Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Vessel – an exhibition of Ceramics, Glass and Plaster


Vessel – an exhibition of Ceramics, Glass and Plaster at Otley Courthouse from Sunday 2nd December 2012 until Friday 11th January 2013
Creative makers Sally Storr and Jo Whitehead team up to showcase new work under the title of Vessel.  Both artists have created a collection of bowls and forms that have no definable function except to be tactile and attractive.  The purpose of the Vessel is to contain liquid or food in a hollowed form yet Sally and Jo have stretched the definition to make work that defies the practicality of a contained object.
Tipping Bowls by Sally Storr
Sally Storr is a local artist working from her studio in Sutton-in-Craven. She is fascinated with the process of making, working in a variety of media creating sculptures and installations. Her tipping bowl series may or may not have function and include press moulded and raku fired pieces, glazed slip cast porcelain, porcelain with glass inclusion and dribbled plaster. 
Jo Whitehead works with sheet glass to create kiln formed objects, mostly practical ware for the table and kitchen.  Her love of vibrant colour informs much of her creativity and she works from her studio in Silsden, West Yorkshire. Jo studied and worked as a textile designer before she fell in love with glass and many of her designs are based on pattern and texture.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Headlingley Heart

Glassprimitif will be at Headingley Heart and Craft on Saturday 8th December!
There will be new glass designs including sculptural labyrinth bowls and more lightcatchers.  I'm busy in the studio fusing glass for this event. Hope to see you there.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Kelbrook Arts and Craft Fair

Kelbrook, Lancashire
This weekend (3rd and 4th November) I will be at Kelbrook Arts and Crafts Fair in the Kelbrook and Sough Village Hall in Lancashire. This will only be the second time I have displayed my glass in Lancashire and I am looking forward to it.
My first venture into Lancashire was at The Ace Centre in Nelson as part of the Nelson Art Fair two weeks ago and it was really enjoyable. So, next year, I hope to be adding some Lancashire venues to my craft fair itinerary. 

Transparent glass lightcatchers
As Christmas is less than two months away I feel that it's now OK to say the C-word, Christmas, without getting booed and hissed. So my kiln has been very busy fusing glass tree decorations and ornaments which can also be used as Lightcatchers. I popped into our local haberdashery store this morning, Duttons for Buttons, to buy some pretty gingham ribbon for each decoration, as gingham is not too Christmassy and can be used to hang the decoration from the tree or in the window. 

Mosaic Decorations
And, as I have mentioned Christmas, I have just reminded myself to dust down the box of decorations in the attic and start planning our own Christmas here at Chez Glassprimitif! I like the idea of a diorama in the living room window showing a snowy village scene so, as soon as I am back from Kelbrook, I will be drawing some ideas for the window.

Kelbrook Village Hall is just off the A56 between Skipton and Colne. The Fair opens from 10.30am to 4.30pm.  I hope to see you there. 

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Crafting for Christmas

Christmas Tree Decorations
I will be teaching another Glass Fusing Workshop at South Square Centre in Thornton on Sunday December 2nd 2012. 
Students will be using copper inclusions, Bullseye glass and copper wire to create their own Light Catchers and Christmas Tree Decorations. 

These fused glass decorations make fantastic gifts and not just for Christmas. Hang the Light Catchers in a window and they will reflect colour back into the room on a sunny day. The ones shown here are my own design but students are welcome to design their own. Perhaps glass penguins or santas or angels? 

Mosaic glass hangings
If you would like to find out more about the workshop you can find it on the South Square blog, Facebook Page or email HERE or call 01274 834747 to book your place. Places are limited to eight people. 
Light Catchers

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Labyrinth Glass

Blue Labyrinth Glass Vessel
I have a huge tub of clear Bullseye cullet left over from other glass fusing projects and, although I regularly smash up pieces with a hammer, I can only use so much frit!
But, by laying the long pieces onto a flat kiln shelf and overlapping the pieces, I have formed a circular shape that slumps into a round dish mould. Layering the glass is a bit like playing "pick up sticks" and I intersperse shards of transparent coloured glass to create depth and rich colour. 

Labyrinth dish - prototype
I really like these vessels which have a great textured surface whilst retaining the fragility of glass.  The coloured glass slumps down on the clear glass to form shapes and links that hold the entire piece together. Opening the kiln door after a firing is really exciting to see how the glass forms into hollow shapes and dips. 

