One-of-a-Kind Glass Artwork

'The Glass Lass'

Welcome,  here you can keep up to date with our projects and watch them develop. Follow how a piece grows from an inspiration to a final piece of art!

I have recently started blogging about my journey as an artist.  And the creation of my new collection of work  'The Little Things'.  I hope it inspires you and you enjoy the journey.  The first of these Blogs is titled  'So What Now' there you can find the story behind the journey.  Thank you for reading.  please feel free to comment , share your thoughts and indeed share with others too.

  • 20/11/2019 - Kirsty Brady A Touch of Glass Studio 2 Comments
    Why aren't we game fair?

    Over the last few years I have pulled away from doing larger fairs. My main reason for doing so was of course due to becoming a mum. I was asked in an email the other day why I am no longer doing the big shows……..? 

    So for any of you who are not a creative business here is a little insight to my world. These large shows for a small stand cost a large fee, plus marketing and payment for power/lights. All in all a show like those I have been doing ( I don’t want to name and risk backlash) cost around £3000 for 4 days. This doesn’t include any hours of time, which ends up being a 5 day event as it’s a day to set up. I have always be fortunate to have people help me so this doesn’t include any wages, food , parking….the list goes on but I am sure you get the idea. 

    I would have to sell over 200 pieces to even break even on that basic figure and this is just the fee cost, no materials or hours of  making time even thought about yet….. so yes I have to have about 1000 pieces to make it worth even doing. To have that amount of stock takes me months, working full time at it. 

    So for me right not it is just not feasible, especially only currently working part time. So the only winner here would be those selling the pitch…they get their fee, the customer is happy as they get beautiful work but sadly I end up beavering away and being a crazy stress head for what would be pennies. I know it’s not all about sales and it’s a good marketing event but it’s a hard way of raising your creative game.

    It does make me sad not to see all you lovely people and I have met lots of lovely people at these events. And I have also been fortunate to have established a very loyal following from such events.

    My last fair made me feel a bit frustrated as I felt the feel of it had been a little lost. The type of produce there no longer had a unique feel. And it’s hard to stand out as a handmade creative surrounded by bought in goods. 

    I’m not writing this to justify my decision, just trying to give a bit of an insight as to why….?  Sometimes our paths change direction and we have to be open minded and embrace the change as it comes.  And enjoy the new adventure that arises from it X

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  • 01/10/2019 - Kirsty Brady A Touch of Glass Studio 0 Comments
    A Summer of Art, Puffins and Designing.

    Here we are in autumn of this year and I can’t quite believe it. In my mind we are still back in May. As much as I love all the seasons the autumn is one of my favourites. The warmer light and the soft feeling of sleepy restfulness. Meaning cosy evenings by the fire and comfort food. Although it is one of my busiest times of year. Well usually, by now I am cramming all the Christmas events in my calendar and working non-stop on stock. But now things of course are a little different and I am ok with that. Part of me panics when I see what others are doing but then I remember what I am spending most of my time on now is more important than anything and that’s being a mum. So the guilt and panic passes and I take a deep breath, pat myself on the back for what I am managing to do. And smile as I feel the love in my heart that is motherhood. This for me has been hard as creating is what I always did but it’s now about learning to juggle and creating balance. 

    However, I am back to work part time so I have been creating and there’s lots of new work. I seem to see inspiration all over just now and the ideas have a long time to grow in my mind before I can physically make them. I am discovering this is a good thing. And enjoying the process of playing with the ideas in my mind. My ideas seem to have developed a childlike nature too. Which is why I decided to join Usborne books at home. Enabling me to work and sell beautiful books from home . But when reading them and enjoying them, I like to let the characters from them develop. Creating some of them in glass, others are still ideas or inspirations for other work from some of the beautiful illustrations. So that’s where  'It’s All Part of The Story’ came from. 

    The idea of sharing with you our love of books and how the stories feature in our day to day adventures and creative processes. I began a blog also which is based more on my journey with Ethan and being a mum. Although this glass blog and the Ethan blog overlap slightly, because I created them both, they are my babies.

    As some of you know I attended a welding course in Glasgow in the evenings. Which I really enjoyed and feel inspired to take further, Sadly I only attended a few of the sessions as due to technical issues with equipment the course cancelled some sessions. And although other dates were offered it became too difficult juggling it with child care and I withdraw from the course. But I do hope to get back to it sometime. As feel it would be a great skill to add to my glass art.

    Talking of courses I have been loving running our little taster ‘make your own’ workshops. I have run three types now. Christmas decoration making, lantern making and a glass painting one. All booked up within a day of releasing the dates and my second session have just filled up also. So I am definitely going to get a few more dates for you all. And some other courses will be running again come the New Year.

    I am just about caught up now with my back log of work and want to express my thanks to those who have been so patient in waiting for those commissioned pieces and windows. I have loved getting back into some of the bigger pieces and currently getting stuck into some restoration work.

