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
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
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
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
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
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.
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!
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!
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