What can be done with glass and the different type of art that can be made is fascinating and expanding all the time. Colette runs glass painting and glass enamelling classes that are based on traditional techniques. She also offers glass mosaic and fusing courses as well as Saturday classes that involve microwaving glass. It is a novel and fun way to fire glass, the pieces can be made into pendants and small pieces of jewellery and have been designed so that groups of friends can get together for a bit of creative fun.
Colette has a great deal of experience teaching different aspects of stained glass making to all ages from the age of 4 upwards. For many years she has been a visiting artist with CRAFTed a subsidiary of the Arts Council. The purpose is to take art into the classroom to enhance children’s learning and collaborate with the class teacher to explore themes and ideas they are being investigated in the classroom. This has pushed her to develop different techniques and programmes for the needs of each group. This year the usual large project was dropped to accommodate pods and children working individually. For this she developed a kit for the children consisting of pre cut glass and beads that was safe to handle for each child and fired separately in the kiln. She provided mountings and hanging so that each child was able to take their work home.
Older children who have the strength in their hands to cut with a wheel get the opportunity to cut their own glass and shapes for themselves. In the instance of Lanesborough C. S. the young people constructed a window approximately 3 meters wide by 4 meters high for their school hall from stained glass mosaic on the theme of justice for the Amnesty International theme ‘Voice our Concern.’ Glass is a very versatile material and can provide for simple to very complex and absorbing projects.
The children of Drumlea NS, Leitrim were Junior and Senior Infants, Each child made a glass painted drawing to take home and they made 4 pictures to hang up around the school
The children of Kiltrustan NS were in their pods so a new way of creating and interacting had to be devised. A lot of the glass was fused in advance to make ‘jewels’ so the children could create a piece for themselves without needing to collaborate with their class mates
This was the first project created with a school at Lanesboro CC with art teacher Michele Spence-McGarry. Neither of us had any experience, we didn’t properly consider time, size or budget so what had been envisaged as a reasonable art project quickly escalated into something very ambitious, something we are both immensly proud of and every student in the school who wished to was invited to contribute.
I was invited to return to Lanesboro CC many years later where the students had the opportunity to use their kiln in some glass painting