    Christmas is of course in the back of my mind….but I am not pushing too hard this year on it. Most work will be made to order and I am only attending a few local events. Work will be available locally at ‘Love Dove Studio’ in Lochgilphead. So please do make sure you get your orders in early. I am trying to get some new work onto my website over the next few weeks but meanwhile my new pieces can be seen on facebook and Instagram.

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  • 10/07/2018 - Kirsty Brady A Touch of Glass Studio 3 Comments
    The Art of Mother Nature

    This is a long awaited post, which has been working away in my mind for almost 5 months now and today is the day I get it down on paper. 

    As many of you who know me and my work will know I am now a mummy. My finest creation arrived in March and he is not made of glass. But boy has he turned my world upside down. Comfort zones out the window and I spend every day winging it( As i know now that most mummies do, under that calm exterior). Every day is a whole new adventure but I love it and even more I love him.
    Before the wee fella came along I had imagined I might be able to keep my hand in at my ‘work’, to keep things ticking over. I had visions of an hour here and there in the studio while he slept. 

    Sleep…..what is that? I believe I have the only child who can make it through  16 hours of the day, surviving on a couple of 5 minute power naps……I think he was born with super human powers!!! 

    So the reality is very different and if the little one does have a nap, there is always something more pressing to take care of....…like eat, go to the loo or sleep too.  Sleep deprivation sucks and could really drive anyone insane. It adds to that already crazy baby brain, a condition i now know truly does exist. Yes im talking, car keys in the fridge, loosing everything, sometimes even unable to string a sentence together which makes any sense.

    Although now coming to 5 months I can seek help from others to be able to get a little time out. And sometimes I seek sanctuary and sanity in the studio. Although not always for any length of time or guaranteed to be uninterrupted. But still it is some me time and this is how I see it. I don’t see this as’ work’…it is my down time. Time to remember who I am or reflect on who I have become. Maybe I don’t achieve much in there but it’s my space and time.

    I have recently teamed up with a group of fellow artists/makers and we have become a Collective under the title of Homestyle Argyll. This works well as we are able to support each other in our creative journeys and help get each other out there. We have done a few shows so far this year. I have noticed a huge downfall in custom and have to question how feasible taking on too many of these are for me just now. It’s the upheaval that goes along with it and the stress of packing everything up, making sure it’s all priced……and all the other unseen tasks. Meanwhile feeling like I am missing time with being a mummy and only giving the shows minimal attention, it is leaving me feeling frazzled and torn. Time spent in the studio would be better spent tinkering away on definite orders and commissions. Or just doing something that brings me joy and enjoying the process.

    So it is time to realise and happily accept my life has changed and times are changing. I am no longer just an artist. I am a mum……that’s my job now and that’s where I want to be. And enjoy every moment as I can already see time passing so quickly (although sometimes the days are sleep deprived and sooo long). My creativity will always be there and burn inside me….but my baby will not always need me and adore me how he dose right now. And that is a feeling or moment I cannot capture in glass or recreate. And my time to ‘work’ on my glass will come again……….it is time to step back and enjoy where this journey takes me….us. The art of mother nature I have succumbed to you x

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  • Glass art
    07/02/2018 - Kirsty Brady A Touch of Glass Studio 1 Comment
    Expecting the unexpected and time for reflection

    It has been a long time since I touched in with you all and I apologise for that. What with the madness of the festive season and then the doom of January, there just didn’t seem to be time to write or the urge to if I am honest. I had an amazing Christmas this year, filled with plenty of new designs and my busiest year yet. Although exhausted from it, the glow inside is a priceless one. The sense of achievement for what is possible, even when you think you cannot go on anymore. Fellow creators will know what I mean by this! Then January hits with a bit of a bang, It’s hard to not get pulled into the blues that comes with it. This January very different for me than last year. For those who may not know yet, I am expecting our first child. And due in early march, a lovely little spring baby. 

    So my thoughts this year are very different to last. January last year I decided to go full time on my glass art work. The month was filled with forward planning and dreaming. The what ifs and whys…should I and shouldn’t I, fear, excitement and trepidation. This year is too but of a very different nature, but still with the fear and excitement.

    I am currently working on some commission pieces for windows and trying to build up some stock for the months ahead. When my hands will be full but not with glass. I am grateful to be lucky that these customers are very understanding, in that their project could be delayed at the drop of a hat, considering I am now 35 weeks and cruising towards my due date.

    The end of last year saw the forming of The Christmas Collective. A group of fellow creators and sellers working together to create pop up Christmas events in our area of Argyll. Working as a team to help and support each other to create events that were not your usual craft fair. More show houses dressed with our creations and products, in beautiful settings without the craft feel.

    This having worked so well we saw it as a pity to stop there. So with a bit of adapting as to what the group is and our aims we have now formed ‘Homestyle Argyll’

    What is it?

