What is Glass in the Glassary?
It is the name given to our project, being brought to you from A Touch of Glass Studio. which aims to develop the existing studio in the Glen of Kilmichael Glassary. With the new space not only being used to aid us as a growing business but to use as a community space and offer art therapy, by running outreach workshops, open days and ongoing work within the community and community groups.
We are currently raising funds for the studio development, for such art events and activities to take place. So far we have secured enough to fund the building of the shell, but currently continuing to raise funds for the interior of the space such as power, kitting out inside, extra tools for extra hands and of course PPE and any other covid precautions that maybe needed when we finally open.
The build of the shell is imminent, that’s with help from funding from Business Gateway, a loan from SJ Noble trust, profit from the business itself and funds from our indigo crowd funder. Which was a huge success and I thank you all who have supported us and continue to support us. Not just financially, but also emotionally, by sharing our posts and ideas, offering advice and support.I am currently researching and developing other funding options, for the outstanding funds. Since launching our Indigogo campaign it has become a in demand campaign. This means it has been seen as a popular campaign and can still run but not like a crowd funder, as we cannot any longer accept donations but our perks and gift experiences can still be bought there and they will continue to feed funds into the project for its build and support community art from the space once ready.
Why are we still seeking funding help?
The initial budget was created from quotes that were provided pre covid and pre Brexit, so prices have risen and things have changed since the project first began. An example is the quote for the windows and doors, being £2,000 a big part of the budget but critical to create a welcoming light space, especially when working with glass. So we need to continue to raise funds for the downfall. Grant applications are a bit tricky as we are a private business, not a community group, not a social enterprise or a charity, just an independent business looking to grow, to be able to offer something back to our community and have a social conscious.
What will it mean to the community?
I hope to have the space running as we begin to ease out of lock down and return to some kind of normal, when safe to do so from Covid. I feel it will bring hope to people, art therapy and social interaction to many within the community. We will run projects specific to certain groups as well as open days and drop in sessions, Creating pieces that range from being just for you, or part of something bigger that can be used as an art installation within the local area. That others who don’t attend the workshops or aren’t part of the project can still enjoy. Places for such workshops will be free, funded by the project itself by any profits made from our ongoing Indigogo campaign, the business itself as thanks for your support or by accessing micro grants.
What will it mean to me personally and the business?
I have worked in glass for 20 years, the business is expanding and needs a space that has been purpose built and interior designed to maximise space and function. The current studio has served me well but it is tired, cold and was never set up specifically for the needs of a smooth running and functioning workshop. It was making use of what was there at the time to get going and keep business flowing. Personally I will gain so much enjoyment from being in a space that is welcoming, light , dry, warm and inspiring…..with windows I can see out of, workbenches designed for my height and the tasks it needs to house. It will be monumental to the way I work and how I feel while doing so.
The build itself aims to use as much locally sourced materials as possible and support local businesses, which I am passionate about doing. But to also be in keeping with the beauty of the Glen and have a low environmental in pact. I am working closely with Chris Taylor at Bespoke Timber Structures, to enable this to happen, working together to create a wonderful working environment and studio.
I struggle with mental health myself and through these difficult times, like many I have used my creativity to help during these hard times. I feel there will be many, who seek to find something that helps ease their mind and be free for a while. But also help them interact with others and meet people, something that has maybe become difficult to them. So I hold this project very close to my heart, as I have witnessed how creativity can transform people from being shy and withdrawn to more up beat and with a spring in their step. We take joy from things that are around us, so in creating art installations, that others can enjoy we will be benefiting them too. I feel this is a way I can help others feel a little bit better inside and that is what I would like to do.
Would you like to know more?
This is an ongoing and developing project, I don’t have all the answers yet and neither do I want to tell you all too much about what we hope to bring. As I would like to keep some surprises, as it unfolds.I plan to create a youtube channel, to continue to update you all with a video blog and tell you more about the project as it grows. I will add a link to that once organised. I will be hosting live social media sessions too, to talk about the project and be able to answer any questions you might have there.
1 Fernoch Ford, Kilmichael Glassary
Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
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