Medium Labyrinth dish in warm colours on white and clear glass
These unusual and beautiful dishes are now available in my Etsy shop HERE

Saturday, 6 October 2012

First Day

Today has been the first day of The Ilkley Arts Trail and my first day at The Craiglands Hotel and it's been fun!
I am exhibiting with six other artists in the first floor meeting room and there has been a steady stream of visitors, both hotel guests and local people.  I am also showing new glass designs for the first time, sort of petals in pinks, greys, yellows and cranberry coloured Bullseye glass.

I don't have a name for these flowery designs yet so if you can think of a good name please add a comment in the comment box. (Incidentally, if you are the spammer from Great Loans, don't bother to comment).
I have plenty more images of these glass designs on my Facebook Page  showing dishes, platters, soap dishes and coasters. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Ilkley Arts Trail

Craiglands Hotel Ilkley
I've just found out that the venue I will be exhibiting at for the Ilkley Arts Trail will be the Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley. 
Although it's a bit off the main drag in Ilkley (it's on Cowpasture Road) The Craiglands is just a short/brisk walk from the train and bus station and there is plenty of parking. I am hoping for plenty of footfall and I will be there in person for most of the days of the Art Trail so please come and say hello.

I'm half looking forward to it, half anxious about it because, typical me, I don't have enough glass and I need to set aside some time to make some more. I do this at every show - so you think I would have learned by now! I have some new designs and colours in my head and, as I have just redecorated my studio, there is no excuse not to be productive.  I'll be posting more information about Craiglands next week - after I have had a visit there. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Make Your Own Glass Dishes Workshop

The next Glass Fusing workshop at South Square Centre in Thornton, Bradford will be on Saturday 22nd September and students will have the opportunity to make their own fused glass dishes, using both Bullseye and float glass. 

This workshop is for all abilities so, if you have never cut glass before why not come along and give it a go? Students will make three glass dishes in different sizes:
1. float glass with copper inclusions
2. Bulleye glass trinket dish
3. Bullseye glass deep dish

You will have step by step guidance and help with your design if you need it. Class size is small, no more than eight students will be there and all equipment and materials will be provided. 

To find out more about this workshop and how to enrol by clicking HERE or emailing HERE. I hope you can make it. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Got the decorating bug

Painted Stairs
I don't know why I have the decorating bug at the moment - might be something to do with browsing on Pinterest - but I have a few ideas and projects on the go. 

I have finally finished painting the stairs (we can't afford a carpet at the moment) which was a bit of a labour of love as getting that masking tape straight was a pain. Then everyone kept wanting to come up or down the stairs when the paint was drying and as for my battle with dog hair....

Hall table
I found this old table in a junk shop and paid a whopping £2 for it - bargain. It had a hideous green "leather" top and was badly scratched so I asked my carpenter neighbour to cut the back off it so that it could be fixed to the wall. Several coats of blue paint and a map of Paris has changed this tatty table into the perfect place for flowers. Also, now it is attached to the wall with mirror plates, the dog can't knock it over. 


I'm ordering the lampshade from Lush Designs next week and then that's the hall finished. Meanwhile, I have plans for the living room....
Map of Paris

Monday, 13 August 2012

Count Down to Art in the Pen

Skipton Auction Mart
Only five days to go before Art in the Pen and I am in a panic. Will I have enough glass? Will my table display look OK? What will I forget to bring? (I always forget something).
So I have an empty animal pen to fill at Skipton Auction Mart and that is all it is - an animal pen. See above. It measures 2.7 X 3.3 metres and has a concrete base. I will also get a power point because the lighting there isn't so great. I am bringing a large trestle table that I have painted antique white because I am not going to bring a table cloth. I think my glass may look better on a hard surface rather than a soft one. This means all the "stuff" that I don't need will have to go back in the car because I can't hide it under a cloth. But I also need a small table to wrap glass so I am currently spray painting my daughter's dressing table antique white to match the big table. But what if I need more display? So I found this old table in a junk shop.....

Ugly old table
...and painted it antique white with a blue/grey stripe. 

Refurbished Table

Then there's my signage. I don't want/have a vinyl sign so I have framed two chalk boards and bought a white liquid chalk pen. Just summoning up the courage to write on them now. 

Framed chalk boards

And what about my labels? I hated my display when I was at Saltaire Arts Trail and was irritated by all the bits of card cluttering up my table as price tags. So I have painted some wooden hearts with chalk board paint and will place them next to the glass. 

