Bead Fest Wire Classes for Every Jewelry-Maker!

My Bead Fest Wire class wish list

Hey, everyone!  Although I have been working on Beading Daily blogs for months now, most of you don’t know me. My name is Erin Carey and I am the Beading Daily intern at Interweave.  I have helped with most of the blogs the past few months, but this is my first time writing one. I am new to the beading world, but I did take many jewelry-making courses in college. I found them all to be fun and informative. While some projects are easy to jump into and start making right away, most projects work out best with a little guidance and planning beforehand. If you are new to the beading world like me, classes are a great way to learn techniques and see what materials and styles appeal to you most.

Bead Fest Wire, April 9–11, 2010
One great way I'd learn more about beading would be to attend this year's Bead Fest Wire. For those of you who are not familiar with this event, Bead Fest Wire will be held at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, April 9th through the 11th. This year the event features over 80 classes taught by some of the most experienced jewelry-makers from around the country. Workshops range from those designed for the beginning beader or metalworker to the most advanced levels. I have chosen ten different courses that seem especially interesting. I can't go this year, but if I could, these are the classes I'd love to take––so if you're planning to go, I thought you might want to check these out!

1: I always thought it would be handy to know how to rivet things together, so A Riveting Experience with Sally Stevens looked like fun. If you email her your choice of favorite colors, her daughter Shannon will make lampworked beads for you to use in your project!. Learn to texture, dome, pierce, and of course, rivet metal in this class for all skill levels.
2: If you have never created jewelry in the style called steampunk, you are in for a real treat. In Steam Punk Dangle Bracelet, with teacher Kim St. Jean, you'll create embellishments out of wire and found objects, such as old watch gears. Then, suspend the beads on tubing so that they slide up and down to add movement. If you think it sounds like fun, then this retro, futuristic/Victorian-style jewelry is definitely for you.
3: No matter what type of jewelry you like to make, the Traditional Wire Wrapped Pendant class with Char Jorgensen would be a great choice, I have lots of stones in a box that I think would be cool as pendants, but have no idea how to turn them into jewelry.  This beginner course shows you how to create pieces of jewelry from all those stones that you probably collect just like I do.
4: I have always wanted to learn how to use resin, and Tracy Stanley's  Intro to Resins–Wire Forms class sounds like such a fun introduction. I admired the beautiful resin work done in Cynthia Thornton's book, Enchanted Adornments, so I'd really be excited about taking this class––it teaches a great skill for any beader or metalworker to use found objects in their jewelry.
5: Stamp, Dapp and Roll!  Julie Sanford teaches metal stamping, hammering, roll printing, dapping, patinas, and more! The techniques used in this class can be applied to almost every metal project you work on. You will be amazed at how adding texture to your jewelry brings out the real personality of any piece.
6: If you love working with beads but want to break into metalsmithing, then I think Explorations in Low-Tech Metalsmithing and Fine Silver Fusing with Anne Mitchell could be just the class for you. With this unique approach to metals, you will create a series of findings, chains, and elements that can be incorporated into your designs and creations.
7: Ever wanted to try wire weaving but not sure where to start? Try the Sparkle and Shine Necklace class with Connie Nabholz to learn the ancient Japanese weaving technique called kumihimo. Using a special loom, students weave fine silver wire with Swarovski crystals, to fashion a necklace that shimmers.
8: More advanced wire weavers should definitely check out Checker Board Woven Bracelet, where students work with teacher Debbie Williams to create a complex-looking checkerboard bracelet, using three distinctive colors of wire.
  9: More intermediate wireworkers with fusing experience, check out Lisa Claxton's  Eclipse Chain class. This class is designed for students who have already learned to fuse fine silver. The inner rings seem to float freely over one another while the individual texture of each ring catches the eye. Students will review the basics of fusing, fuse a multi-layered chain, and add texture to the wire itself.
  10: For all you beaders who have come across those special art beads but aren't sure how to design with them, you need Kerry Bogert's Framed class. Learn a fast and innovative way of creating unique coiled frames around your beads.

I hope you are lucky enough to go to Bead Fest Wire in April, and maybe one of the classes I liked sparked your interest–– you can sign up for Bead Fest Wire classes today, right here! No matter which class you choose, you'll learn something new and have fun seeing all the work your fellow jewelry-makers are creating. And if you can't make it to Bead Fest, check out your local bead store to see what classes they offer.

After you take that class at Bead Fest or your LBS (local bead shop) share what you learned with the rest of us here at Beading Daily.

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