About the Course
Hello and welcome to smARTsy! I offer fused glass from my cosy workshop in Ratby, which is located between Groby and Kirby Muxloe, and only about 20 minutes from Loughborough, Leicester, & Melton.
With spaces limited to only 9 people, you will have plenty of support as you learn about this beautiful art form.
After a brief introduction, you will learn about glass and its many forms though the handling of sample pieces fused by myself. You will learn to how to recognise and use a huge array of glass forms, all available in different colours and find out about stringers, frit, sheet, confetti, millifiori, dichroic, and iridescent glass! Learn the difference between tac and full fusing and how each is achieved; decide whether you want to go for slumping or not! I will give you a demonstration about cutting techniques and deliver a safety talk. When ready, you will create your design on a base of clear glass and at the end of the session your work of art will be left with me to be fused and gently cooled, ready for collection after a few days or it may be posted at cost price.
I also offer a variety of step by step tutorial based sessions whereby everyone makes a similar product in the colours of their choice.
These 2 hour sessions are 'stand alone' and are equally suited to beginners and more experienced customers. As you become more familiar with fused glass and how it behaves there are opportunities to experiment by, for example, booking my spare kiln shelf for a spot of free form work or having a go with kiln paper or working with stencils. Warning: it's rather addictive!
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
The link below takes you to my website. Choose a date then email to book.
To book on, you will be asked to pay £10 which covers covers the workshop time and all associated behind the scenes work. On the day you will then choose what size you want to work with and pay accordingly. For example, coasters are £6, dishes are £18-£28, splashbacks and beyond- just ask!
Booking is essential as places are limited and the courses are popular! If you can get a group of 3 or more I can agree a date to suit your group. You can choose from any times of day including evenings and weekends.
If you'd like to know more just get in touch.
Children aged over 7 are welcome.
I have been 3 times now and thoroughly enjoyed each session. Both Ali and May were lovely, very supportive and knowledgeable.
I took my nieces aged 5 and 7 and my sister who us not at all crafty. We all produced something we were really proud of.
May helped with cutting difficult shapes and teaching us how to get the best from our work.
Cant wait to visit again!
P.S. as long as you don't ask me to get the water from the well myself i am happy to make my own tea.
Jennifer Stockbridge - - #20836
I have attended several glass workshops, themed and open sessions, and have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The sessions are informal and friendly, help and advice offered when needed but no restrictions which enable you to produce individual pieces of work.
Thoroughly recommend, especially when combined with afternoon tea provided by Bakerlu, part of the Smartsy family
Janet Shaw - - #20819
There is a poor review on here that is in complete contrast to my several experiences with Smartsy. Both Ali and May have led different classes that I’ve attended and I found both of them to be knowledgeable, friendly and willing to help or give advice on projects in progress. The conservatory work space is comfortable and inspiring with so many completed projects on display, surrounded by a vast array of available resources. I have taken several people with me to classes and every one of them have enjoyed the experience. The venue is Ali’s home so I totally understand not opening until 10 minutes before the course starts. Having a generous offering of hot drinks available to crafters to help themselves is a great idea and keeps the tutors available throughout the session. Keep up the great work Ali and May.
Jo Unwin - - #20815
I've been to so many classes run by Ali and May, I love having a relaxed evening out, doing something I enjoy.
The classes are suitable for everyone, Ali and May are great teachers and will give you as much or as little guidance as you request.
You aren't limited at all with what you can make and there is so much glass to choose from. I've been that many times I've ran out of space to put all my creations! These sessions are so popular and book up well in advance, goes to show what great classes they are 😊
Claire - - #20812
Love these courses run by Ali & May. Set in a lovely workshop decorated beautifully with inspiring art glass pieces, there’s always a huge variety of glass to choose from to be creative with. The atmosphere is wonderfully calming, and both Ali and May provide expert tuition and creative guidance for your projects. Ali is always willing to encourage people to try new and original projects, even outside of these sessions, and her advice always gets you a lovely result. Glass fusion is completely addictive, my only problem now is where I put all the finished pieces! Can’t reccomend highly enough.