Chalk board price labels
Now I need to sort out something to sit on, finish painting my display boxes, find the missing magnets (where did I put them)? and a million other things.....
To find out more about Art in the Pen please visit their website HERE

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Glass fusing workshop - make dishes

Fused glass dish
Glass Fused Dishes - Glass Fusing Workshop at 
South Square Centre

Aimed at beginners and intermediate glass fusers, this workshop will take you through the processes and skills to create your own glass dishes.

Date:  Saturday 22nd September 2012
Costs: £50 (all materials and equipment provided)
Times: 10:00 to 15:00
Where: South Square Centre, Thornton Road,  Thornton Bradford BD13 3DL
Contact: or call 07837471040

 What will the workshop cover?
Introduction to glass fusing including: cutting skills, technical know-how, working with coloured glass, designing and glass assembly.   You will be using best quality Bullseye glass from the USA and working in opal and transparent coloured glass.  Hand outs will be given on fusing schedules for future use. All glass will be fused off-site and returned to you.

Lunch: is by your own arrangement. There is an excellent vegetarian cafe at South Square and food is available at The New Inn, next door. There are also several sandwich shops in Thornton.  

Costs: Workshop fees are inclusive of VAT and your payment will secure your place. No deposits will be taken. Your glass will be fused off-site and you may collect it by arrangement from South Square Centre. Alternatively your glass will be returned by post. 

Refunds and cancellations: If you have made a payment but wish to cancel your full payment will be returned to you two weeks before the start of the workshop. However, we will not return payments after 10th September unless we can find a student to replace you.

How to pay: We accept payment by Paypal, BACS or cheque.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

So you want to start glass fusing....

Whenever I teach a Beginners' Glass Fusing Workshop there is at least one person who decides that glass fusing is the craft for them and they want to do it NOW.
Then they start to consider the costs of setting up a glass fusing studio and the doubt sets in....

OK, so Glass Fusing isn't a hobby you can do at the kitchen table and then clear away for tea. Also, some of the kit is rather expensive (such as a kiln and grinder) and then there's the long process of learning how to operate the kiln, understanding the way glass behaves in high temperatures and being able to put up with more failures than successes at first. But, if you are committed to a love of all things glass, then most problems can be overcome and the final results of creating something both tactile and beautiful make it all worthwhile. 

I learned to fuse glass in a second hand enamelling kiln and all my guidance came from glass fusing websites in the USA. I learned a lot more by joining a glass team on Etsy and I have gained both lots of knowledge and good friends through the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy. But it has been a long, but enjoyable, journey. 

So, what do you need? 

Tools and Equipment
·   Glass cutter – choose an oil filled one such as a Toyo
·   Grozers – ideal for breaking and nibbling glass
·   Cut Running Pliers – for  breaking large pieces of glass
·   Glass Grinder – electric or hand sanding block or     carborundum stone to smooth edges
·   Permanent marker pen – to draw onto glass

Glass Types
·  Float glass – picture or window glass. Molten glass floated on a bed of molten tin to make a smooth, transparent glass. Quite brittle, fuses at 82COE, has a green tinge after firing

·  Bullseye – softer glass with slightly textured surface and, as it is hand rolled, has imperfections in the surface that disappear when fused. Transparent is easier to cut than opal. Fuses at 90COE, is compatible with Uroboros glass

·   Spectrum 96 – cheaper than Bullseye, smaller range of colours and opals are very bright. 96COE

Glass Fusing Basics
 Glass can be cut on thick mdf or a self healing mat
Always handle large sheets with cotton gloves and store upright. Sheet glass held horizontally will increase pressure on centre of the glass and will fracture
When cutting glass take care not to damage the tungsten carbide wheel of the cutter, practice cutting on scrap pieces of float glass
Keep brushing up glass shards as you work   
Check the water level and temperature of the glass grinder before using
Grind all glass from right to left, taking care not to apply pressure to the diamond head
·  Remember to wear goggles when grinding glass
·  Wash all glass component pieces in hot, soapy water, removing all traces of grease and permanent marker pen. Rinse in hot water and dry well

Jo Whitehead

Friday, 3 August 2012

Dichroic Glass Workshop

Student work - dichroic coated Bullseye glass
I recently travelled over to York to teach a one day workshop on dichroic coated glass fusing. I loaded up my car and set off to spend a happy Sunday cutting glass in Helen Drye's kitchen. 
Helen is a silver clay jeweller who was looking to expand her designs by including fused dichroic cabochons placed into silver clay settings. Along with her friend Lynne, who is interested in making dichroic glass jewellery, we went through the processes of designing, cutting, grinding and fusing dichroic coated glass. 

