How are you handling the continued (and necessary) restrictions? My go to is always learning. I have continued with my PMC certification and am now building on that with #PMCCamp101, which is new to the UK. It is effectively a course to teach you all the techniques that Mitsubishi (the makers of PMC) think cover the phenomenon that is silver clay, this includes carving, applying patina, using moulds, embedding stones, and lots of other techiques. I will be sharing my makes over the next few weeks (we have a short deadline).
If you live in the Havering area and have access to the Community Hub the classes I run for #TapestryCare have just started up again – this week we dabbled with watercolour. Learning the ins and outs of zoom is not something I am alone in achieving this year. As a family we had 5 scheduled Zooms in one day last week with one I had to watch on catchup later!
I’m still writing my 100 worder stories which can be heard weekly on Colne FM – Bill’s Bag of Onions, so if you want to tune in for some evening entertainment click here. Right I’d best get back to some work, these courses don’t teach themselves. Let’s hope Spring is on it’s way. If you have any questions about zoom classes, PMC Certification or any of the classes I teach, do get in touch. Keep well. Toni x
I’m always buying kits with the view of trying new things and seeing what is a good add on to what I already do. This papercutting kit by Emma Boyes available from Katy Sue Creations is brilliant. I wanted to learn the technique as I think it’ll be a great partner to Encaustic art. This is how my first attempt is going.
I can already see the uses for this craft and it is surprisingly absorbing. I hope, despite the latest Covid news, you are finding inspiration in the new year. Let me know what you are getting up to, it’d be lovely to see.
During lockdown 1.0 I started doing my PMC Certification. This means I have learned a whole load of additional silver skills which I am really excited to be adding to classes next year. I have now successfully completed level 1 and level 2.
The picture shows some of the techniques I’ve learnt. Did you know you can incorporate broken ceramic pieces into your jewellery? Or that a simple plain bisque bead can be jazzed up with some silver paste?
The course also enabled me to add on some extra silversmithing skills, including fitting a bezel and mirror shining my silver. I can’t wait to start level 3 and then once we’re able to pass on all these extra tips to my lovely students. Speaking of which silver clay vouchers (and others) can still be purchased as Christmas gifts until midnight on Christmas eve. Best wishes and a Happy festive period to you. Toni x
How many of you have become acquainted with the likes of Zoom over the past 9 months? I suspect quite a few. I’ve been working with Tapestry Care over the last few months teaching one of their regular groups but it has been quite challenging as I’ve had to do it remotely on Zoom! Imagine 1.5 hours of Toni talking nonstop – I feel like a stand up comedian! This steep learning curve has got me thinking about my students who either cannot get out due to the Covid situation, or live a long way away. What I am proposing to offer is some Zoom classes next year. At first they will need to be the more simple crafts that I teach, such as felt making as I think tools, supplies and technique should transfer over quite nicely. However, if you are someone who has access to a kiln, or a gas stove, or encaustic art equipment then I can do mini tailored classes for you too. I might even throw in the odd joke or two. Ooops I do now recall I did read some bad cracker jokes to the Tapestry care group. Ah well ’tis the season and all that.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone and don’t forget that I offer craft vouchers on my website a gift letter can be emailed out right until the last minute (I don’t need to post them) and make a great gift. Available on my book classes now page (including Zoom classes). If you want to fill up your new diaries there are also new class dates online. Keep safe and keep crafting, Toni
Oh go on then I will do an offer plus something new! I’m offering £10 off the price of full day class vouchers from Friday 27th November to Saturday 5th December 2020. Book now to avoid missing out. New for 2021! I’m now offering Zoom classes for 2021 – 2 hour gift vouchers available now.
Are you feeling Christmas ready? I know I’m not! I am trying to think of where to hide the presents I’ve already bought, whilst stopping my kittens getting into the boxes and destroying the contents – they do believe a box arrives everyday in this house!
What I now need to do is tell you about what my small business can offer you for Christmas!