Annabell - - #20804
Have attended many classes with both Ali and May at venues and their well stocked workshop in Ratby.The courses are always well explained and demonstrated, including health and safety.There is plenty to look at to gain inspiration in sample forms or booklets full of previous work.Both May and Ali provide assistance and advise should you wish it, but also allow you to develope at your own pace.It is always totally absorbing in a creative warm friendly atmoshere and I always look forward to my next session as I've never been dissapointed with my results.Can wholeheartedly recommend and have done to many friends.
Teresa Barrass - - #20803
I’ve enjoyed several courses with Ali and her daughter May. I’ve attended different venues but my favourite is visiting their cosy workshop which is full of inspiration and is stocked with lots of beautiful glass!
They always take time to introduce and demonstrate at the start of each session and are always on hand with gentle advice, assistance and words of encouragement throughout.
I’ve introduced several friends to their courses and even organised our works Christmas party with them.
The very best part of the classes is that you really do switch off from everything that is going on in your life and become completely absorbed in what you are creating.
Sarah Evans - - #20801
Was disappointed with both the standard of tuition and general approach towards adults and cannot recommend. Session comprised 4 adults in a small conservatory. We arrived 20 minutes before the session and had to wait to be let in by the locked side gate 10 minutes before the start of the session, despite ringing the doorbell by the sign, leaving a phone message and observing that someone was in the front room of the house near the cake baking sign.
Overall, whilst the sessions are promoted as being led by a qualified teacher, ours was led by her daughter who was knowledgeable about glass and its features but who remained distant throughout towards the participants. We were not even asked to introduce ourselves to each other. Tea was available if you made it yourself. I was a complete novice and felt that May did not clearly introduce the session with aims or that we could make one or several items, and did not proceed to present the techniques in a logical sequence with examples of each method of decorating the glass. Whilst she was helpful throughout the session and gave praise, she also spent time tidying up the centre table while we were working.
Helen Salisbury - - #20797
Response from smARTsy:The workshop seats 8. There were 4 in your session. May cleared some materials to give you more room to make your small bird. Gates open 10 min before the start time to keep things fair for customers, as some, like you, arrive too early. You rang my phone & got annoyed because the baker didn’t answer you banging on the door of my home 15 mins before your start time. Would you expect a shop to open early because you arrived early? If you read the details properly, I am a qualified PRIMARY school teacher. May is 33 and has worked with me for 2 years. I get many emails praising her. There are lists on the table for you to choose what to make. Your friend made 2 items so I don’t know how you missed that information. A selection of hot drinks are available and you paid £5 an hour to attend. This does not cover waitress service! If May or I explained how to apply every single material you would just sit for 2 hours. I presume you won’t be returning.
Took my 7 year old to a class yesterday, which had been shortened to an hour and a half (in keeping with the attention span of a younger person). My son loved it. May, the instructor, was so good with him and kept him busy while I was able to concentrate on my own creation. He made 2 items in that time and I can't wait to see them when they've been fired. I've already recommended this workshop to a number of friends.
Becky - - #17194
I’ve been on a two hour workshop and a full day one. I’m booked onto another in a couple of months. Ali warns that glass fusing is addictive and it’s utterly true. She is an excellent and talented artist and also a patient teacher. Perfect combo.
If you’re not sure, book onto a shorter course and try it out. You’ll love it for sure!
Ally Caldecote - - #12355
Response from smARTsy:Thanks Ally, see you soon!
I have attended about 5 different classes now, some with my children some with friends. They are always relaxed and great fun. I’ve never felt daft asking for help or asking questions and i’ve always ended up with a piece I love, which given i’m really not very arty is impressive!
Kate - - #12318
Response from smARTsy:Thanks Kate, see you soon!
Really enjoyable at SmArtsy for any of the courses. Ali is very helpful and provides loads of inspiration if you don't have any of your own. But beware, it is highly addictive!
