Sunday 27 March 2016

The March 2016 Gem Expo: Teaching For the First Time...

...The Totally Addicting Stretch Stacker Bracelet Class.

Oh, boy. I have to confess I was utterly terrified at the prospect of teaching this class. Yes, I've been making jewellery for coming up to 9 or 10 years, I've taught a couple of life drawing classes over the years, plus graphics programs on Macs and ESL in Italy so I'm used to standing up in front of people. But teaching a small group of people (if anyone even signed up) how to tie a knot, knowing that they each paid 50 bucks??? Now that's pressure to deliver. What on earth was I thinking?

L to R: Leslie, Moyra, Deborah, Lawrence & Sue

At 10 a.m. Saturday morning FIVE people sat down and we began. I deliberately started everyone out on small 6/0 seed beads because they're the most difficult to get the tension and the knot right. I'd encouraged participants to bring their own beads, plus I had a variety of different beads for sale. I also offered a 10% discount at my booth if they wanted to buy anything later.

Long story short, two hours went whizzing by and, after some initial oopsies, beads flying and a lot of restringing, all five had turned into bracelet-making machines, and they all told me that finally learning the secret to tying that pesky, stupid knot was worth the $50 course fee alone. Every one of them had been so incredibly frustrated watching YouTube video after YouTube video, reading tutorials, trying different types of stretch cord, even going so far as gluing the knot to make it hold -- and nothing worked.

Silly bobo me forgot to get everyone to put on their bracelets so we could do an arm candy portrait.

Stay tuned, I'll be offering another class at the July Gem Expo. No idea what, exactly, but I'm interested in comments and suggestions of what you'd most like to learn, the only caveat being that the project have a low barrier to entry (i.e. few to no tools, minimal fiddly bits and moving parts) and be able to be taught and several items successfully made in under two hours. Leave your suggestions here or email me.

Oh, yeah, if anyone in southern Ontario wants to set up a class and have me come to teach your group how to tie that knot and make beautiful bracelets, please email me. I would love to do that.

Many, many thanks to Chantal for baby-sitting my booth while I taught the class and to Blue Sapphire Beads (aka Salim and Zukekha of The Gem Expo) for loaning her to me!

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