    Imaginative, Bespoke, Unique,Made with love

    A collection of creatives! Homestyle Argyll is a group of creative women working together to share the stresses and strains, as well as the fun and laughter, of doing events and fairs together.
    We all have commitments in our lives out with ‘work’ that can mean it can be difficult to develop our businesses the way we would ideally like to. By forming this collective, we have been able to pool our skills, share the stress, spread the costs, support and encourage each other.

    So not only am I lucky enough to work with such lovely ladies on the same wavelength as me….most of the time, we all independently have our crazy time and a great laugh. This is a huge help given that I can’t single handily do a lot of work myself right now. And we can work together to help and support each other when needed, lift each other when lacking enthusiasm or motivation.
    Working alone particularly in Argyll can be quite lonely, Due to its geographical challenges and isolation at times. Networking has recently become a big part of my life and a saviour in many ways.

    January has passed with plenty of time to reflect on what did or didn’t work in the last year. And yes I made some mistakes but I learnt from them, brushed myself down and changed my direction. So although being a difficult year it was also the best year of A Touch of Glass Studio to date. Although this year will be very different, its journey will no doubt have a huge impact on me and my work. And I look forward to it with an open mind and great excitement to welcoming my finest creation yet…..that’s not made of glass x

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  • fused glass wall art, badger, screen print, art argyll
    07/07/2017 - Kirsty Brady 0 Comments
    Networking and Online Shopping

    It's been a busy few weeks here and i haven't has much chance to update. I am currently juggling a few commissions of various sizes as well as trying to keep getting out and about with my work. The Crafters Roadshow last week and thinking of other events to attend befor Artmap Argyll Open Studio Weekend.

    I am also busy behind the scenes creating my online shop...while tearing my hair out!! It's not proving as easy as one had been told but hopefully worth it!! I will keep you all updated with the progress but likely to be a few weeks before it's officially up and running. But you can still find work on our Made Makers and Etsy shops.

    Last saturday i ran my first single day Taster workshop, which was a great day and a hit with all. I still have spaces on my upcoming weekend workshop on the 22nd -23rd July. Please send me an email for more information.

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  • 22/06/2017 - Kirsty Brady 0 Comments
    Creating A 'Business Woman'

    The last few weeks has given me time to reflect and I have decided that taking the plunge to give my business my all, is the best I have ever made. Yes, it is blood, sweat and tears but I’m also living my dream. Things are hard as I really am re investing everything back into the business at the moment and keep pushing things forward. But as hard as I may well be it is also incredibly a rewarding. 

    I had an editorial feature in a magazine a few weeks ago. And unknown to me I was put forward for an award. Which I have since learnt I have won, Crystal Trophy for Decorative glass Design 2017 from Aspire magazine. I feel touched that someone liked my work enough to nominate me but overwhelmed that I actually won. 

    ‘Kirsty's work is so unique and beautiful; there's really something for everyone. I'm thrilled that , following my nomination, my editor and MD agreed that Kirsty is a worthy winner of our Crystal Trophy for Decorative Glass Design 2017. ' Aspire Magazine 2017


    So a bit of reflecting has been going on this week, thinking that I really am creating creative things but also creating a Business Woman….yes me. Something I had never dreamed of doing but in order to follow my dream, it’s the way I needed to go. And I am learning every day and every day is ‘a school day’. I’ve made lots of decisions some good and some bad, but they’re my decisions. And that’s a great feeling.

    I received a lovely message a few weeks ago, from a friend and it really made my heart flutter:

    ‘I just wanted to get in touch to say I'm SO proud of you for everything you're doing. You're seriously talented, a brilliant business woman, and I'm loving seeing you travelling around the country with your business. Proud of you and hugely well done’ ❤ xx

    We went on take talk about taking time to reflect and appreciate how far you have come. And allow yourself to accept a pat on the back. Which seemed quite fitting at this time in my journey.

    There are lots of new works coming, foxes, frogs and dachshunds to name a few. And all will be online soon….and online in my new ecommerce all singing and dancing shopping cart via my website. I have decided to take the plunge as I am gaining plenty of website views and I think people are deterred from buying through marketplaces. So although I will still be on them but I will be selling directly too. Which I’m really praying pays off….literally!! There was a lot of additional cost once I began auctioning the page. But essential to make it work so let’s hope it does.


    I’m also very excited about some commission pieces for stained glass installations I am about to start creating now designs are all done and the go ahead has been given.

    At the end of the month I am joining The Crafters Roadshow and will be exhibiting in Silverburn shopping centre, on the 29th June.

    So things are busy and my To Do list is bursting at the seams but I’m happily working through it.

