In November 2017 Christine and I went to an evening stained glass workshop in Wild Bird Studio in Block T in Basin Lane and made some Christmas decorations. Here’s mine … (it’s a robin, by the way)

Wild Bird Studio is run by Alison Byrne, a glass blower, a stained glass artist and a really good teacher.

Earlier this year, I saw that she was running a full day terrarium workshop. We had both very much enjoyed the previous outing to her studio so I signed us up. And so, that’s where we spent today.

There were five other participants and, interestingly, all had attended previous glass events at the studio so, although we all needed a refresher in the basics, we kind of had an idea what we were at.

Block T (which used to be in Smithfield) is a not-for-profit arts body that, inter alia, provides space for visual artists. The studio in Basin Lane is a very airy and bright creative space with lots of interesting potted plants, various art works scattered around, a small kitchen and some big work tables.

Alison had laid out equipment for us and the other participants before we arrived and to start the workshop off, she reminded us how to cut glass. Following a bit of practice, we set about making the terrariums. She had templates prepared and we cut out two squares, a small triangle and three irregular pentagons. We then ground the edges, covered the edges with copper foil, and used a fid to burnish the copper. Then we tinned the copper with solder before tacking the shapes together to make the terrarium shape. There followed quite a long process of soldering all the joins, inside and out. Terrariums made, each of us washed our creation, chose a chemical to apply a patina to the solder, polished the completed shape, and finished it off with a succulent and decorative stones.

Here’s some of the process …

It was a really well-run, enjoyable workshop. It’s always lovely to go to an event like this and emerge with something one has made that one can be proud of.

Here’s mine and Christine’s …

Sound as a pound.

Wild Bird