A Day with Glass-painter – Amelia from Sunshine & Love
It is Amelia’s birthday today! Very thankful to Amelia for hosting a glass-painting workshop for me despite celebrating her big day with her family. It is interesting how I met Amelia in an online setting, and only actually meeting her in real life around 1 year later while sharing a booth together.
A tour around her home studio
It is my first time visiting Amelia’s home studio! It is really like a total art piece. The walls are filled with her vintage signboards collected wherever she sees them locally or overseas.
She has many unique souvenirs that are also hand-painted on glass. Those souvenirs are really unique and serve as great collectible items! And every piece has a little story about the artist behind. She has many lovely works displayed on her tables. From trinkets to mason jars and plates.
I saw the glass of Fishy Tale which she collaborated with Shu Ning from Momshoo, using both their talents in glass painting and knitting.
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Meet 金金, my pet goldfish made by @momshoo in a little aquarium home that I handpainted for him. Glad to know that 金金 will be sticking around with me for a long time! 😉☺️ . Have a joyful and happy National Day weekend everyone! 🇸🇬🇸🇬🇸🇬 . #glasspainting #bottleart #glassart #petgoldfish #sgart #sgcraft #fishyfun #justkeepswimming
One of the paintings that gives me the most feel is her self portrait where she was hidden amongst a green foliage. It was as breathtaking as looking at a photo, and I was secretly admiring it on Facebook before seeing the real piece! She has recently started creating her own visual diary on what she sees in the day and how she expresses her thoughts and feelings into her painting.
Friendliest dog on earth!
Actually the most welcoming event we had was to be happily greeted by their super friendly and lovely Maltese named Rufus! Rufus was totally enjoying me and I’m very happy to make a new doggy friend =D. If my mum isn’t fussy about furry pets, I would love to dog-sit him.
The man behind her
Amelia works on this business hand in hand with her loving and supportive husband who helps her with the backend of the business and helping her with her craft popups. They are a pair of lovely, friendly and hospitable couple that made their home studio very warm and naisse.
Experiencing Painting on Glass
I’m not good at painting but I’ve learnt many tips and tricks through Amelia which I’ll share with you later on. Although many may think that painting is simply dabbing some paint on a brush and randomly paint it across the medium. But noooooo, it’s not as simple as that. Let me run you through with my experience with this lovely lady =)
Tracing and painting
First of all, you must remember to wipe away all dust from the surface before working on it. I wiped it with alcohol. I sketched out Yuni Chan’s face with a black Sharpie on transparency. Amelia helped me to ensure that Yuni’s face wouldn’t turn out too small, and also designate space beneath Yuni’s face to write her name afterwards.
After that came the tougher part. We had to paste the transparency behind the glass and trace out the image from the transparency. The glass causes parallax effect and I had to ensure time after time that I’m looking at the same perspective so that I wouldn’t spoil my art. I even had to squint one eye!
Preparing the palette
Next, we squeeze out some paint onto a plate and started applying colours on Yuni. Amelia said that white will take more multiple layers to apply to cover the glass fully. You have to do only 1 layer of stroke down each time, then blow dry the surface with a hairdryer. I did roughly around 6-7 layers to fully cover the area. Each segment has different colours, and for each segment, you have to paint roughly around 3-7 layers depending on the intensity of the paint. The more colours you have, the more time consuming it becomes.
I was getting full of myself and started to deviate from Amelia’s teaching and painted the same area more than once before drying! And guess what, some unsightly patches were formed =(
But Amelia assured me that we can salvage it. Perhaps not to the full extent, but not too obvious. There’s a good reason why I don’t paint my nails as they were never perfect like what I wanted them to be argh! But this is a really good experience for me. You wouldn’t experience this when painting on paper as the paint gets absorbed into the paper fairly quickly.
Finally after multiple coats and blow-dries, I did an outline with a Marabu glass marker which is made in Germany. It is a marker specially designed for use on glass and porcelain. This last step is also my most jittery, hand-shaking step. You can see some squiggly lines at the bottom of Yuni’s face. The glass is very smooth and slippery and it’s difficult to ensure perfection if you’re doing it for the first time.
This is really a test of skills. It is similar to using Adobe Illustrator’s Pen Tool for the first time and I almost gave up. I must have trained my accuracy and perseverance from there!
Now we could finally bake my piece so to set the paint and ink. It took roughly around 15 min to bake before leaving it to cool. And once everything’s done, we were super famished! We have forgotten to breathe and was in a trance painting our morning away…
About the Chief Painter
Amelia loves to paint on glass, that’s the reason why she chose to do painting on glass and porcelain, rather than on traditional paper. She also shared with me how her business name came about. The way she shared about it gave me a deep impression on how it would have looked if I personally witnessed it.