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  • Crinan Ferry, Argyll, Scotland
    07/06/2017 - Kirsty Brady 0 Comments
    Gardening With heART

    It sure has been a real busy couple of weeks here at the Studio, as I am preparing to return down south to Weston Under Wheterly. I am exhibiting there in my mums beautifully creative garden as part of The Open Gardens, National Garden Scheme. My mum is also very creative and expresses this creativity in her garden. So this weekend she is opening to the public and sharing her wonderful creation with you all. So if you are local please do come along as it’s a wonderful event. With plenty of lovely gardens to visit and inspire you. 

    Orders are coming in online, which is fantastic and I am preparing an order for Inspirations Gallery in Lytham, St Annes. A new gallery displaying my work and to be delivered soon. Other inquiries from Galleries are trickling in too, although i am not sure if they’re from The British Crafters Trade Fair, Harrogate. But I’m happy none the less! I have also been creating lots of new pieces. Some created especially for the garden show, such as Woody the Woodpecker. But others designs and ideas just seem to arrive. I feel blessed at the moment with all these new ideas and inspiration is flowing. As an artist this is like sugar running through your blood…nectar. And I’m sure enjoying it. Because like all artists,no matter what media. I too can suffer from creative block at times.

    I had a wonderful article in Aspire Magazine issue 481. And have since been nominated for an award. Which is very exciting and I feel honoured to have been put forward for it by the writers at Aspire. I will keep you all posted on how that goes.

    This week I have had a few visitors at the Studio. I opened the studio doors one morning to be welcomed by a baby blue tit. Who quite happily let me catch him, with the intention of releasing him at the door. However he didn’t want to leave and clung on quite happily to my hand, while he composed himself. During which time we began to have a little chat. Cheeping away I carried him outside, where he was reunited with his mum. I had planned on doing a piece on blue tits, after discovering they are nesting at my kitchen window…..indeed I think he may well be one of those babies. But this little fellow (now named Bobby) seemed to be giving me a little nudge to get on and create that piece. I have since had a few visits from Bobby at the Studio door.

    Then there was Susie, our red squirrel. Who I hadn’t seen for a while, but she returned to have her lunch of sunflower seeds from my window feeder. The boys, Jock and Shep ( four legged variety of boys) were most intrigued by her visit and quietly watched while she munched away.

    I have also had human visitors at the studio this week, in the hope to see my work. But sadly at present I don’t have work on display permanently, as I don’t have the space. But it’s spurred me on to get my old shed rebuilt in the garden. And now a job on the To Do list. Unfortunately not a job I have the skills for so I will need to draft some help in there…………. watch this space.  

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  • Glass Art, Box Frame Picture, Argyll
    30/05/2017 - Kirsty Brady 1 Comment
    The Dreaded TO DO List............

    A few times lately I have become a little stressed and resulting in feeling under pressure. I am a list person, I write lists for everything. I have a TO Do list for each day and a week plan. Also a year plan…….done in January and put in a draw until the following January when I can reflect on what was achieved.

    However it’s a never ending To Do list and I began to feel anxious it wasn’t going down. After having a few days rest in the sun I was able to reflect. Now I see things in a completely different light. If I had an empty To Do list, there would be nothing to do, a far worse scenario. So actually I am succeeding and not drowning under a pile of lists. As long as the items on the list change, all be it some slower movers than others, then I am succeeding. As work is ticking along and things are flowing. The trick is not allowing them to become stagnant.

    I have had several enquiries now from galleries and one definite order since The British Crafters Trade Fair…..a round of applause welcomed. However the response from the last show, Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair, has been immense. I have received many phone calls and emails with enquiries on where I will be exhibiting next. And I have also picked up by a few new events to look into. I am also in for an editorial Feature in Aspire Magazine, which is out now! So I have been busy updating my online shops. A job I have to say that isn’t one of my favourites, I would much rather be in the Studio creating. Online selling platforms are a world of the unknown to me and I struggle greatly with it but do my best. I have been accepted to sell online at Amazon Handmade but really struggling to get this all set up. Mainly due to Identity issues from moving house and all sorts of other wonderful things, leaves me to wonder if it is actually worth all the loop holes I’m having to jump. Anyone out there who has any advice on selling online , I would love to hear your thoughts, views , pointers…anything!! But I’m currently managing and actively updating Etsy andThe Made Makers. Love your thoughts as a buyer too, what platforms do you like and why? What would put you off buying? Encourage you to buy?

    Only a few weeks until I hit the road again for Weston Under Wetherley NGS open gardens. Working on some new designs to show here as well as restocking. Bees…lots of bees!!
    My beautiful garden is still full of inspiration every day, so much so I occasionally have to turn my creative brain to slow mode, as its full steam ahead and I can’t keep up. My sketch pad and camera are always at hand. I caught sight of one of our little Blue Tits nesting in the garden today. As it teetered on the edge of the nesting box debating whether or not to take flight, a moment I will be creating in my ‘Little Things’ collection.

