Glass jewellery and polymer clay holiday

South West, Gascony, France

8 days from
per person
£1,289

Average user rating

Holiday Itinerary

Perfect the art of jewellery making on this 7 night jewellery making holiday with talented artist Caroline using glass and polymer clay all set in a beautiful 19th century farmhouse sitting in 50 acres of countryside, ensuring your holiday is a relaxing haven.

Unleash your creative side and learn to make your own beautiful pieces of jewellery using glass and polymer clay. This holiday is the perfect introduction to working with these wonderful materials.

Polymer clay has been around from the early 1930’s but really only took off as a crafting and jewellery making medium in the 1970’s. From being known primarily as a kids modelling toy, it’s a medium that is really coming into its own for serious jewellery makers and designers. The Racine Museum of Art in Wisconsin has just taken on a permanent collection of truly amazing polymer clay work, and you can now find pieces commanding high prices in top galleries.

With expert tuition from your talented tutor Caroline, you’ll learn the art of jewellery making in the well-equipped studio and will design and make exquisite jewellery to take home with you at the end of your trip.

As well as making jewellery, you’ll also learn all about the wonders of working with glass. Learn to make your own beautiful glass jewellery and small pieces. Caroline will begin with an introduction to glass fusing, including cutting skills and basic techniques. This course is suitable for complete beginners so don't worry if you have never tried anything like this before! You will be amazed at the beautiful pieces you make to take home with you at the end of your trip.

Stay in a stunning renovated farmhouse in the glorious region of Gascony in South West of France with its own swimming pool and 50 acres of land. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind and your hosts Adam and Caroline will be on hand at all times to ensure your stay is as enjoyable as possible. There are also no single supplements for solo travellers, making this a fantastic holiday for singles.

Who is it suitable for?
- This glass and jewellery making holiday is suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced
- Minimum age 18
- Your hosts and tutors speak English and French, and lessons will be taught in English

I'm travelling solo - can I join?
- These holidays make great singles holidays as there are no single supplements and you will have your own private room for no additional cost
- There is a discount for 2 people travelling together and sharing a room, please see the 'Costing and extras' tab for more details

When can I start?
- This course starts on Saturdays and runs on set dates year round
- Courses run for 7 nights/8 days
- If you can’t find the date you want, we can request additional dates so please email us on hello@golearnto.com and we’ll check availability for your preferred day of arrival

Typical itinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:

Day 1: Arrival day
- Arrive at Agen train station in the afternoon to be greeted by your friendly hosts before being driven to the farmhouse where your holiday will begin (airport collections can be arranged upon request for a supplement-please see the costing and extras tab for more details)
- Settle into your delightful room before getting to know your fellow students over delicious aperitifs
- Enjoy a social evening with a 3 course gourmet dinner served in the farmhouse kitchen along with a short introduction from your hosts about what to expect over the next few days

Day 2: Glass cutting; using glass frits, powders, and moulds
- This morning after breakfast you will go to a local delightful village market to explore the area to discuss your first project designs with the rest of the group and your tutor Caroline
- You will then return home to begin your first jewellery making class
- Today you will begin with an introduction to glass fusing, including cutting skills and technical information
- Caroline will teach you the basic techniques with using glass to give you maximum freedom to develop your own designs
- Throughout the day you will experiment with glass, glass frits and powders, and using moulds
- The course will encourage you to think creatively about how the jewellery will be worn and you will be shown how to create holes and fittings incorporated as part of the fused piece and will also experiment with attaching fittings and bails
- Late afternoon you will visit a beautiful chateau famous for its aperitifs and wines for an afternoon of wine tasting
- Dinner will be served back at the farmhouse giving you time to relax in the lounge or by the swimming pool firstly, or to take advantage of one of the onsite activities such as table tennis or cycling

Day 3: Taster of lampworking and layering glass fusing pieces
- After a leisurely breakfast, you will learn to make your first glass bead or glass earrings using the technique of a torch
- Lunch will be served by the pool or in the farmhouse kitchen with views of the countryside all around to help inspire your creative side
- After lunch,  you will continue to improve your glass skills including assembly, inclusions, kiln firing and slumping techniques. You will gain confidence in choosing colours and designs to make your own unique glass pieces
- Early evening, you will visit a family run Armagnac distillery (which Gascony is famous for) and learn how it is made and the history behind it and, more importantly, tasting the Armagnac and local produce
- A 3 course gourmet meal will then be served back at the farmhouse kitchen accompanied with local delicious wines
- Caroline and Adam will also be happy to suggest activities in the area during your stay

Day 4: Free day
- Today is a free day for you to spend at your leisure
- Choose to spend more time perfecting your glass fusing techniques and working on your jewellery in the studio, or take time to relax by the swimming pool with a good book
- All meals are included today, and enjoy a well-earned rest before your cookery experience begins!

