Art · Old Hall Gallery

Art students receive prizes and praise from The Cowbridge Arts Group

Cowbridge Comprehensive School held their annual Art exhibition at the Old Hall which was well received by members of the public who commented on the very high standard of the work displayed. As usual, The Cowbridge Arts Group very kindly judged the pieces and awarded the winners with certificates and cheques.

This year, the students chose their own personal projects following a foundation phase in school, including organised workshops and visits to galleries which always result in a varied collection.

Our prize winners were as follows:Cowbridge Art

First prize: Samantha Phelps. Sam chose a subject close to her heart (her Grandad’s vintage and classic motorcycle collection) as her personal project. As well as an interest in art, Sam also enjoys music and drama which will stand her in good stead with her chosen career of production design.

Second prize: Olivia Davies. Olivia chose family portraits (in particular her younger sister) as her personal project and is applying to higher education courses in illustration.

Third prize: Libby Williams. Libby chose printmaking and etching of local structures and landscapes as her personal project. She has applied to higher education courses in architecture.

We wish them all the very best of luck for the future, and our thanks goes to the Cowbridge Arts Group for their continued support.

Well done to all!

Art · Old Hall Gallery

exhibition of art works

nickby Nick Davies

“My arts practice is informed by nature and therefore it is my aim to look at re-integrating nature into art through capturing the energy and rhythm of the natural world. The consideration for a new exhibition is to further explore transience and renewal in nature through the passing of time.

In wishing to represent an evolving landscape, it is my aim to communicate its essence through transcribing changing patterns revealed from reflected water patterns, dappled light, casting of shadows, and the intrinsic mysteries associated with the imprint of time.

Layer upon layer; a combination of digital media transposed over subtle transparencies, paintings depicting the flow waterfalls, shadow drawings and white sculptural forms representing rolling pebbles turning with the ebb and flow of tides. It is with this combination of traditional and new technologies that the exhibition seeks to draw attention to the more physical aspects of fragility and strength in the natural world….…”

at the Old Hall (Adult Education Centre), Cowbridge High Street

from Monday 4th September – Friday 27th September 2017



The Great Upholstery Hammerdown

What a fabulous day. Judith is a brilliant tutor with a relaxed and generous style. Her knowledge of furniture, wood and materials was fascinating and encyclopaedic . (I did not know that pure wool is 80% fire retardant).

Everyone brought a different item (we all agreed that we had all embarked on the course with a specific project in mind). They were all very different and all told a story. Layers of fabric were peeled back, dust from 100 years ago was released, and the stuffing from Kevin’s dining room chairs brought back the smell of his childhood.

No one felt rushed and there were plenty of tools and materials available. The venue was light, airy and perfect. There was homemade cake, and coffee and an electric stapler which was just dangerous enough to make you feel as if you were wielding a chainsaw…
Slowly but surely we all hammered, pinned, sewed and tapped our way to the transformation of our dearly loved furniture. It was amazing therapy!

It was marvellous value for money – any additional materials were of a reasonable cost. The covering for my piano stool cost £3 from a charity shop so I was chuffed to bits. It was great to go home and feel a great sense of relaxation and achievement … although sitting on the ‘what feels and looks like a new one’ piano stool is not allowed …yet! I am so proud of it … never did I think I would achieve so much in one day ….

By Julie Brown


What’s in your Button Box

Funky or Vintage Up-cycled JewelleryJewellery 4

Have you ever wondered what to do with your old beaded necklaces – old fashioned, broken, or just not ‘you’? Don’t throw them away, be creative and make them into something beautiful, funky or vintage. Kate designs her own up-cycled jewellery using bits and pieces found from charity shops or from the bottom of her button box.

Kate has been teaching jewellery making for many years, but the idea of up cycling goodies she finds is a relatively new idea. With a very good eye for colour and texture, Kate will work with you to make thoroughly beautiful jewellery that no one would image was made from charity shop pickings!

The joy of this course is that you make something bespoke that you like. These earrings couldn’t be more different in style. It costs nothing….just time! Look at these beautiful venetian glass beads from an old necklace made into a more modern style, plus enough left to make earrings to match.

Jewellery 1


The Art of Glass Fusing

Learner’s Review

This was a wonderful introduction to the world of glass fusing.Cut Glass

The tutor expertly combined technical know-how with creative inspiration.

There was plenty of opportunity to create unique designs to enhance your home or garden, or that you could give as beautiful gifts for family and friends.

The Old Hall Cowbridge was an ideal venue – it was easy to get to, provided excellent facilities and had fabulously friendly staff.

All materials and equipment were provided – we were able to choose from most amazing selection of glass to create our designs.

I so enjoyed the luxury of a day, learning a new skill and meeting new people without the distractions of the washing machine or the iron!

Top tips

1. Glass cutting can be precise work so if you’re like me and you need to wear your glasses for measuring, remember to bring them with you!


2. During the course you get the opportunity to create 3 beautiful pieces – this is all included in the course fee. However, if you are a fast worker, you may have time for a fourth piece – in which case bring a couple of quid with you for the extra materials.

3. The fused glass designs need to be fired in a kiln so remember to pencil in a follow up visit to Cowbridge to collect your pieces. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to sign up for another course!


Bitten by the Willow Bug

Jbigstock-Handmade-baskets--112201415 RSane was bitten by the willow bug and picked up a well deserved Vale Role Model Award. We were delighted to celebrate Jane’s learning journey which started out on a 3 day willow course with Vale Courses at the Old Hall Cowbridge.  Jane made excellent progress, creating 3 beautiful welsh baskets.  It was Jane’s enthusiasm that galvanised the others learners into action and formed a private group with ‘Out to Learn Willow’ to provide progressive tuition in a variety of willow disciplines but mostly basketry.  Jane’s desire to experiment with different weaves has now caused a houseful of baskets!

This year Jane decided to enrol on one of the only 2 long courses in basketry which currently runs in this country – the City and Guilds in Basketry at Westhope College in Shropshire.  She continues to make progress and has now decided to retire from her job as a counsellor which will give her more time for basketmaking!Jane Clarke Role Model Award July 2017 RS

Jane said “I am so glad I saw the Vale Course advertised through their emails and would say to others to get on and if you see something that excites you then have a go!!”


Old Hall Gallery

Art is like a box of Chocolates

Cardiff and the Vale College Art and Design Students exhibit in the Old Hall Gallery at Cowbridge Community College 3 July to 27 July 2017.

This exhibition is a showcase for the high quality outcomes of final year Art and Design students at Cardiff and Vale College. The Old Hall Gallery is an ideal venue to display their work in a public setting. The students study One and Two-year Art and Design courses: WJEC Foundation Diploma, BTEC First, 90 Credit and Extended Diplomas, and Foundation Degree courses. Students specialise in a creative area of choice including Textiles, Fashion, Ceramics, Graphics, Printmaking, Photography and Fine Art. A selection of work from these area make up the show. Students focus on original, creative, personal approaches evidencing the challenging and exciting developments made over their course of study. Many students base work around recent educational visits and research which has stimulated a range of new experimental approaches often linked to the local area. Well worth a visit.

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Art is like chocolate