About

Leo and Beth are a husband-and-wife team of boardgame and computer geeks, miniature enthusiasts and child-wranglers living in the West Midlands

Leo

Unbridled joy of a Boy and a Beach

I am a middle-aged father of two rambunctious boys living in the middle of the West Midlands, with my heart on the North Cornwall coast.

I’ve always loved glass and found the whole process of its manufacture completely fascinating, taking grains of sand and creating a solid; colouring and shaping it into functional vessels and beautiful pieces of art. I remember a particular piece of my dads, a squat lentil-shaped vase with milky white veins through it that I would pick up and turn in my hands, looking at the shapes and patterns and feeling the heft and weight of it. I used to have an enormous collection of marbles of many different sizes, colours and finishes and yes, like every small boy my age I, did try to take the twist of colour out of one.

When I moved up to my home near Stourbridge, my wife and in-laws were happy to tell me the history of the area, and some of its importance in the history of glass making through the years and around the world.

Entranced Glass began in March 2022 when my wife found out that you did not need tens of thousands and a huge workshop with massive furnaces and years of training in order to work with glass. Instead, with a relatively inexpensive gas torch and a few essential safety items one can melt glass of many different colours and types and form it into shapes and patterns. I started out by forming beads on a gas-only torch but soon upgraded to a gas/oxygen flame which burns hotter, cleaner and much quieter and allows the artist to bring the special qualities of some types of glass out. It also allows me to use Borosilicate glass, the type used to make glass cookware for your oven – Pyrex is probably the best known brand.

Me with Melody, my Bethlehem Alpha torch

Using Borosilicate (or Boro for short) essentially enables my work in miniatures and sculpture. It is far more tolerant of heating and cooling than so-called “soft glass” so I can spend longer forming the shapes. It is also a good deal stiffer which reduces the probability of the work collapsing as the glass moves around. The colour palette is not quite as broad or subtle as soft glass but there is still more than enough for my needs. Before I was able to use Boro, I was becoming frustrated with working miniature and had almost given up hope of being able to do so.

Dragonfly Sculpture

I keep a little “soft glass” for my continued work with beads and sea-glass items. Sea-glass is that lovely rounded and frosted glass you find on the beach sometimes. I collect it from the beach at Trevone Bay while I am on holiday, wash and dry it then encase it in soft glass. The tiny pits caused by the abrasive action of the sea and sand trap air, so the encased glass appears surrounded by bubbles. Sea-glass is not a ‘natural’ item, and so may be removed from UK beaches – it’s litter-picking. There are some notable exceptions around the world where the glass forms part of the beaches heritage and is protected (Glass Beach, Fort Bragg in California for example).

Beth

In my element

Full time wife and mother, part time miniaturist and lover of board games and TCGs, one of my earliest memories of the miniatures world was the Brighton Pavilion being shown on Blue Peter by Mulvany and Rogers. I soon had my own small town house that my dad helped me build from a set of plans. This small house passed to my daughter and has come full circle back to me for my next project.

I trained as an animator as computer modelling was just coming to be available to the end user, so my courses included some detail and training on this. I have kept up my art skills and I have also kept abreast of the technological advances in 3D modelling.

The process of creating a miniature piece starts in my head, and the first job is getting it out of there and onto the computer. Modelling even a simple piece on the computer can take a week, with larger and more complex sculptures taking much longer.

Once I am happy with the model, it is exported to a file that the 3D printer can read, and I create a test print. It is extremely rare that this first print works as I intended to especially if its formed of multiple parts, so there is usually at least one more round of tweaking the model and running a test print.

I will use the best test print to decide on a colour sceme to use. I’ve usually got some idea of what I want it to be when I am modelling it, but the first time I can get paint onto it is when it really starts to come to life.

Painting each piece is a painstaking process. The 3D printer only simplifies a little of the workload, it can’t produce a finished item! Its hard to estimate how much time a piece will take when I first create it so I will start to get a feel for how long it will take here. The larger Tiffany-style lamps for example take a full day of painting as each layer of colour needs to dry before I can apply the next.

The final piece is varnished to bring the shine back and give it the appearance of glass

Painting a Pond lamp

I especially love to create new and different things. Although much of my current work is in the style of Tiffany, I cannot of course reproduce their designs for sale, as they are copyright so each piece is designed from the ground up.

I was surprised to find at a recent show that there is a great demand for stained-glass panelled doors. The panels are modelled and painted in the same way as my lamps and the woodwork created from several layers of laser-cut wood. I’m hoping to be able to create standard-sized panels for simple insertion into mass produced doors (such as the Dolls House Emporium pieces).

Barcelona shop-front with stained and etched glass

I have also produced some Moorcroft-style vases. Mum collects Moorcroft so I’ve been around it all my life and I have been pleased with the results I can get. I hope to create more of these for sale in the near future

Moorcroft Style 12th scale vases

Thank you for reading, we’re happy to welcome you here. If you want to know more about our work please feel free to contact us using the form above. We are also able and willing to accept commissions – if you find full-sized glassware you wish you could shrink, or you need stained glass effect panelling for your front door please get in touch