    Right, best be getting back to it. My (NOT so Dreaded)   ‘ TO DO’   list is calling me…………………..

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  • The Handmade Fair, Warwickshire
    19/05/2017 - Kirsty Brady 1 Comment
    Home is where the heART is.........

    Well what a turnaround I have had over the last few weeks. So much has happened I don’t know where to start.

    I have been back a few days now since The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall. And am feeling overwhelmed by it but unlike my last show, in a very positive way. The people I met were so lovely and complimentary on my work and the way in which it was displayed. Including Kirstie Allsopp herself, who was very lovely and made a clear beeline to come and have a nosy at my stand. The overall event was fantastic and the organisers couldn’t do enough to ensure you were happy. Over 2500 business cards were distributed at the event and people were keen to buy even if it was a little item. Those who didn’t buy were very happy to stand and admire and I was happy to watch that smile and look of awe creep over their faces….priceless!

    So I am feeling much more positive about myself and my work and indeed in what I am doing. I feel I am back on my path and have a happy glow inside. Although exhausted from the show I feel ready to ‘strike back’. I feel like I have been refueled and eager to go. Being home and being able to reflect on it all and take it all in is a valuable process. And I have enjoyed being back in the garden seeing everything bloom in full glory and also feel like I am in bloom again too.
    Also I’m very excited to confirm my suspicions of a wee Blue Tit family nesting with us is confirmed and indeed, I will be using this as one of my ‘Little Things’ pieces.

    On my journey home from the fair I had two enquiries regarding window instillation's as well as a possible restoration project!! Amazing!! And to add fuel to the fire….today out of the blue I have been contacted by a gallery, who had seen my work at the recent ‘Trade Fair’ I attended. So this proves…..never give up hope. Keep trying and pushing and never give up on your dream, even if you take a few wrong turns on the way or a diversion from your route.

    A few marketing opportunities have come to light since the show but I’m just waiting to see how that all goes. It’s an area I need to work on, find out where I need to target and who. But like someone else quoted to me ‘Slowly, slowly catch the monkey!’ Plus there is also the fact that I simply cannot do it all at once. And now my focus is commissions and my next show. 

    Where…………….? So, I’m off toWeston under Wetherley for their NGS garden show. I am lucky to have shown here a few times now. It’s a fantastic event and I get to exhibit in my mums beautiful garden a setting that works as a beautiful addition to my work.

    Today me and my two four legged friends visited Taynish Nature Reserve to install our art piece on the sculpture trail happening there. The event has run for a few years now and is organised by Scottish Natural Heritage andArtmap Argyll. It’s a wonderful location, such a peaceful spot and perfect for an art trail. If you can I suggest you visit!!
    My instillation wasn’t plain sailing but I am overall happy with the result. It’s based on therock carvings of the local area cast in glass, capturing a moment in time. I’ve always had a fascination with the textures of the carvings and feel I have relayed it well in glass.

    So anyone out their struggling on their own creative journey, I hope this helps to inspire you to never give up your dream and keep your creative soul happy. Because if not, then what are we doing it for?

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  • Forget Me Not, Glass Art Argyll
    02/05/2017 - Kirsty Brady 2 Comments
    Capturing memories.............

    Today when I was out walking my four legged friends, I ended up going on a bit of an emotional journey. There I was not really thinking much when I spotted a wee Daisy, a small highly undervalued flower I thought. Reminded me pleasantly of my childhood making daisy chains in the fields, removing petal one by one saying 'he loves me, he loves me not' and at school with friends. This lead on to me thinking of other flowers from childhood memories particularly a Buttercup and I remember holding it up to your friends chin to see if they liked butter. 

    I thought back to as a child going over the fields with my brother and we had befriended a cow, who we had named Buttercup. She would come over to us when out walking the dog and would follow us around the field. One day my dad was with us and remembering as a child my dad getting Buttercup cuddles. But now as an adult seeing that actually Buttercup had gotten a bit over friendly. 

    Thoughts and memories change. My memory of the story very different now as an adult to how it would have been as a child. Some parts of the story faded. I am sure as a child I would remember Buttercups number on her tag hanging from her ear, her distinctive features, perhaps eye colour and probably even what I had for breakfast that morning. But I am grateful for what I do remember. 

    Sadness then creped in as I thought of those who lack memory, perhaps from an illness or trauma. Or memories of loved ones that slowly begin to fade, not as vibrant as they once had been in our minds. ……………’Forget me not’ sprang to mind.
    Not particularly feeling inspired artistically by the humble little Daisy or the glowing Buttercup but inspired by the story they led me to ‘The Forget Me Not’. And helping me realise how precious memories and moments are. 

    So my new piece will be based on ‘Collecting Memories’ and will not only include the pretty little flower but also memories and capturing them. Helping evoke the senses that help trigger us to remember. Whether it’s a smell, sound, vision or a thought using it to try and capture moments. I can’t create smells in glass, but I can vision and sound through the use of words that can be said out loud.

