Now we’re getting well and truly into the Christmas season, I thought it would be nice to get on with my festive crafts. I love a bit of knitting and in the past have made people candles, homemade Baileys, scarves, hats and all kinds. A few months ago I noticed an event shared on Facebook for a fused glass Christmas decoration workshop. I’ve never made anything with glass and the thought of *hopefully* making an heirloom was extremely tempting, so I immediately booked on for November, which seemed so far away in boiling hot August.
Ginger Cat Glass is a business run from the owner, Vanessa’s, home in Hinckley. She specialises in all kinds of fused glass decorations from garden pieces to keyrings, Christmas decorations, wall art and jewellery. She sells her pieces on Etsy, her website and on Facebook, also holding regular workshops for people interested in sampling fused glass art. In my workshop, there were about 8 of us, with me and my good friend Helen going together to get our “Craft on”.
Most of the taster sessions are held in Vanessa’s studio in her garden with the occasional one elsewhere available as well. Included in the price (£26 at time of writing) you were able to make 3 of your own decorations which would be fired following the workshop and ready for collection a week – 10 days later. Out of the Christmas season, there are other workshops available at £35 per person for a 2-hour workshop. In these, you can make coasters, bowls and other items as well.
When you arrive you are met with an absolute wealth of resources to help you create your timeless piece, from glass beads to frit (like crushed glass)- there is no way you wouldn’t find something that would take your fancy. For the less adventurous of us, there were pre-cut designs ready for us to just pick the right pieces out and get going. These included a Santa Claus, post box, a snowman, icicles, a penguin and Christmas trees. For those wanting a bit more freedom, but still some guidance there were options to make Christmas puddings, wreaths and fancy trees made from shards of glass. There was the option to go completely rogue as well, with glass cutting equipment available for you to completely design your own decoration.
At all times Vannessa was on hand to help, all the things you needed were there waiting for you and you could crack straight on after a short 5-minute demo at the start. So it turns out that you start off by sticking the pieces together with PVA to keep them in place and then you can add bits and bobs to it to make a truly personal dec for your tree. I decided to play it safe and made a post box, a Santa Claus (I was told that I HAD to do this by my little one) and a pudding. In all the workshop lasts 2 hours and there were just enough people so that it wasn’t a fight for the bits you needed. I was done after about an hour and a half, so Helen and I made an exit a bit before everyone else.
I absolutely loved the workshop and would definitely recommend it to my friends and family. I honestly can’t wait to get my finished decorations back to put them on the tree. Next time I think I would be more confident in making my own designs a bit more, now that I know what’s involved in the process. The only thing for me was the travelling, as I live in Leamington, the trip to Hinckley was a jaunt, but that’s not a criticism for Ginger Cat Glass (it’s not her fault I live 30 miles away). I would definitely make the effort to drive over there if you’re interested, however, be prepared that you’ll need to go back to collect your wares at a later date.
*I paid for this workshop and all thoughts and feeling shared are my own.
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