Yesterday I had the most amazing day hosting a glass fusing workshop to 6 amazing ladies. After I put some of their work into the kiln this morning I sat down to read their feedback forms and realised just how much pleasure people take from these experience days. It really does make all of the hard work of the day and the week leading up to it really worth it. So, what does go into a craft experience workshop day?

The week before:

By this time I generally know my final numbers for the workshop so I am able to place my orders. This could be glass for fusing workshops or silver for jewellery making courses. When it arrives it all has to be cut into the individual pieces needed for each participant.

The day before:

Time to move the room around a bit to get the extra tables in. With a large table to seat 6 for the workshop, the dining table and an extra table of resources there is a lot to fit in. I also need to make sure I have all of the ingredients I need to cook the lunch included with some workshops.

On the day:

I am up with the lark (although rarely as chirpy). The dog gets exercised and then it’s straight into the kitchen to prepare the lunch of homemade soup and pasta sauce. Whilst all that is bubbling away on the stove it’s a quick tidy around before making myself look presentable.

At around 10am my guests for the day arrive and we all get to know each other over a drink whilst I talk through the day’s proceedings. The workshops are structured, however there is plenty of flexibility to create works of art unique to the maker. Multiple pieces are made by each person and as I stand back and watch confidence growing (chipping in now and again) I feel proud that almost silence has descended on the room as my tutees immerse themselves in their creativity and get a feeling of what it’s like to do a job like mine.

All too soon the day is over. If I’ve been teaching jewellery I get to witness the pleasure on the faces of the makers as their pieces are fully complete and ready to take home. The glass fusers though have that slightly annoying wait as their work has to go into the kiln. What I do get though are emails and Facebook messages telling me how much they love their work when they finally receive it.

I meet so many different people on these workshop experience days. Doctors, teachers and office staff alongside retirees and some children who haven’t even started their working lives yet. These courses really are a fun day out for almost all ages.