Tracey - - #12315
Response from smARTsy:Thanks Tracey, glad you enjoy it :)
Fantastic. I can’t keep away!
It’s so addictive!
Ali is wonderful and every session I have attended has been brilliant.
Karlie - - #12309
Response from smARTsy:Thanks Karlie, you're very talented, I always like to see what you've made.
All the courses I've done with Ali have been excellent and I'm looking forward to the next one. It's great fun and I love the pieces I have made
Mary - - #9605
I have become addicted! The sessions are relaxing and fun. The items I have made I love and so do those I made gifts for. Ali helpfully guided you along letting your own creativity through and it us amazing value. To handmade something for a friend is a lovely thing to do.
Julie - - #9573
ali runs workshops in her lovely inspirational studio at her home, I have become addicted to the classes, I have done, needle and wet felting, lino printing, painting, silk painting tiffany glass and my absolute favourite, glass fusion, I am there most weeks, sometimes more than once a week ( I do have a life- honestly! ) I recommend that you give it a go
Jo stevens - - #9568
What a wonderful way to spend a few hours doing something completely different.
Ali is so welcoming and takes great care to explain all about glass fusion and what to do -advising and guiding , but still allowing plenty of freedom for your own creativity . Or if like me , you just want to copy something you like , she is happy to tell you how it's done.
All the lovely coloured different types of glass are like being in a sweet shop ......so hard to choose.... and the relaxed atmosphere Ali creates means you don't want to leave. .... I've been three times and will definitely be back.
Nicola Marshall - - #9539
I am 9 years old. I thought it was really cool and I love it that you can design whatever you want there. I would rate the glass workshop 6 stars out of 5! I thought the pieces that I made there were all really great. I think Ali is really supportive and really kind to us. I love the glass workshop!
Noah - - #9500
The glass fusion workshops are simply fantastic! Ali is extremely helpful as she guides you through the process of creating your very own and unique piece of glass art! The workshop takes place in Ali's treasure trove of glass wonders, all of which help to inspire. You can simply arrive and there are many ideas already at your fingertips. I know people worry about not being 'creative', well with Ali's superb guidance (and patience!) it really is something that anyone can have a go at, and be pleased with the outcome. My two children have experienced this too and have been so proud of what they have created. We have given some of our pieces as gifts and had the recipients ask "Where did you buy that from, it's brilliant!" What a great feeling to know it was made by our own fair hands!
Go on... have a go, you won't regret it!
Lucie - - #9473
Highly impressed. Before we started out we went through a health and safety check which was well executed and only took a few minutes. Everything was thoroughly explained but we were making our pieces before we knew it. Group sizes are kept small and Ali is always friendly and helps with any info you want. You are always offered a refreshment half way through which is very nice. The classes are unpressured and you can do as much or little as you like.
Wendy - - #9418
I have attended one glass fusion session, which was good. I wasn't sure what I wanted to make but managed to do 2 coasters in the session and there was a good mix of materials. There are books you can use for inspiration if you need. I was pleasantly surprised by the coasters after firing and happy to display them at home. The studio is nice- a little on the small side and I personally would have preferred a bit more space, but having a communal table with everything in the middle is a nice system. Learning to cut glass was also interesting.
Bradie - - #9417
I have attended two of Ali's workshops so far and am booked on a third. Glass fusion is definitely addictive!
Ali's studio is a treasure trove of ideas, sure to help inspire your own creativity if you feel stuck. There is a good range of glass to choose from (the bird shapes are my personal favourite) and Ali is really helpful in getting any ideas you come with to be transformed into reality.
The sessions are just the right size, with a friendly atmosphere. You are left to reign free with your piece, with guidance offered if and when you need it. The cuppa half way through is a lovely touch too! The pieces are fired quickly and really conscientiously. I'm really happy with my experiences so far.
