Fun Things for the New Year: Jewelry-Making Lessons, Lampwork Glass, and Cupcakes

My first day's attempts at making lampwork glass beads. One word: FUN!

When I think back to the things I've really learned to do–things I've taken a real class on or had a real lesson in from an expert, as opposed to finding my own way through trial and error, three things stand out: knitting, soldering, and lampwork glass.

I learned to knit on the set of the Carol Duvall Show years ago, taught by my beloved Carol Duvall and her assistant, Janet. Soldering, as you know, I learned from Lexi, whom we all know and love, and my one-and-only (so far) lampwork lesson came from a sweet reader and talented glass artist, Marcy Lamberson of Studio Marcy.

The soldering instruction and lampworking lesson stand out to me because they were both things I assumed you (I, "regular" people) couldn't do at home, things only "real artisans" did, with fancy equipment and big impressive artsy studios. Lampworking in particular to me seemed like some form of magic or alchemy. Fire! Glass! Rosy glasses! All while doing two things at once like patting your head and rubbing your tummy. But I can't think of many other times when I've had SO much fun–and I learned a great intro into an amazing jewelry-making technique. If I ever get a kiln, I'm going to become a lampworking fool! (And my birthday is next week . . . hmm . . . )

Can you tell which perfect donut bead is Marcy's and which wonky one is mine?

There's so much fun to be had in learning new techniques, and whether you learn from an expert in person or online, it's rewarding to start a creative journey. It's the new year, after all–and like all the TV ads and radio jingles are telling us, it's the perfect time to try something new (and go on a diet)! The perfect way to test the waters on any new jewelry-making technique is with a project or two–they're very affordable, expertly instructive, and available in a huge variety of techniques. Plus, all of our digital projects are on sale now in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop, along with project compilation eBooks.

So what will you learn in 2014? Resin? Enameling? Soldering? Wirework? Lampwork? Stone setting? We've got projects on all of those and more! And if you still need convincing, just look at how much fun I had learning to make lampwork glass beads (that's where the cupcakes come in . . . ).

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