YOUTH MATTERS Kelly Wickham...Learning to be crafty with a glass class

When my cousin first asked me to attend a glass fusion course with her, I was slightly perplexed at what on earth it was!

Having researched the craft online, I found out it was a technique used to join pieces of different glass together by partly melting it at high temperatures.

On the first lesson, a very bubbly lady introduced herself as Kate, our teacher, and briefly showed us the basics. Then she pointed at boxes full of broken glass and off we went!

Using a miniature pizza-cutter type tool, you simply score along the pieces of glass where you want to cut it and then snap it apart. Next you layer up pieces and gently stick them together with PVA glue, and then fire it in a kiln. To me, this seemed like it might be just a novelty art.

However, we were free to make whatever we liked on practically any scale. For lesson one I opted for quantity and made around 10-15 experimental miniature pieces which later I have adapted into necklaces and brooches.

The excitement was waiting for the next class in order to discover how the pieces had turned out, after being melted in the kilns.

Since the first attempt, I have made some unusual items. The creativity is endless with mixing pastel coloured-paper, strips of copper, patterned transfers, thin wire and a variety of types of glass together. Layering a huge assortment of colours and materials is always exciting, as the outcome is never the same.

The colours range throughout the rainbow and the textures from glittery to transparent. The best part is knowing all my coasters, jewellery and bowls I have made are completely original and can never be replicated, making perfect handmade, personalised gifts.