I teach small classes in Colchester – these are not your bog standard classes but more specialised crafts: Enamelled Jewellery, Silver Clay Jewellery (fine silver), Encaustic art, Felt making and Flamework (making glass beads). My workshop fits 2 people for a class (not including me), comfortably so if you are worried about mixing in big groups you don’t need to. I offer a gift letter for you to purchase a class but detailing how the recipient can book a date to suit them. These classes are intended for adult crafters who have already done the usual things and are looking for something a bit more challenging. You can book class vouchers here, or by emailing me. I have a few handcrafted items on sale here too.
I also make jewellery for sale. My Etsy shop is up and running and you can buy items here – if you are local get in touch as I may be able to offer delivery rather than posting items out.
I also have items for sale at EJart Creative in Woodbridge – the sell online and will also be open for business from 2nd December.
Next week Colcheco will be opening and will have a selection of my work.
This weekend I will be taking part in A Handcrafted Business online fair which will give you details of lots of lovely handcrafted items – I’ll post the link later.
That’s all for now, never have there been more ways to shop from the luxury of your own home!
This year has been a strange one for all of us. We’ve all been hit in different ways and it’s important to acknowledge this rather than simply ignore it and hope it goes away.
However we do need to take our minds off things and that is where I find doing something creative really helps. I’m not going to hark on to much but do remember a craft class does make a great present and something nice to look forward to in 2021! You can book vouchers here.
I’ve also updated my Etsy shop so if you fancy buying some unique jewellery (and greetings cards) do take a look.
Finally, if you are an enameller, I have just uploaded a little video to my Youtube channel showing you how to remove fired enamel (Pam East solution that I have meant to get around to trying for a while).
Having been effectively grounded for a while it feels like I’m speeding into doing everything at once again! Anyone else feel like that? The weekly art class I teach at Bright Lives started up again unexpectedly – if anyone has ideas for art for the visually impaired I’d love to hear from you – it is challenging my brain at the moment – one of the others in the group has ADHD so I need something engaging for her too. I’d really love to give them a opportunities to grow their skills.
I am just printing out notes for the second of 2 part time classes that I am teaching at EJart in Woodbridge – this one is enamelling on silver clay – which I love to teach as it always astounds me what people create in such a short length of time. Plus the range of ideas people have! You can never go wrong with a partnership of silver and glass!
On Sunday I am welcoming in two ladies to have their first go at Encaustic art. The were gifted a voucher for this class as a thank you present for helping their children plan their wedding. I love the joy students get out of this artform – especially when they aren’t entirely sure what they have been signed up for! If you like the sound of Encaustic art – the next group class is at Simply Handmade in Sudbury on 17th October. See pictures below for ideas of what you can paint with molten wax (Encaustic art).
Plus there’s all the planning going on in the background – can you hear my head whirling…or maybe that’s the kittens getting up to no good! Best have a look.
Do get in touch if you’d like to book vouchers for Christmas or birthday gifts, or just want to treat yourself to a bit of creative time. Best wishes, Toni
Well it has been some time since I last blogged. I think like quite a lot of people, I lost my way sometime in lockdown and am slowly coming to terms with how this new World currently looks, including getting back to running my small business and getting my children into school. Still there are plenty of positives. My workshop is now happily saying hello to students again. I have visors, disinfectant etc, and am always happy to discuss any of your Covid concerns before you book a visit – although I may not be able to help with the furlough scheme, sorry about that.
What has changed
Some of my course fees may have changed as I look at options for advertising them. However, this is not all bad news. If you wish to book a tailored class with me and do this by contacting me directly this cuts down on my advertising costs and I like to reward word of mouth and loyalty! Email me if you want to book follow on classes, themed classes, dates to suit etc. I love doing those anyway and it gives me a chance to see if some themes would work for my regular classes.
Dates coming up soon I continue to teach classes here at CG Craft Colchester – mainly with dates to suit to keep numbers (and households) to a minimum so contact me to organise a date. I am currently working through the PMC (Silver clay) Certification levels 1 – 3 so have some new tricks to teach you as well as plenty of enamelling techniques, felting, encaustic art and flamework (glass rings) lessons for you to try. Email I have even printed my first greeting card collection which is on sale at the gallery shop at EJ Art,Woodbridge and also Pink Giraffe Pottery, Great Bentley. I also hope to add them online soon.