Joanne - - #9416
Love these workshops! Very relaxed with lovely materials and guidance. Delighted with what I achieved. Have booked to return soon
Anne Marlow - - #9410
Have done two sessions so far and they were brilliant.
Lovely space, excellent teacher and lovely people.
Looking forward to learning more.
Fiona Page - - #9405
I've recently attended my first glass fusion workshop and can't wait to return, lots of inspiration and guidance available from Ali in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Alison - - #9404
I have been to three or four of Ali's glass fusion workshops in Melton and Ratby and she is excellent. I have always thoroughly enjoyed myself and ended up with some lovely pieces of artwork. She is very knowledgeable and stands back enough to give you space to create but is always there to explain and or assist with advice and/or technical information. Well done Ali and see you soon.
Caroline - - #9279
I have attended a number of Ali's glass fusion workshops and cannot recommend them highly enough! She is a fantastic teacher, full of creativity and very patient with the artistically challenged! Over the years I have taken along friends, my young children and my mother in law so it is definitely suitable for all ages
Caroline Jolliffe - - #9232
I have been to 3 of Ali's sessions, made a fabulous fruit bowl, followed by a window hanging lastly I made a lovely birch tree, booked into another session in June, really looking forward to it.
carol tipper - - #9160
I've been to 3 classes now, all creating different glass pieces. Ali is informative and enthusiastic about her subject and keen to teach others. She shows how to cut the glass - or if you struggle as I do, she'll come and do it for you, then offers advice about different types of glass and how they fire. The atmosphere is sociable and friendly and you get a cuppa and a look behind the scenes too. Her stock of glass for the projects is huge and she also offers some gorgeous "extras" for a very small charge. The end result is totally unique; there is none other in the world like it, and it's all yours.
Jo Unwin - - #9144
The Glass Fusion workshops Ali runs from warm and comfortable studio are inspiring - even for someone like me (a self confessed non crafty person). Ali is a great teacher, teaching, helping and gently suggesting amendments and improvements as necessary; her knowledge and experience is seemingly endless. The classes are friendly and sociable; held in an environment where you can shut the rest of the world out for a few hours and escape. I couldn't recommend Smartsy highly enough and would encourage anyone to look at their website at the numerous variety of workshops; there will always be something to inspire you.
Tess Knight - - #9143
I have been to several sessions and have 2 more booked;I am hooked!
I have been to an evening workshop which I organised for friends and attended others on my own. There is a lovely warm atmosphere.
Ali is so helpful - and has inspiring examples of work to spark off.
Julia Pritchard - - #9135
Ali brought her glass fusion workshop to a craft afternoon in Burbage for Burbage Community Arts and it was a hit! We had a full house of keen crafters making some lovely glass pieces in the workshops. We are all really pleased with our works of art and would recommend SMartys glass fusion. The only problem is you might get addicted to it!! I definitely want to do more and will be booking in again it's just deciding what to make!?
Nicola Lond - - #9134
i treated a work colleague to an evening at Smartsy for her Christmas present. i had done some sessions with Ali at Palmers but this was the first time at her own workshop. there were 7 of us the session and we made trinket dishes and spoon rests. it was a lovely evening and my colleague loved it as it was her first time working with glass. the results were fabulous. Im looking forward to going for another session ASAP !!!!
Jayne Edwards - - #9128
I have been to several glass fusion courses.
Excellent evenings, a chance to be creative and have a little me time.
Good company and time flies past.
My glass pieces are lovely, and I look forward to the next course.
Julie Ward - - #9127
I recently went to one of Ali's workshops for a glass artwork based on Birch trees. It involved painting on glass as well as using and cutting glass. The two hours flew by, and I am so pleased with the end result, which is now hanging at my kitchen window. Having done numerous workshops with Ali, I have to warn, they are VERY awaddictive.
Ghislaine Wood - - #9126
Went with my craft group to a glass fusion workshop & am now really hooked. It was excellent & Ali is a brilliant tutor. So pleased with what I produced & can't wait to do more sessions. Would recommend to anyone - give it a go & I guarantee you will have a rewarding time.
