10 Jan 2019

Call in for A Cup of Tea, Community Art Project in Ireland

Forwards Steps Family Resource Centre project ''A Cup of Tea'' led by artist Liga Valge is a community arts project in Tullow. Supported by Creative Ireland Carlow Open Call 2018/19 it brings together a multicultural group, that is local and inclusive yet universal in the ritual of sharing a cup of tea together.

1. Working Together

This unique project has brought together a wonderful group of women who have never worked with polymer clay before. There must be a tea drinking traditions in every country and home, and by inviting, teaching and encouraging participants to create their own tea pot, it ultimately builds connections between ones cultural background, life experience and Ireland.
The goal of creating individual art teapots during the 12 workshop lessons could feel very ambitious at the start but during the classes learning various techniques with polymer clay, exploring & developing creative design ideas, colour combination and much more, beautiful pieces were completed in time.
Equally important was joy of working together, sharing a cup of tea together every week.

2. Teapots

During the project every participant created a unique art teapot in polymer clay, they are all so different and very special. They carry messages about what is important to the individual maker, fundamental values, reflect on culture, also are fun.
Wonderful artist Clare Breen worked on the video documentation of the project and 'A Cup Of Tea' website acupoftea.ie
'A Cup of Tea' Exhibition at VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art and The George Bernard Shaw Theatre runs from 8th - 13th January, 2019
Exhibition launch: 8th January, 6pm / VISUAL Carlow

A Cup of Tea Video

Please visit A Cup of Tea facebook page for more work in progress pictures and videos.


3. Put the Kettle On

Workshop classes are over but it is wonderful to learn participants are keeping in touch, continue to explore and create with polymer clay at home, sharing the joy of this versatile medium and project experience with family members and friends.
Please know after the exhibition teapots will be permanently displayed at community Cafe at Forwards Steps Family Resource Centre in Tullow. Call in to see these unique teapots and have a cup of tea or coffee in the cafe.


Doesn't matter if it is a tradition elsewhere, maybe we haven't met for a long time or perhaps we are about to meet for the first time, it does seem natural to put the kettle on and offer a cup of hot beverage when meeting up. There is a power in the shared cup of tea or coffee.
Today I'm as excited about 'A Cup of Tea'' project as I was from day one, when the ideas for this project was only forming, because I believe this project has created so many positive examples and future possibilities. I truly enjoyed working together with Forward Steps centre management, participating ladies and fellow artist Clare Breen. It has been wonderful experience in the community that I'm sure will lead on the new creative journeys in the future.

Thank you for having me, Liga.

Please feel free to subscribe to Valg Studio monthly newsletter HERE (at the bottom of the page), Summer workshops 2019 announced in February.

5 Feb 2018

Woodland Jewellery & Snowdrop Week in Ireland

     Who knew Snowdrop Week in Ireland and around the world is taking place usually late January or early in February!
     It can probably seem quite unusual for some of you reading this blog that this little flower can have its own week, especially popular in UK and Ireland. I only learned about it when we moved to Ireland more than a decade ago and I started to visit beautiful Altamont Gardens nearby.
This year Snowdrop Week at Altamont Gardens runs from 12th - 18th February.
     Every year after dark and cold winter months it is inspiring to see the first signs of Spring. Would it be evenings getting brighter, more sunshine or first spring flowers.
     I have created several floral designs in the past but choosing and creating design inspired by snowdrops is one of my favourite. It was on my mind for a two years before I actually started to work on this design and below you can see a simple step by step process.
  • First I collected a folder full of different snowdrop images on my computer.
  • Believe it or not there is a impressive collection at Altamont Gardens with over 100 named varieties!... so I even borrowed a book from the main gardener and it was interesting to learn about the plant, its different parts, colours and nature.
  • Next step was sketching followed by making decision on colour scheme and starting to condition the polymer clay.
  • Finally everything was ready to start making unique Valg Studio snowdrop design cane.
  • It was great to introduce new bead shape and use new findings - hoop leverbacks, stylish and very secure.
Take a closer look at Valg Studio Floral Range online HERE.
     When I see snowdrops I almost feel like transported back to childhood family home in North Latvia, in early Spring there would still be big snow patches lying around the garden, icicles meting in the sun and snowdrops emerging.

     Spot these delicate white flowers on a woodland walk or stroll in park and have a wonderful Spring!

Talk soon,
Liga x