EJ Art, Woodbridge • Enamelling on Silver Clay – 2-part class 1st and 8th October – 10 – 1pm. Create a piece with recesses or texture to enamel. Book here • Silver paste leaf and coiled jewellery using silver clay sheet – This was a 3-part class (part one has been but it’s ok to still join us at a slightly reduced fee for part 2 (31st Nov) and part 3 (14th November). 10 – 12.30 Enquire
FSC Flatford Mill
• Jewellery weekend at FSC Flatford Mill My annual jewellery weekend class which includes Enamelling and silver clay over a weekend runs on 4th to 6th December. This is a great way to socialise and pick up lots of skills over a relaxed weekend – I say relaxed we do make a lot of jewellery. Book here
• (Christmas) Feltmaking at FSC Flatford Mill
12th December. 9.30 to 4pm. To be fair although Christmas is in the title, I am happy just to teach you feltmaking – needle and wet felting. You can make a Spring Wreath; a needle felted animal or simply learn how to wet felt a picture. Book here
If you have an outstanding gift voucher, or indeed want to book one for ….. the dreaded word a Christmas present. Do get in touch. As my home workshop only fits about 3 people and I am offering one to one (I really am great value 🙂 ) or a joint booking with your own approved bubble (i.e Family or friends) you can rest assured you are not going to mix with a lot of people in these classes and I am happy to put in any further measures (within reason) to help make you feel secure. If you want to hold on to your voucher to use at a later date, that is also of course fine – do get in touch as we may be able to pencil in a date for 2021 – it helps with my course planning but of course you will not be held to that date if the situation changes.
I look foward to seeing some familiar (and new) faces again very soon. Keep well and safe. Toni
Haha, I’m hardly that but I have been doing some creative things that have somehow or other managed to get a little attention. On 3rd May I appeared on the radio (BBC Essex you need to scroll to 35 mins in) reading one of my short stories and next week I have been invited to run an online class for the first time.
Of course we’ve all been doing the usual lockdown stuff here:
Gardening (had to stop as I have at least 2 bags of garden waste and no collections)
Clearing out (again had to stop as too many bags for charity shop)
Making masks etc.
And so on.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about how to teach online if lockdown continues to prohibit classes so Tuesday will give me a chance to try it out. One of the problems I have is that I teach specialist crafts that need equipment such as a kiln and hands on help plus they aren’t necessarily things you can easily do at home. Felt making is much easier and so that’s probably the first thing I’ll think about doing online. I may also run classes specificially for students who do have equipment at home, so get in touch if you’d like me to teach you via this method – it would be good to experiment!
Metal Embossing class
The class will be hosted by Shopkeeparty and is free. There is an equipment list but no kilns involved, it should all be items you have around the house – a great way to recycle takeaway foil trays. It is suitable for both adults and children. Register here.
Keep safe, well and crafty and looking forward to seeing you on the other side. Best wishes, Toni
I just wanted to wish all my fellow crafters a well, safe and creative time during this difficult period.
If you have a class booked and I haven’t already messaged you, please accept my apologies for not getting in touch but obviously given the current lockdown I will be out of action for a couple of months at least. I will postpone anything booked and we’ll reschedule dates as soon as it’s safe to do so. If you are interested in classes, I am happy to pencil in dates but for much later in the year.
I am planning to post a few videos on YouTube – which is a great source of crafting and other info so do check it out if you are looking for creative inspiration (not necessarily from me!)
I always dread the winter months, so for the last couple of years I have started January with some courses, it’s always good to learn and as a teacher it is always good to refresh what it feels like to be a learner – no matter what you learn. Today I finished a 7 week art class, and I went on a sewing class earlier in the month and I am also doing a creative writing course! Now spring is on its way, I am thinking of ways to transfer what I have learnt to my crafts, especially my enamelled pictures, I’ve also had fun introducing new mediums to my Bright Lives Art group.
What’s coming up
Silver clay beginners including making your own moulds at EJart Creative, Woodbridge on Thurs 5th March.
Enamelling including adding metal textures at FSC Flatford Mill (13th to 15th March)
Plus lots more. See my class pages for more details and don’t forget I am always happy to offer tailored classes to build on your skills as well as dates to suit.