Isobel Reay - - #9125
I be attended two fused glass sessions and a stained glass one .all fantastic.the studio is charming.Ali and Mel were friendly and professional.I can't wait for my next one ..beach huts and seascapes!
Wendy Hardy - - #9124
I attended my first bowl making session in March. I had a great time, really enjoyed the experience. The atmosphere was relaxing and friendly. I am really pleased with the result of my glass bowl. Well worth the money.
Jackie Chilton-Thomas - - #9123
We attended a Glass Art session during our Learning at Work week. The 90 minutes by far exceeded my expectations and was extremely enjoyable, rewarding and relaxing, and I will definitely be sharing this with people I know, and hope to book on to another course very soon.
Amanda Patel - - #9114
We ran this course in work for our Learning at Work week and it was fantastically received - the feedback has been amazing. Ali was great at explaining how to make our pieces of glass art and then we were let loose to create. Colleagues found it relaxing and as they are collecting their glass art today their is a definite sense of pride in what they have created. I will definitely be looking at other sessions that Ali runs and doing more art for relaxation!
Kate Lee - - #9113
As a Christmas present treat, we took a session with Ali, ages from 8 to retired, we had a lovely afternoon, and came away with not only a gift but with the resolve to try again. Ali's instruction was clear, including the health and safety element, and she made herself available all afternoon to answer questions and give guidance, all participants we engaged and entertained, I have to say that the projects have all found their own place in our respective homes, and are used. The children were amazed at what they had been able to achieve.
On the whole I would recommend anyone who is thinking about this taster to give it a go, you will not be disappointed.
Carole Bates - - #9095
A really relaxing day in a comfortable and inspiring environment. Suitable for people with any level of artistic ability or experience. Ali was a very knowledgeable guide to what was for me a very experimental and playful session. Would thoroughly recommend.
Harriet Biddington - - #8626
I had a brilliant experience at Ali's SmARTsy glass fusion day. I was a complete beginner, having received a craft course voucher as a present from a friend. Ali talked us through tools and materials and showed us examples. We were then able to have a go at making different pieces. I was totally absorbed in assembling patterns of coloured glass on my coaster and panels, and am looking forward to seeing the results when they ate out of the kiln. Very enjoyable. Would recommend it highly. Thank you.
Julie Hayes - - #8621
We had a really excellent day doing glass fusion. Lovely place, great teaching, very nice people and got to make 5 coasters and a bowl. I bought it for my wife as a Christmas present, and I can recommend doing this as a gift for someone, she loved it and we have some beautiful items to show for it, plus some less beautiful ones that I made. Thrilled with the whole thing.
Iain Laurie - - #8611
Ali thank you for the fantastic smartsy arty morning. Lovely atmosphere talented lady looking forward to see the finished item in a few days. Already thinking of what todo next time have loads of ideas in my head thank you . I also agree with all the 5 star reviews above mine .
Joanne Lord - - #8593
Thank you for the lovey creative , inspiring afternoon in your cosy beautiful workshop.I never noticed it was such a very bad weather day and the time flew by .
Thanks you .
Pennington - - #7512
Absolutely brilliant. I am the least artistic person and I love these courses and the fact that I come away with something that looks wonderful. Such good evenings and as one finishes I am booking the next!!
Ali also came and worked with our Cubs making Christmas trees and they were all so proud of what they had achieved. She was so patient with them all and kept them interested and enjoying the session.
Cannot recommend Ali highly enough.
Pip Russell - - #7349
I just love this! Ali is incredibly talented and incredibly patient.
I am hooked.
I've been to Palmers , Enderby, and also organised a girls' night at Ali's workshop, for 4 friends who also enjoyed it.
I can't wait to do more.
Julia Pritchard - - #7025
I first tried Ali's workshop through work and loved it so much I booked her for my birthday party. She is very patient and helpful across all age ranges (from 2 to 80!) and with Ali's guidance the results were spectacular. It's excellent value for money - I can't recommend highly enough.