Glass heart
Dichroic coated glass is fabulous to work with because, once fused, the most amazing colours come to life and the glass has a colour shift as it catches the light. This means that it gives a touch of luxury to the wearer, enhancing clothing with flashes of colour. As it is a coating of metal oxides onto a glass surface it is also quite expensive to buy. I buy all mine from Warm Glass as they stock CBS (Coatings by Sandberg) dichroic which has the best colours and patterns.

At the workshop both students made three pieces of glass jewellery each, the first using small pieces fused between black and clear Bullseye glass, the second using dichroic coated glass stringers and the third, a design of their own.  I hope the tuition they received has helped them to think about their own designs and come up with their own style. The possibilities are endless. 

I had a lovely day as Helen plied us with tea and lunch in her lovely garden and I hope they enjoyed it too. If you live in North or West Yorkshire and would like to join a glass fusing workshop please email me HERE for details. Follow Glassprimitif on Facebook to see more Students' Work. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Selling My Kiln

AIM kiln 

I have come to realise that, as I now have a larger capacity kiln, my Jeweller's kiln is now surplus to requirements. It's been a fantastic kiln for making small pieces of glass and for firing precious metal clay but I never use it now so I think it needs to go to a good home. 
This is an AIM kiln (measuring 30cm square) with a farenheit temperature gauge (I can supply a conversion chart) and has recently had its elements replaced. The wire elements are in the sides and produce a fairly even temperature throughout the kiln. It does not have a pyrometer, although one can be fitted, but it does have a brand new bung and sits on four sturdy fire brick blocks. It also comes with a kiln shelf measuring 17cm X 16cm and can fuse glass dishes up to 15cm.  This kiln is transportable and will fit on a table in your studio. 

What will it fire? It is the ideal kiln for glass fusing, enamelling, silver clay and glass paints and it fires up to 2000F (1093.333 C) but must not exceed 2381F (1555C).  Voltage is 200 and Amp 7 which means that it will run from an ordinary plug socket. Depending on how frequently it is used, the elements should last up to three years. 

I would like £300 for the kiln (new ones cost from £400+) because I only replaced the heating elements a few months ago. This kiln doesn't come with a guarantee but I recommend Northern Kilns for any future maintenance and I can give the buyer advice on fusing schedules for glass. 
This kiln is in West Yorkshire and I will deliver within a 10 mile radius or buyer can collect. 
Please email if you are interested. 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Glass Fusing Students

Funky Fish Workshop at South Square Centre

I REALLY enjoyed myself last Saturday teaching a workshop on Funky Fused Glass Fish at South Square Centre. I hope the students did too. Nine future glass artists joined the workshop to learn how to design and create their own fused glass fish in both float and Bullseye glass. The workshop covered the basics of cutting glass, grinding, working with both transparent and opal glass and making some delightful fused glass fish. The workshop also covered colour theory, glass types, how glass behaves in a kiln and fusing and annealing. In fact, a comprehensive introduction into the creative and tech side of  warm glass. Here are the results of the workshop - they did a good job!

Bullseye Glass Fish - students' work 
The next workshop at South Square will be Shards, Frits and Stringers on Saturday 4th August. This is an introduction into making glass tiles or coasters with additional glass pieces, powders and rods. At the end of the workshop I will take the students' glass home and fire it in my kiln before posting it back to them. 

I am now arranging the September workshop on Glass Fusing but I'm in a bit of a quandary regarding what to teach. I have a choice of three workshops so I am asking people to vote HERE. I will teach the workshop that gains the most votes. 
The choices are:
1. Dichroic Glass Jewellery using top quality CBS dichroic coated Bullseye glass to make pendants, earrings, brooches, cufflinks - whatever your fancy. Dichroic glass glitters and shimmers in the light and has an amazing colour shift. 
2. Fused Glass Dishes takes students through the process of designing, cutting and creating fused glass dishes in both float and Bullseye glass (examples HERE) that will then be slumped into moulds to form delightful dishes. 
3. Fused Glass Hangings and Light Catchers with copper wire, inclusions, frit and coloured glass. These look fabulous hung in front of a window (see below). 