Day 5: Polymer clay; making canes, bead making, textures
- This morning after breakfast you will go to a local delightful village market to explore the area to discuss your first project designs with the rest of the group and your tutor Caroline
- You will then return home to begin your first jewellery making class
- Today you will begin with an introduction to polymer clay, including practical and technical information
- Caroline will teach you the basic techniques with using polymer clay to give you maximum freedom to develop your own designs
- Throughout the day you will experiment with polymer clay, making canes and looking at surface design techniques
- The course will encourage you to think creatively about how the jewellery will be worn and students will be shown how to create holes and fittings incorporated as part of the finished piece and will also experiment with attaching fittings and bails
- Late afternoon you will visit a beautiful chateau famous for its aperitifs and wines for an afternoon of wine tasting
- Dinner will be served back at the farmhouse giving you time to relax in the lounge or by the swimming pool firstly, or to take advantage of one of the onsite activities such as table tennis or cycling

Day 6: Making cuffs
- After a leisurely breakfast, you will learn to make your first polymer cuff using skills learnt from the previous day
- Lunch will be served by the pool or in the farmhouse kitchen with views of the countryside all around to help inspire your creative side
- After lunch, you will finish your cuff ready to be worn
- You will gain confidence in choosing colours and designs to make your own unique polymer pieces
- Early evening, you will visit a family run Armagnac distillery (which Gascony is famous for) and learn how it is made and the history behind it and, more importantly, tasting the Armagnac and local produce
- A 3 course gourmet meal will then be served back at the farmhouse kitchen accompanied with local delicious wines
 
Day 7: Day group excursion
- Relax with a delicious breakfast this morning before heading out on a fun excursion for the day
- Today you’ll enjoy an excursion to a location of your choice!
- Your hosts will take you to either Dune de Pila, Bordeaux city, the Pyrenees mountains or Biarritz, depending on the groups preferences
- Explore the stunning scenery and relax on your final day, and enjoy lunch whilst you out
- This evening you’ll return home for your final dinner, where you’ll reflect on the week and how much you have learnt

Day 8: Departure day
- After breakfast, guests are asked to check out by 10am
- You are welcome to relax and enjoy some free time if your flight is not until later in the day, before being taken to the airport or train station for your return journey
- You will return home with fantastic memories, fabulous cookery skills, beautiful unique glass jewellery and memories and new skills to last you a lifetime

About your tutor
- Your friendly and enthusiastic tutor is Caroline, who has been a qualified jewellery teacher for over 20 years and has experience in setting up and running training centres teaching practical skills
- She is a senior instructor in both PMC and Art Clay and has experience in using a wide range of clays
- Her love for teaching is reinforced every time a student looks in wonder at what they have designed and created themselves
- Caroline is passionate about jewellery and creative design, and she will be on hand at all times to assist you and help you to create beautiful jewellery
- Caroline’s husband Adam will also be happy to suggest activities in the area and will be cooking delicious gourmet meals during your stay

What will I learn?
Glass sessions
- You will learn the fundamentals of working with glass, and gain a greater understanding of what the product is and the different types of glass forms
- Work with different glass forms including frits, powders, and sheet glass
- How to use a range of machines such as the kiln and torch burner to achieve different effects
- How to unleash your creative side and design your own jewellery
- How to use glass to create images
- Make glass earrings and pendants
- Cutting and layering techniques
- Influence your glass designs using nature, such as colours and inclusions
- Take home beautiful unique jewellery to be proud of, and skills which will last you a lifetime

Polymer clay and cuff making  sessions
- You will learn the fundamentals of working with precious metal clay, art clay etc and gain a greater understanding of what the product is and the different types of metal clay
- Work with different clays including bronze clays
- How to use a range of machines such as the kiln and torch burner to achieve different effects
- How to unleash your creative side and design your own jewellery
- How to use semi-precious stones and beads
- Make hollow forms such as fine silver classic French ball earrings
- Syringe work with bronze
- Influence your fine silver designs using nature, such as leaves and twigs
- Fingerprint jewellery to set prints of loved ones in fine silver
- Take home beautiful unique jewellery to be proud of, and skills which will last you a lifetime

Where will I be staying?
- You will stay in the beautiful Baron Figres, a 150 year old farmhouse in the lovely Gascony countryside with a renovated gite attached
- The farmhouse has been renovated to a high standard combining natural features with modern touches
- The farmhouse has 3 twin/double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms
- There is a large, homey kitchen in the farmhouse which has a table that can seat 14 people
- There is a beautiful gite attached to the farmhouse which has 2 twin/double ensuite bedrooms with sweeping views of the countryside
- Downstairs there is a spacious living area with satellite TV and music system, perfect for relaxing evenings
- There is a fully equipped kitchen which guests are welcome to use
- Outside there is a BBQ terrace and the farmhouse boasts its own private outdoor swimming pool (12m x 6m, May-September)
- The farmhouse is surrounded by 50 acres of meadows and woodlands
- Accommodation is included for 7 nights/8 days
- There are no single supplements for solo travellers and you will automatically have your own private bedroom for no extra charge
- Check in any time after 4pm on day 1 and check out by 10am on day 8

Restricted mobility access
Please find below some information regarding the accommodation and location of the holiday which may be useful when deciding if this is the right holiday for you; should you have an further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help
- We generally do not recommend this location for those with restricted mobility
- The holiday is based in the countryside, and does include some walking
- The accommodation has no bedrooms or bathrooms on the ground floor, therefore one must be comfortable with stairs

Are meals included?
- All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and refreshments (wine, tea, coffee etc) are included for this course
- You will eat the delicious meals you have cooked for dinner on your cookery days
- The school use fresh, local produce where possible
- If you have dietary requests these must be communicated to us at the time of booking, vegetarians can catered for

What can I do in my free time?
- During your free time, there is plenty to do at your farmhouse accommodation including relaxing by the heated swimming pool (May-September)
- The school offers a range of extracurricular activities onsite which are free of charge including table tennis, basketball, shooting, archery, cycling and board games to name a few!
- There are numerous fêtes, music festivals and exhibitions in the surrounding areas through the year and your host Caroline will be happy to advise you during your stay
- The closest towns are Nérac and Condom, and your host will be happy to suggest activities and transport should you wish to explore these during your stay