Marie Hubbard - - #6860
Ali is a great mentor and has immense skills that she just wants to share. The value of the skills, knowledge and experience that you get is just brilliant value for money, not to mention the glass pieces that you have the pleasure of saying that you have made. I did it with adult friends and family who couldn't agree more about how calming and fun the experience was. Would recommend it to all who just want a brilliant time learning something new from a great teacher. Ali has amazing ideas and inspiration for making something come to life in your work. Would definitely recommend to all as a fun afternoon. And have been back myself and will be in the future
Hanisha - - #6822
What can I say it's all been said before .love it love it . Cannot wait to do my next one on Saturday with friends and family thank you Ali
Sharon Horsnall - - #6817
Ali, is an amazing teacher of all things arty! She is patient, knowledgeable and generous in her ability to share ideas. The sheer array of glass and glass accessories to chose from is staggering.
Once you have been, you will be hooked!
Tess - - #6812
Love glass fusing. Have now attended a few of Ali's sessions both in her workshop and at palmers. My little boy had his first session last week and loved it. You don't have to be creative or a perfectionist to get something that looks amazing. But there's always lots of inspiration in the workshop and Ali is full of help, ideas and patience. Would highly recommend
Abbey Stewart - - #6811
Ali came to my Brownie unit. She was fantastic with all the girls and they really enjoyed making Christmas tree decorations. I would love for her to come back and do more crafts with the girls. Would definitely recommend!
Charlie Clements - - #6800
Amazing! Amazing! I had so many friends interested in this craft that i had to hire a hall! Great evening, Ali is fantastic, a fab teacher and very patient. A fantastic craft, cant wait to do it again in the summer! Xx
Mandy street - - #6753
Cosy studio with everything you need to create a unique work of art in glass! I now have several!!
Elaine Barr - - #5551
I took my 3 children (5yrs, 7yrs & 9yrs) to Ali's workshop to create a bespoke piece of art for their Daddy for Christmas. The kids had a wonderful time and really enjoyed creating their own pieces as well as the present piece. They loved seeing the final outcomes and all want to have another go. The final piece given to Daddy for Christmas is amazing! and we are thrilled they can pick out pieces of the glass in the art that they placed in position. We have already booked to create another piece for a family member's birthday this year. Really enjoyable and achievable for all ages.
Penny Richardson - - #3871
Ideal if you want to try something different.. Cosy little setting at the top of Ali's garden, I have attended Ali's fused glass classes a fair few times, making Christmas decorations, coasters, wind catchers, and pieces for my bathroom. Very friendly relaxing atmosphere and teacher! Highly recommended for adults and children. :)
Nicola Edwards - - #3870
Ali's little garden retreat studio is the perfect place to go relax and explore your creative side. I have been a few times now and recommend the sessions to all of those I know. The pieces you come out with are great! The turn around time for collection after firing is really quick too. I would certainly recommend this session and any of Ali's other sessions for art for children and adults alike to anyone!
Melissa Trotman - - #3868
Quite addictive once you start. Ali's workshops are great for all ages whether Arty or not! Relaxing and cosy environment with lovely company, what more could you want. A huge variety of materials to work with, great for the experienced or beginner. Would highly recommend and will certainly be returning for more sessions in 2016!
Sam Smith - - #3867
These glass fusing worshops are brilliant for everyone including the naturally uncreative to those who are and want to try something new. Ali is an experienced teacher and demonstrates the skills and techniques needed to create your own little masterpiece. She has plenty of ideas and examples in her workshop from which you can get inspiration, but she can also guide you if you have an idea you wish to develop in glass. I have been on several sessions and it is incredibly addictive The anticipation of what 'yours' will look like when it comes out of the kiln is exciting and then you want to go back and do more and tell others about it and proudly show off your work. Many friends and work colleagues have joined me and the atmosphere is relaxing and fun. I will probably see you there!
Vanessa Newmarsh - - #3865
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
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