor
Hope this helps, but if you have any more questions about my workshops just contact me.