Artist Amanda Seljubac ran a very popular art workshop in her studio at the mansion on Tuesday. Raeesa Mukhtar went to check it out!
What a lovely feeling to walk through the gardens of Valentines Mansion on a cold and foggy morning, and then to be welcomed into the cosy studio of an artist, warmed further by the enthusiasm of her class.
I settled myself into a comfy brown sofa and watched the group delve into the array of materials and accessories to decorate their fused glass design. They certainly weren’t short for inspiration as stained glass pieces hung all around the room, from love hearts to fish to a beautiful homage to the mansion itself!
Amanda was constantly on hand to give expert advice, guiding her fellow artists to perfection. Some of her tips included: “use the smoother side of the glass” and “you can use the back of the brush to manipulate it”. Technical terms were flying back and forth across the room; luckily I’d been given a handy glossary which helped me keep up!
The studio was the perfect artistic retreat; multi-coloured paints were arranged in jars like little magic potions whilst the sounds of beads and glass clattered happily in the background. Some people had a clear vision of what they wanted to do whilst others were happy to just experiment with different colours and effects. “It’s nice to play with the different shapes you find, sometimes the less you think about it, the nicer it is” said Amanda.
I got chatting to Maureen from the class about the session and her artistic history:
R: Are you enjoying the class?
M: ‘I’m thoroughly enjoying it! It’s very satisfying and can give you a real confidence boost.’
R: Have you got quite an artistic background?
M: ‘Yes I’m generally quite artistic; my interest is in jewellery making.’
R: And what are you making today?
M: ‘Just a decorative piece to put up in the home.’
During a tea break (with a generous selection of biscuits) I managed to steal Amanda away for a while to ask her a few questions:
R: So how do you think the class has been going?
A: ‘Really good, people enjoy them [sic] and I learn a lot from the class when they raise interesting points. I have been doing about a class a month. It’s nice as the pieces that are made are always different and always lovely. I think this is the only one this side of London.’
R: So how versatile is glass as an artistic material?
A: ‘You can do lots with glass, as long as you’ve got the right kiln. A popular interest is jewellery. For these classes though we have to work in a certain time frame otherwise you can do things over a few days.’
R: How much can you do with glass at home?
A: ‘A lot! As long as you get a kiln. The small one in my room is the first one I bought and all the equipment and materials are readily available.’
R: Tell us about your previous work and what you’ve done with Valentines Mansion
A: ‘I’m trained as a fashion designer so it all comes together with my work and the stained glass that I do. These sessions too, they are always with glass.’
– Post Author: Raeesa Mukhtar
Would you like to give this exciting workshop a go? Valentines is running another session on Tuesday 25th February! The class runs from 10:00am – 13:00pm and costs £30. Pre-booking is essential due to popularity and limited spaces. Call 020 8708 8100 for further information and booking.