    So what started out as a walk on a sunny day actually took me on a bit of a journey and one that I will share with you through my creations. Also I have decided that any creations I sell with ‘The Forget Me Not’ flower on them I will donate a percentage of the sale to Alzheimer's Research UK.

    So as well as thinking .....................what am I making?

    Well, I have completed ‘Ruby Red’ my very bold stained glass piece based on a Rhododendron. I am very happy with the outcome and enjoyed using the brighter colours. Work has begun on my Magnolia panel and I am ready to start leading her together. The Lily of the Valley piece’ The Bringer of Happiness’ is cut and ready to start hand painting.

    You may have heard about the art exhibition that happens annually at Taynish Nature Reserve, organised by Scottish Natural Heritage and Artmap Argyll. I am lucky enough to be taking part again this year and have started working on my sculpture. I don’t want to give too much away, only that it will be a larger piece and a lot thicker that my normal work.
    Creations are ongoing for Kirstie Allsopp’s ‘The Handmade Fair’ next week, bees, birds, butterflies and much, much more.

    Here are few images to keep you all going:

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  • Argyll, Scotland Glass Artist Journey
    24/04/2017 - Kirsty Brady 1 Comment
    When you Can't See The Woods For The Trees............

    I am slowly finding my focus again and moving on from the Harrogate show in a positive way. I’ve begun to think differently about a lot of things. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the world. Getting out in the forest for a walk every morning, with my two four legged companions, is a fabulous way to start the day. It’s where, and when, a lot of my thoughts coalesce, and ideas form, and I get inspiration for what I would like to share. Seeing the morning light stream down through the trees bringing the forest to life.

    Last week, a lady who I haven’t met, but been chatting via Facebook over the last few weeks, wrote a lovely comment on my last Blog post. It rather stirred up my emotions, making me feel quite teary, particularly this bit:

    'I really liked your idea of The Little Things because it is our attention to those little things in life and nature that we should be noticing and celebrating. So good luck with it all and just remember that as the magnolia blossomed after a cold and dark winter to bring joy to you, so you have the same capability to spark that joy in others.’

    The bit about blossoming after a cold dark winter, prompted me to think about light, and just how important it is to my work as a glass artist. Instinctively, when I pick up a bit of seaglass lying on a beach, the first thing I do is hold it up to the sun to see the light through it, bringing the colour and texture to life. It is that light that keeps me going It’s a gut feeling, predisposition, a compulsion that makes me to do this. It’s instinctive.. And I hold on to that when things get a little dark, and never give up hope, I look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Recently we took in a new dog, he literally crossed our path, lost on a cold, dark night. He has lived with us for a few months now, at first he was very timid and wary of people, scared of his own shadow. However, this last week, he found his voice, and barked, not sure who got more of a fright him or me! It was refreshing to see, and a good example that of hope, for this beautiful creature to be in a dark place, scared and shy, to blossom and bloom, clearly more relaxed in his new environment. If he can move forward , then indeed I can too.

    Let there be light
    So staying on that positive note I have recently had some new commissions for stained glass windows. which I am really looking forward to getting started, and I have almost finished the glass tiles for a bathroom I have been working on the last few weeks.
    I am very much enjoying working on ‘The Little Things ‘collection and have begun to lead up ‘Ruby Red’ and I’ve fired some test pieces for ‘Magnificent Magnolia’
    The Kirsty Allsopps Handmade Fair is only 3 weeks away, so I’m starting to focus on work for that, I have had a few enquiries from people about the show, which has perked me up no end, and I’m looking forward to meeting new customers.
    I have released some new workshop dates, they have been well received, which is fabulous. Have a look here for more details.
    So along with spring it feels like things are beginning to flow again and I’m certainly moving forward.

    I heard this quote on the radio recently, ‘By the yard it’s hard, but by the inch it’s a cinch’, it’s has stuck in my head, resonating as it does with my current feelings. Whilst Harrogate turned out to be a giant leap in the wrong direction, it seems it was important to take that wrong path for a short time as I have discovered that I need make small stable steps built on solid foundations not giant unpredictable leaps. Which is just as well as I only have small feet and little legs!
    Having the chance to sit back and think about the experience has brought clarity. Whilst I had felt that, after all these years, it was the way to take my business, it turns out it wasn’t. So I’m sticking with what I can manage and enjoy. I am appreciating my work a whole lot more. I really enjoy focusing on creating one off, bespoke, pieces for my customers, and to be able to create beautiful, original pieces of glass to suit everyone’s budget. This is what I need to remember, not lose focus, lose my way, or my passion, to stumble and fall, but, if I do, I need to dust myself down and get on the right path again!

