Last spring, I met a beader who who proudly proclaimed that she created peyote stitch bracelets with size 15 beads, nothing else. She had absolutely no interest in learning other techniques, other forms (Necklaces? Why?) or even using different sizes of beads. Ever.
Playing with Resin I understand having favorites. I've been doing this long enough to know that there are certain techniques that make me weep and others that make me hum. But not even trying anything else? That's hard for me to understand, especially considering the last two beading classes I took at BeadFest.
Both classes were taught by veteran BeadFest instructors. I was especially excited by "Domed Resin Focal with Art Clay Silver Charms" taught by Sharon Driscoll and Susan Lambert. I've been wanting to learn about resin for at least a year. And when the class came, I wasn't disappointed—helpful tips, friendly classmates, knowledgeable teachers, and a nice project at the end. (Here's one tip I picked up: instead of using a blow dryer to try to remove bubbles from the resin, use an embossing heat tool.)
My version of the
Byzantine Bracelet While the resin class was great, the other class, "Byzantine Bracelet" taught by Chad Trent, blew me away.
I confess, I signed up for this class in a "it's good for you" frame of mind. Unlike the resin class, I had no strong interest in chain maille. Frankly, I just didn't get it. Jump rings—what was the big deal? I thought I'd try it and then check it off my list—been there, done that. It didn't help that I came to the evening class exhausted and fueled by a Milky Way candy bar, instead of a normal dinner.
I want to apologize to the chain maille folks on this list: I totally get it. Meditative. Fascinating. Beautiful.
I wore my bracelet to work on Wednesday. And Thursday. And . . . (OK, so I'm wearing it again right now. It's not like jewelry needs vacation time, right?) I'm looking at photos of jump rings online and flipping through catalogs. I'm searching for projects. I'm wondering what the jump ring selection is like at my local bead shop. I'm planning a chain maille necklace for a good friend for Christmas. And maybe something for my mom. I may look like I'm quietly sitting here writing a post, but my brain is chanting: chain maille, chain maille, chain maille!
This is why I continue to take classes any time I can: you just don't know when creative lightning is going to strike. And I, for one, don't want to miss out!
A Wedding Story Update
Good news! Rebecca Campbell (A Wedding Story) agreed to write up the instructions for the bracelet that she made for her sister's wedding. I'll post the instructions on Beading Daily as soon as they are ready.
Soldered Pendants, Anyone?
I'll be talking about soldering in a future Beading Daily post and would love to feature some examples of soldered pendants by readers. Please send me links to your website, blog, or Etsy page where I can see photos of your soldered pendants. Thanks!
Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She's shopping for jump rings this weekend!