My husband Chris Dodd and I (Justine) run Cariad Glass in Llandysul and 2019 is an important year for us! It’s the studio’s ten year anniversary this year, a whole decade since the start of Cariad Glass, a traditional stained glass studio specialising in tuition, commission and restoration work.
During that time, we’ve seen lots of changes – we moved to a much larger studio space five years ago, and with this new space came the opportunity to teach the fascinating art of stained glass to small classes of enthusiastic pupils.
The demand for a ‘hands on’ experience
As well as being a practical day of learning new skills and taking home a beautiful piece of stained glass or mosaic at the end of the day, classes serve another really important purpose.
I have been organising the classes since we started teaching 4 years ago, and we’ve noticed a huge upturn in people wanting to have an ‘experience’.
It is so rewarding to teach mums and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters, work colleagues and friends as well as individual pupils – we really have noticed that lots of people who come to our courses do so because they want to have a ‘hands on’ experience, and all of them come away feeling fulfilled and excited at what they have achieved.
When you are absorbed in a new craft experience, your worries and troubles really do melt away – what we notice about the classes is the wonderful bonding that takes place during the day!
Pupils enjoy looking at the progress that other people are making during the day, and the euphoric feeling of that first glimpse of seeing your work with the daylight streaming through is really special.
We really look forward to teaching – we never know who will walk through the door, and we really do enjoy learning about the everyday lives that our pupils lead, as this helps us understand what they are hoping to achieve during the day.
We’ve taught other crafts people, teachers, members of the police, hairdressers, photographers, office workers, carers, musicians, students, retirees and everyone in between – and the beauty of the day long course is that everyone has their own particular reason for wanting to take a day for themselves.
It’s the job of Chris and I to put our pupils at ease, to reassure them, nurture them throughout and to help them have a memorable day with us.
Taking time for ourselves
We work incredibly hard – with a growing commission waiting list, and classes filling at record speed, it would be easy for us to work, work, work without a break!
But, we recognise that it’s important to take time for ourselves too – Chris plays bass in the widely recognised cover band Backtrax, this gives him another creative outlet. I enjoy riding my horse Rosie, and we really enjoy spending time with our teenage children, exploring the local countryside on foot with our three dogs and visiting the magnificent Welsh beaches.
Connect with us
If you’d like to learn more about Cariad Glass, visit our website, Facebook or Instagram pages – stained glass is incredibly photogenic and so there’s always something different going on in the studio.
You are welcome to visit the studio too, but do ring if making a special trip, just to make sure somebody is there to meet you.
Book an experience
And of course, if you fancy trying your hand at Make a Mosaic or Stained Glass in a Day, do it! Gift vouchers are also available for the courses, so if you are looking for a unique gift for a loved one, we’ve got you covered.
Courses run March to October, and demand is always high – check our course page for availability, price and booking information.
This story is part of the Life Seeker newspaper