(One of my jobs is to keep an eye on inventory and sales of our jewelry and beading titles. A few days ago, when I looked up Candie Cooper’s classic book Metalworking 101 for Beaders, the beautiful exact round number of 15,000 net [plus another 3,300 for the craft club] shipped from our warehouse caught my attention and prompted me to contact Candie and ask her a few questions.)
Candie, Metalworking 101 for Beaders is one of those rare books for which sales actually build — sales in Year 2 have outpaced sales in Year 1 — as word about the quality of the title has spread and great reviews have come in. What do you teach in the book?
First of all, this makes me smile BIG because it means people are playing with metal! It is my favorite material because it looks good next to anything — glass, fiber, you name it.
In Metalworking 101 for Beaders I show readers how they can make their own findings in a super simple, low tech fashion. Most of the projects have one- or two-step soldering (if any at all), rivets, sawing, lots of texture, and forming.
How does teaching in person differ? That’s easy: a lot of laughter and chocolate!
When I teach in person, I want to show jewelry makers how easily they can make awesome pieces for their jewelry, plain and simple. Another goal is for their own style to emerge, so I give them options in their kits for creating their pieces. One of my students recently wrote to say she appreciated my laid back but technically correct teaching approach to metalworking. Now that’s a compliment!
Teaching through a book is different, because while I try to create a personal, caring, encouraging atmosphere on the pages, at the end of the day I’m not there to pat readers on the back or ease their worries when they feel like chucking their piece out the window. I find myself writing over and over that practice and persistence is what it’s all about.
What feedback have your received about the book, and do you have any special stories about it to share?
I’ve received some wonderful feedback! No kidding! Lots of people took a class years ago in college, and they’re picking it back up again.
The one thing I’d like to apologize about, though, is the pencil torch. I get many emails asking for that and sadly — very, very sadly — BernzOmatic decided not to manufacture it anymore. I’m still searching for a neat little torch.
You’re very active as a craft blogger at http://candiecooper.typepad.com/. Why? What are you trying to achieve or express through this platform?
My blog started as a way to let my family know I was “alive” while living in China for 3 years. I had no idea other people would read it!
I’ve found that blogging is a place for me to focus on the positive, to show the different things I’m working on, and to give people a little bit more of the inside skinny. I took a blogging break when I went through a divorce, and I can now say I’m very happy to be back in the blogging saddle again.
There are about 30 projects in Metalworking 101 for Beaders. Which is your favorite, and what makes it special?
Are you really asking me to play favorites, Ray?!?
Probably the Paisley Interchangeable Bracelet is my favorite. I love making charm bracelets, and the fact that the finding lends itself to changing up the bracelet part makes me so happy.
You’re working on a new book right now for Lark Jewelry & Beading that’s scheduled to publish in Fall 2012. Would you give a little preview?
I’m super excited about this one! It involves a boatload of beads, a lot of techniques, and heaps of imagination. That’s all I’ve got to say about it for now!
You’re pretty out there on the blog platform, but what do you think would surprise your readers most about you?
Out there in a good way, I hope!
People ask me where I get my energy. I’ll tell you the secret: a 15-minute cat nap. You don’t actually sleep — you just “rest your eyes,” as my dad calls it.
Also call it a surprise or a confession: I listen to hip-hop music. It pumps me up!
Thanks, Candie!!! Now I’m pumped, too!!!
That was fun, Ray!! Thank you!!
Learn more about Candie on her website at http://candiecooper.com/.