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  • handmade fair,a touch of glass studio, blog, restoration
    20/04/2017 - Kirsty Brady 1 Comment
    It's A Handmade Affair~

    It a Handmade affair…………

    The Beginners workshop at the weekend went fantastically well, and some beautiful panels were produced. I am always amazed by the diversity of the designs. That’s the workshop weekends finished for now so I need to sit down with the diary and see when I can fit some more in, as they have been so popular. I get just as much enjoyment from the workshops as the students do. So I am thinking of offering single day workshops, a simpler design, smaller in size so that is can be finished in a day.
    There is so much going on in nature just now, it’s giving me plenty of inspiration. The other day I was out in the garden and was struck by the beauty of a gorgeous red rhododendron in bloom.. Its bold colour and the wonderful formations of flower heads, has inspired a new piece. This is quite a departure from my normal style and colour, which if you know my work tend towards very soft hues, pastel colours, so this is a bold statement piece, using colours that put me a little out of my comfort zone. But sometimes this is a good thing, and I’m certainly happy with how it is going. The pieces are cut and been painted and are currently in the kiln. I hope they survive as I have had 2 power failures today!!
    Other Events:
    I am very excited and really looking forward to my next retail show. I’m heading to Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, for Kirstie Allsopp’s ‘Handmade Fair’ . I will get to show some of my new work, it will be a lovely environment and its retail so I’ll meet lovely people this time too! Therefore my thoughts are turning to this…what will people like to see? Buy? What might their budget be? These are questions you need to ask when doing this kind of event and never really know the answers to until you are there and experiencing it. Especially when it’s an event you haven’t done before.

    What else have I been up to?
    Sadly, although if I’m honest, not unexpectedly, I haven’t had any contact from the galleries at The British Craft Trade Fair, and I’m not really too sure what my next steps are with that, so I’m it to the back of my mind and not allowing it to cloud the good things that have been going on.
    In the last few months my studio bench has been filled with two panels in need of restoration and love. Some pieces needed to be colour matched and replaced, some broken pieces need to be reinstated with matching hand painted pieces using traditional painting techniques. Both panels needed to be completely re leaded. When working on pieces like these you’re working with it completely flat and you don’t see the true beauty of the piece until the light passes through it when it’s finished then it shines in all its beauty and comes alive. Finally, after months of working on these panels, I delivered them at the weekend. The client was delighted and, I have to say, so was I. When we held them up in place, back in the big old door where they belong, they looked stunning. I felt overcome with emotion. To see something that had been so sad, broken, and dull, now shining, and glowing, and knowing that I had done this it was a very proud moment.
    I am still having days where things are difficult, and frustrating as there is so much I want to do and make, but I must hold back until I can order new materials. However, I can enjoy my makers journey again, taking time to reflect has certainly helped and writing down ideas and sketching out designs for use in the future is bringing me much joy.

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  • Magnolia, Stained Glass, Argyll, The Little Things
    17/04/2017 - Kirsty Brady 0 Comments
    Designer,Maker, Creator

    As a self-employed person you have many hats. By which I mean job roles. I got thinking about this when updating myLinkedIn profile. ‘Skills’, well, I am not JUST an artist. Running my own creative business I am the accountant, receptionist, administrator, photographer, teacher, stock controller, marketing director, sales representative, events manager, website designer, graphic designer…………..the list goes on! 

    So I am not only the designer, maker and creator and, if I’m totally honest, sometimes my brain gets tired, thinking and planning everything, then I want to stick my head in the sand When all I want to do is make and create! Not the other ‘stuff’ that comes with running my own business. Then this week I was reminded why I am doing it. Perfect timing when I’m feeling a little lost on my journey.

    I was asked if I would I help out in a wee Bistro, The Smiddy, in Lochgilphead -they make great Macaroni by the way, and their salads are a mini works of art on a plate. Anyway, I was in there for two days helping out where I used to work. Ironically this is where my journey began as I worked here on leaving school, my first job before I went off to study Glasswork in Glasgow. A long time ago now and it made me think about just how far I have come. It was a gentle reminder that I would swap the days of ‘Are you ready to order…?’ for what I am doing now, every time.

    Thriving on the boost that came from that, finishing some other work, and creating space in my Studio for new things. I began to think about ‘The Little Things’ collection

    New Work!!
    I am embracing and absorbing all the natural inspiration around me. It’s a beautiful time of year, seeing everything blossom and come to life is mirroring new ideas and growth in my work. Before I left to go to the Harrogate show, the Magnolia tree in my garden had just begun to open. I was scared I was going to miss it….but thankfully when I returned it was still in full bloom. And my, it is stunning, the scent is the softest perfume wafting on the breeze. This was a moment to cherish and I knew straight away it was to be the inspiration for the first series in the collection.

