I had the pleasure of attending my third Art Bliss Workshop about a week and a half ago. Art Bliss is a series of jewelry, bead making and mixed media art workshops hosted and organized two very talented ladies Cindy Wimmer & Jeannette Blix. The workshops take place right outside of Washington DC so they are easy for me to get to.
Before my class, Lori Anderson of Bead Soup Blog Hop Fame, organized a really nice bead swap. I destashed quite a few beads I thought I would never use and picked up a few fun beads that will make cute jewelry pieces for my daughter. Thanks Lori! She is doing a big blog hop right now to celebrate the arrival of her new book. Lots of great prizes, you should go check it out!
I got to see some of my online jewelry making friends, which is always fun! I love to catch up with them in person and see what they are working on.
The main part of my evening was spent learning to make “Heavy Metal Beads” taught by Stacie Florer. It was a really fun class. Stacie has been doing metalwork for a long time and she makes beautiful jewelry. I’m glad she decided to teach to a big group of people in a workshop format because she was a total pleasure to learn from – such a fun and giving spirit.
Here are some of the “Heavy Metal” beads I made. I learned to use a mixed gas torch - quite a step up from my handheld propane torches I have been using in my studio. I learned to cut metal tubing, texture it, drop a bead on metal wire right up to a bead (I only burned up one piece of turquoise). You can’t imagine how bad a piece of smoking turquoise smells…
I learned to solder a bezel onto metal sheet and how to set a cabachon bead… real metalworking skills! I made three beads in class, which I thought wasn’t bad for a 3 hour workshop. Most importantly, I was able to make the bezel bead successfully at home. I gave the beads an extra tumble in my Lortone Tumbler and I think they came out beautifully. I love hammering, bending and torching metal! I put one of the beads on some round leather cord with an adjustable leather slide. It’s a nice simple way to wear this style of bead. I was thinking of making a long pendant out of one as well and hanging it from a thin chain.
I hope you get a chance to take a class soon to learn or freshen up a skill. It doesn’t have to be about jewelry making. It could be in person or online. I always finish classes or tutorials with a renewed sense of creativity and a sense of accomplishment. It’s always a healthy investment of my time!
Have a great rest of the week!