When you teach a class, what are you really trying to get across? Do you have a broader underlying message?

I posed this question to our Beadweaving Master Class panel. Each week on Monday I ask a new question of these wonderful author-teacher-beaders!

Laura McCabe, author of Laura McCabe’s Embellished Beadweaving, of Old Mystic, Connecticut:

Follow your bliss.

Find inspiration in every aspect of your life.

Enjoy the time you are able to spend partaking in an art form that is more than 40,000 years old.

Rachel Nelson-Smith, author of the Fall 2011 release Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs, of Santa Cruz, California:

If a student can walk away with the ability to complete the project taught in the class, I’m happy. I’m very literal in a workshop.

Now, if I have time with someone in a relaxed atmosphere, say in the studio or even in the pages of my books, then maybe we can get esoteric and ruminate on the meaning of things and how we’re going to put expression into our work.

Ideally I’d be able to impart the importance of improvisation and how important it is to embrace the limitless possibilities with our beads and needle and thread.

Sherry Serafini, author of the Spring 2011 release Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery, of Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania:

I try to get creative freedom into the minds of my students. I like them to learn the process and then see where they can take it.

Diane Fitzgerald, author of Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork, of Minneapolis, Minnesota:

I am trying to instill confidence in the ability to create and the love of the medium as a means of self-expression.

Marcia DeCoster, author of Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence, of Lemon Grove, California:

I try to pass on some of the skills that I’ve learned over time, but more importantly I like to pass on the desire to make a piece one’s own.

Many of my designs are component oriented. Different color, finish, and bead choices, as well as different arrangements, are good places for people to start to exercise their own design vision.

Maggie Meister, author of the Fall 2011 book Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance, of Norfolk, Virginia:

I hope they can learn the project, but more importantly I want them to be able to take what they learn from the workshop and incorporate the techniques into their own designs.

I love it when a returning student comes to a workshop and shows me what they have made since the last time we met.

*Now, go back and read earlier questions to our panel — and I invite you to answer them yourself in each post’s Comments section:

1. How did you get started beading?

2. What characteristics set beaders apart?

3. What inspires your designs?

4. What’s your favorite personal piece of jewelry for wearing?

5. What’s your favorite part of your job as a jeweler or beader? Least favorite?

6. What’s your favorite beading book?

7. What are your favorite bead colors?

8. What trends are you seeing in beading today?

Also read great recent Lark Jewelry & Beading interviews with leading creative jewelers, beaders, and metalsmiths—please leave comments and let us know what you think about the artists and their work:

Margie Deeb

Laura McCabe (with free project PDF)

Jamie Cloud Eakin (with bonus project PDF)

Sabine Lippert

Carol Wilcox Wells

Cindy Thomas Pankopf

Joanna Gollberg

Mary Hettmansperger

Lisa Slovis Mandel

Nathalie Mornu (with two free project PDFs)

Our Blogger Profiles have featured Carol Dean Sharpe, Lorelei Eurto, and Andrew Thornton.


5 Responses

    [...] Bead Panel Q-and-A: What are you really tr… [...]

    Sabine Lippert says:

    This year I had the opportunity to take a class with Marcia and one with Sherry. Both have the talent to “infect” yoou with the beading virus. With the little stories they tell, the hints, little tricks, the enthusiasm, it is not only that you learn something, but also get perfectly entertained !

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