    ‘The Little Things~ Magnificent Magnolia’

    I plan to make a few items using different techniques from designs inspired by photographs I have taken. The first design, which I have just finished today, is for a leaded panel. I’m really looking forward to making this piece. I will be creating all the petals by adding colour to the base glass then kiln firing. Then I will lead all the pieces together to create a panel. I worked on the drawing today and now have the design template ready to start next week, but first I have a Beginners workshop this weekend. I genuinely enjoy teaching people how to make a simple lead panel. It’s so satisfying to help the students create the glass version of their paper and paint designs and very rewarding seeing their pleasure and sense of achievement at the end of the two days.
    I feel I am helping to spread the awareness of a traditional, skilled craft, aiding the understanding of the techniques used to create a leaded window panel. This can help people to appreciate stained glass windows in other settings, for example their own front door or in local churches, and to value renovation, or maybe commission a bespoke piece or, perhaps, to inspire a future glass artist! I will be sure to share their creations with you!

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  • A Touch of Glass Studio, Blog, Glass Art, Argyll
    11/04/2017 - Kirsty Brady 1 Comment
    Big Fish..........Little Fish

    Big Fish…..Little Fish

     So “Why did I do it?” I hear you ask. Well after years of building up the courage to work solely for myself I bit the bullet and did It at the start of this year. “What do I need?’ Yes capital. It was the means to the end I guess to try and get me where I felt I needed to go. As yet hasn’t nothing delivered. I am told not to fear as the reward from attending these shows can take as long as 6 months. I am awaiting with a little hope. Maybe a couple of small independent Galleries may well get in touch yet.

    I have gone out and tried to get funding, being told I am not a big fish and neither a small fish. Seems I am an intermediate fish. I guess more of a trout, than a minnow or a swordfish. What I mean by this is, there is lots of help out there for start-up and very small businesses. Support there for the big buck high flyers but seems to be a hole in the net for businesses such as mine. And I swim through it. I guess it was my attempt to sew the hole

    With no capital and out of pocket, not deterred I battle on. Driven even more by all of your lovely messages of support. I really feel quite humbled, the response has been huge. I thank you all for this. Today I have followed up contact with a few Galleries from the show,, Staying positive.

    My big buck is the dreaded ‘Sale or Return’. For any of you unfamiliar of this term it’s basically supplying outlets with your work without them buying it. Hope it sells, they take their commission and you hopefully get paid. A cash flow nightmare for small businesses. Be great if I could ask my suppliers if I can have my materials now and pay in 6 weeks’ time when I get paid from what I make. There seems to be more and more galleries going down this line of ‘Trading’. My experience of this is very damaging a, perhaps due to my own naivety.

    A few years back I gave a gallery a ‘lot’ of work on “Sale or Return”. They sold it! Yay! …..sadly, then went into liquidation and I got….not a penny. Thousands of pounds of work gone and nothing! Hence to say I find it hard to trust.
    Minimum order? Yes this is how I’m trying to operate. It’s just £80 so I’m not a high risk to galleries. They can take a little nibble of my work before committing to a big bite…………Let’s see if they do.

    The quote above I hope makes you think, my mum sent me this on my way home from the fair. Made me smile again

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  • The British craft Trade Fair, My Art Blog, Glass art, Studio
    09/04/2017 - Kirsty Brady 5 Comments
    So..............what now..........?

    Welcome, I have decided to share my experiences as a self-employed Artist with you. This has come to me after attending a show last week. A show which I had put a great deal of time and finance into, but not only that, I had invested part of me too. And things didn’t quite…..well let’s say…they didn’t go to plan.

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  • stained glass restoration Argyll, Glass art
    22/02/2017 - Kirsty Brady 0 Comments
    Giving an old traditional panel a new lease of life...............

    Today I have been cleaning pieces of a beautiful old panel.  Then continued with re leading it all back together, next I will need to re paint and kiln fire some of the broken pieces.  Ready to also be re leaded...its a lovely job seeing it slowly come back to life. 

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  • stained glass courses workshop argyll
    14/02/2017 - Kirsty Brady 11 Comments
    Our Beginners Stained Glass Workshop

    We ate, we drank,we laughed and we made!!

       What a fantastic first group I had attend my first stained glass beginners workshop.  We had such a giggle and the results were fantastic.  I am  not sure who enjoyed it more?  The panels were designed and made solely by them over two days.With some very different but equally beautiful results.

    'A huge thank you to A Touch of Glass studio for an amazing weekend. I had no idea that it was possible for me to create something like this. But with endless talent, and phenomenal patience may I add, Kirsty was able to guide me through the thouroughly rewarding process.
    I urge anyone who wants to learn something new to book a place on the courses and to give it a go!'

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  • Stained Glass Workshops, Argyll, A touch of glass studio, kirsty brady
    02/02/2017 - Kirsty Brady 0 Comments

    So January has come and gone but has been a very busy month here at A Touch of Glass Studio.  We are now pleased to announce we are just about workshop ready and look forward to meeting some like mind creatives!

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