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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gallery Glass Entertains a new group of Beginners!

There's nothing more fun for me-- than introducing my favorite hobby to a new group of "want-to-be" glass crafters. It is rare that I get that opportunity, but this weekend a dozen church ladies came down to Norcross from Loganville, GA to visit Plaid and enjoy an introduction to Gallery Glass techniques in our corporate Training Room. This isn't something that we do on a regular basis, but permission was granted and I started planning the holiday theme several months ago. Each participant was allowed to choose 3 round designs from a set of 6 possible projects and they didn't find out much more information about the event--until they arrived.
I had arranged the room in my favorite classroom set up, so that I can freely walk down the middle of the tables and teach to both sides. That way, all the girls can see what others are learning while they're working. I had also brought up a whole room full of my large 24"x36" panels on various subjects to serve as inspiration. I leaded all 45 projects in advance and the stage was set for the arrival of the students.

I had pre-sorted all the colors that each person would need to do their 3 selected designs into red Plaid Bags along with tools and accessories. I had also put the 3 leaded projects into individual bags with all the instructional material. I think that it was "beginning to look a lot like Christmas" by the time they arrived.

It took a while to explain the technique and most of the girls started with the Cornucopia. It was the design with  the most shading and I wanted them to learn the maximum amount on the first project. The wonderful thing about Gallery Glass is that 90% of the method is basically 2 easy steps--Outline and Paint! Once you can do that, the other 10% of the technique has to do with eliminating air bubbles and we learned a number of "tricks" to minimize those pesky little flaws!
The girls began by sorting through their bag of colors for the specific ones on their color list. And then there was the bottle "opening" process (removing the shrink wrap) which was accomplished with a Gallery Glass Cutting Tool. The next step featured a little explanation on the dry erase board--making sure that everyone knew that it was recommended procedure to outline the space they were painting--then fill in the center up to the level of the leading. And that it was necessary to get the paint up ON the Leading, rather than trying meticulously to avoid touching it.
Next we began the combing and tapping lesson. This is not rocket science, but it took a little bit of experimental wielding of the nutpick to get the action just right. The object of the game is to slightly "thin" the layer of paint enough so that the bubbles rise to the top and POP! If they don't, then the "acorn" end of the nutpick is recommended for "whopping" the bottom of the styrene project directly UNDER the bubble so that the shock waves will eliminate the bubble. It's not the most restful sound to an outsider, but a glass crafter hardly notices it, we are so intent on perfecting our technique and producing a flawless finish.
The day went by so quickly we didn't have time to do the other 2 projects, but hopefully the girls got back to painting once they got it all home and could spread it out in their craft area--which may be their dining room table--for now. It takes a while before you decide to dedicate a whole room in your house --just to glass painting--like I did. The ladies were sweet and wonderful and I enjoyed their enthusiasm and answering all their questions. Many were planning more extensive projects before they even got out of the building.  
We will be showing more of the other designs that they painted as we get into Christmas designs in a few weeks. Hopefully, we will also be loading photos of some of their future projects into our Artists' Corner. Aren't Beginners wonderful. They have the whole amazing glass painting experience-- still to discover! I envy them in a way, don't you? We already know how much fun they're going to have in their crafty future.


  1. Ms. Carol,
    Thank you so much for this class! We all learned so much and really appreciate you starting with all of the tips and tricks. All of the work that you put into this did not go unnoticed, from the displays to preparing our supplies. Thanks again for giving up your Saturday to teach this class, we truly appreciate it and learned alot, not to mention how fun it was!

  2. oh I so wanna attend a class like this one day!!!! just hard for me to travel....maybe one day!