How the name came about
It was about a parallel of her own experience awakening from a dark Winter, just like in Springtime where the sun warmed up the Earth, melting away the bitter cold, where flower buds slowly sprung open, showing you nature’s beauty.
That sunshine in Spring reminded Amelia of the warmth and youthful happiness she had when she was studying in Perth, Australia during her university days. And the love she experienced meeting old friends again in that part of the world made these 2 words – Sunshine & Love very meaningful for her. Amelia graduated from Murdoch University in Marketing and Media.
Overcoming the odds
I believe that in everyone’s life, you will meet some roadblocks or rough patches that makes you feel low-spirited. Some had it really rough, while some breezed through easily and started anew.
Amelia had her own ups and downs too and she was determined to overcome all these problems when she found a new angle in life, which is to share her passion and skills with people and giving them a smile on their faces! Her whole lifestyle of working in a busy and stressful environment in the marketing and communications field before changed 180 degrees.
Focusing on happiness!
Her main focus now is to do custom glass painting works, imparting skills and techniques, sharing the passion about the painting process, sparking joy to people around her, and being zen. Amelia’s sharing has impacted me to never forget that work is work, but you must always learn to take a step back in life and enjoy the sweetness of nature. (Thank you Amelia!).
Sunshine & Love was conceptualized since Oct 2015 and has since been 4 years spreading the love for painted glassware.
We have prepared a short interview with Amelia to find out more about her!
Angie: Do you run workshops?
Amelia: Yes we do. Our popular workshops are Jar Art, Mug Art & Plate Art. We also customize and design workshops for our participants! Some customized themed workshops & events that we have done include Fabric Painting, Jar Lamp, Tea Light Cup, Bottle Art, and Kids Parties.
Sunshine & Love does mainly corporate workshops and small group workshops (between 4-6 participants) in her home studio. The duration of each workshop is around 2h, while some might take up to 3h.
Angie: What kind of projects do you enjoy teaching the most?
Amelia: I don’t have a favourite project but I really do enjoy seeing my workshop participants enjoying their personal self-discovery process when they take time out to doodle, draw and paint with us 🙂
Angie: What’s your favorite color?
Amelia: Yikes! That’s a tough question! When I’m in a work mode, I think of orange mostly as that’s our corporate colours but when it’s time to just paint for fun, I love the choice of colours available to play around with!
Angie: How do you feel as an entrepreneur running a business?
Amelia: I would be lying to say if it’s all fun as how the photos look on social media as there are many behind the scenes drama that can get really tiring on some days. People only see the glitz and glamour on social media but don’t realize that there are many other things to juggle like doing a quotation, replying to inquiries, stocktake, preparing and packing for a workshop/event, and making time to breathe for inspiration, especially when you have back to back painting orders!
Angie: If you can start all over again, would you be doing anything differently from now?
Amelia: I don’t regret this journey and love every bit of the ups and downs of 4 years with Sunshine & Love. If I could start over again, I would love to be able to find a like-minded partner to work with and am still on the lookout for this “person” actually!
I believe that two heads are better than one and that iron sharpens iron! Having a partner to discuss business decisions together would make Sunshine & Love shine brighter! 🙂
Angie: What is your most pissed-off moment
Amelia: I once had a client who ordered a plate art from me and he was very involved in the whole designing process from sharing the text he wanted on the artwork and gave me photos of his sister & brother in law as it was a wedding gift for them.
As such, I didn’t have any reason to suspect that he wouldn’t want to pay me after the work has been done. Unfortunately, when the plate was ready for collection, he just disappeared without a trace 🙁
Angie: Do you paint in your sleep?
Amelia: Sometimes when I was anxious that I have not finished the artwork before the deadline, I might have nightmares about rushing the work in my sleep!
Angie: Do you do craft markets?
Amelia: Yes we do! We don’t have a fixed craft market that we participate in so do keep a lookout on our FB/IG for the latest updates!
You may find out more about Sunshine & Love via the links below. Amelia does mostly customised orders so if you’ll like a piece of Sunshine & Love, you can contact her through:
Hope that you will be inspired by Amelia’s journey through painting! If you would like to give words of encouragement, feel free to drop Amelia a message via DM/PMs or drop a comment below. Yuni Chan is definitely loving her new customized jar – the only one in the world! =DD Yuni said, “THANK YOU AMELIAAAAA! Love ya and happy birthday!”
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