Fused Glass Hangings
If you are interested in Glass Fusing Workshops at South Square Centre in Thornton, Bradford please email Glassprimitif or contact South Square HERE

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Art in the Pen - it's official!

Today I received my pack of invites for Art in the Pen and the information for exhibitors so I am both excited and worried.  Excited because I have made all my glass for the event so I won't run low on stock. Worried because I don't have a clue about how to display my glass, even after years of setting up fairs and markets, when it comes to staging design I suck!  

I understand the principles of display such as making sure my display is at different eye levels, grouping in styles and colours, making sure the display materials don't overwhelm the glass, but when it comes to putting this into practice it is a different matter. I have been selecting ideas for display on Pinterest  but I will have to buy some furniture to make this kind of display. 
At least I have the opportunity to go to the Auction Mart next week to measure up my "pen" and make some decisions. If I can get the display right I will feel more confident about booking larger shows and events. Watch this space! 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Great British Summer

Deck Chair Striped Trinket Dish
I'm very inspired by all things seasidey at the moment and, despite the terrible weather we have in the UK, I'm looking forward to days out on the beach in Scarborough, Whitby, Hunstanton and Brighton this year.
Several things stand out as representing the British seaside but the most evocative, for me, are beach huts and deck chair stripes. In fact, I'm so obsessed with deck chair stripes I have been spending a lot of time gazing at the vintage deck chair canvas at  What an inspiration! Colour combinations that I wouldn't normally consider such as bottle green, orange, deep pink and pale blue. I have been making a range of fused glass dishes using opal glass with a vanilla background and the possibilities are endless. 

Large Deck chair striped dish
As for beach huts, I have a range of Beach Hut brooches available on Etsy at the moment - each one in jolly reds, blues and greens. Just right for the summer season. 

Beach Hut Brooches

I also have one Seaside Boat dish left in my Etsy shop - all we need are the "Kiss-me quick" hats and the ice cream - oh, and some sunshine would be nice too....

Sailing Boat dish
I have a fine selection of inspirational stripes on my Pinterest Board, please take a look and see if you're inspired by them too. 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Apple for the Teacher

I had a great day at The Stalls pop up shop on Saturday, talking to customers, chatting with the other designers and eating cake from La Bottega.  The first piece of glass that I sold was my Glass Apple Dish and, at the end of the day I was approached by a customer who wanted to buy a ......... glass apple dish (oops)!

But nil desperandum - fortunately the customer commissioned the dish to be made and sent to her. It is a present for a teacher who has taught her children and is now retiring. What a lovely idea for a gift - so much better than chocolates or flowers. A gift that will last forever.

If you would like to commission me to make a glass dish or bowl please contact me via the Contacts page

If you live in the Yorkshire region I teach glass fusing to all including technical processes, design, glass colour theory and glass assembly. Find out more by clicking on the Workshops Page

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Glassprimitif at The Light, Leeds

If you are in Leeds city centre on Saturday (2nd June) don't forget to call into The Light and say hello.
I will be at The Stalls pop up shop as part of the contemporary Arts and Crafts Fair and will be showcasing new coasters, dishes and magnets fresh from the kiln. There will also be some new glass pendants and cufflinks for jewellery-lovers.

Here is some more information about the event:
The Stalls officially launches its pop-up shop at The Light in Leeds city centre this Friday 1st
 June 2012! Described as a 'haven for designers' The Stalls presents an eclectic mix of 
contemporary artwork from new emerging and established artisans. The aim is to raise a 
substantial contribution towards £10,000 needed to open The stalls very own Urban Arts and Crafts Gallery on Leeds city centre high street during the eight day extravaganza.

Leeds born Natasha Harris, entrepreneur and founder of The Stalls commented, "It is a great opportunity to have the pop-up shop based at The Light and a fantastic venue to host The Stalls Arts & Crafts Market on Saturday 2nd June . We have designers specialising in art, glass, jewellery, mosaic, knitted crafts, textiles and live artists' demonstrations, it's a not to be missed event". 

The Stalls has recently relocated from Harrogate to be situated more centrally to the designers and makers it supports. Natasha looks forward to setting up shop very soon to continue her work of championing and selling handmade arts and crafts and delivering creative art workshops for the community.

Event Details:
Pop-up Shop - 10am - 6pm 1st - 8th June 2012
Arts & Crafts Market - 10am - 6pm 2nd June 2012
The Jubilee Tea Party - 11am - 4pm 4th June 2012