Hip hip hip hooray! So I thought it was a good time to take a photo of Little Beach Boutique in the sunshine (and show off our new sign). You can also see some of our gorgeous wedding gifts, such as our Mr & Mrs Garland and our handmade personalised children’s room signs, made in Brighton.
And this is Dylan the dog sun bathing. He comes down to the shop with me every day and loves to greet each customer. He also likes chasing the seagulls when there’s a discarded bag of fish and chips on the beach.
Let’s hope the sun lasts this time!
Suzanne blogs from her shop and workspace, Little Beach Boutique, in the Artist’s Quarter on Brighton Seafront. You can see more of her handmade gifts from Brighton and beyond here:
Despite it being June, the weather has become a fuzzy fog for the last few days, but that didn’t dampen my enjoyment of a Great British seaside break in Camber Sands with my sister and my dog this week. We got a dog friendly two night deal at a beautifully transformed former motel called the Gallivant, situated within a stone’s throw of beautiful sandbanks which lead down to a 5 mile stretch of sandy coastline.
I just love what the owners have done to transform the former motel into a beautiful boutique hotel perfectly in tune with it’s seaside location. I felt instantly inspired by the beautiful wall-art and sculpture made from glass and driftwood – I had to take some pictures for my blog! Reclaimed wood, re-used metal and glass have been used alongside pebbles from the beach to create a really striking, contemporary feel throughout the reception and restaurant.
The seaside theme continued into the rooms, which were decorated with some beautiful coastal touches – perfect decor ideas for a room by the sea, such as this coffee table made from re-claimed wood, which has been roughly whitewashed to create a distressed effect, and seashells and fishing rope from the beach have been capped with glass.
It was the perfect base for a walk on the beach and a wander around the local nature preserve. We indulged in a rudimentary spot of bird-watching before taking a short drive to Rye, a stunning little town filled with teashops, galleries, handmade gift shops, pebbled streets and wonky tudor cottages steeped in history.
We left plenty of time to go wine-tasting in two local vineyards; Chapel Down in Tenterton and Biddenden in Benenden, and bought a bottle of English rose to take home.
We got back in time to enjoy some afternoon sunshine and sample something from each course in the amazing restaurant at the Gallivant. They pride themselves on local produce – all the fish were caught freshly by a local fisherman called Russell. I had their fish pie, which was incredible. Luckily, there was plenty of space to share a chocolate fondue with homemade marshmellow. Mmmm.
Well, it was a wonderful way to experience some of the best of British seaside – beautiful beaches, warm hospitality, inspiring interiors, handicraft, local food and wine….and a good run around for my dog.
This week at Little Beach Boutique I have been making glass Sailing Boat tiles and I thought I’d show my readers how they’re made, using this piece (pictured below) as an example.
Fused Glass Boat Tiles – Layering Glass to go into the kiln
I love seaside hues and pastel tones and think they are perfect for a bright and breezy piece like this.
I use Bullseye Glass, as their colour range is fantastic. For these boats I have chosen Turquoise and Lilac ‘Opalescent’ Glass, which is opaque, holds it’s colour well and stands out against any background.
First of all, cut out the boat shapes with a glass cutter- – it can be a bit tricky as the glass is brittle. I’ve gone for quite simplified geometric shapes but you can be as elaborate as you like!
I have used a clear piece f 3mm ‘Tekta’ as a base and I’ve cut this piece to 6 x 4 inches. Straight onto this piece, I have placed a piece of Copper leaf. It is very thin and quite fiddly, but cut it so that the edges don’t quite meet the edge of the glass. When it is fired it goes a beautiful blue colour and produces small bubbles for a wonderful watery effect.
Now – the magic dust! Sprinkle small amounts of bicarbonate of soda carefully. I use this loads in my glass, as I love bubbles – it adds texture and tactility and continues the watery theme. Tiny pinches will produce lovely bubbles, but too much will cause the bubbles to burst, so use no more than about 2mm lumps.
Then place a second piece of clear tekta glass straight over this. It will trap air which tries to escape when the glass is heated and expands to cause bubbles. On top on that, layer the boats, as shown below.
Once the boats are arranged where you want them, you can add detail and texture to the glass. Here, I have cut curves into a 2mm piece of turquoise glass, to form ‘waves’ ad then sprinkled a mixture of fine frit and powdered glass which I have mixed up with broken ‘stringers’ and dichroic glass for added sparkle. The colours I have used are Opaque White, Turquoise and Clear Dichroic frit in various forms. Just sprinkle freely on top.
You might want to add some detail to your boats – I have used an enamel pen to draw on them. You could add names or number if you like.
Then, FIRE it!! This piece has been fired to 780*C. You’ll get a lovely effect in areas where there are slightly larger amounts of bicarbonate of soda, with white frit scattered on top, like this picture….
Made from fused glass – sailing boat wave panel
When it has finished cooling, you can use this tile as a coaster, slump into a dish, or make a beautiful piece of glass wall art by framing it. You could also stamp it with your favourite phrase, like I have done here.
That’s it for now! I’d love to hear about your experiences if you have tried to make something like this. All pieces can be viewed in my shop or on my website www.littlebeachboutique.com.