Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Fall Jewelry Making Classes

This is an exciting time and a very challenging time of year at Kathryn Bowman Studio. Creating new jewelry making classes is always what is going on around here in July. I just met the deadline earlier in the month for fall into winter jewelry classes at Lady Bug Beads, the bead store I teach at here in the St. Louis area. Their new schedule runs from October to January. All of those classes will be available for signup on August 23rd online and at Lady Bug Bead's 10th Anniversary Celebration. Wow, can't believe I have taught for Lady Bug for ten years. "How time flies, when your having fun?", as the saying goes.

My Lady Bug classes are three popular repeats and three new classes. The popular repeats are: Bead Rope Crochet, Wire Findings, and the Morphing Plum Blossom. I only offer Bead Rope Crochet about once a year. It is the most challenging thing that I teach, and not everyone is up to how much work it is, and that's fine. The Wire Findings class is an action packed three hours of hands on making. Being able to make your own wire connections, hooks, and earwires, is an essential for any dedicated jewelry maker. And, of coarse, the plum blossom and it's many variations is an ever popular class and loads of fun. That fun isn't just in class but goes home with you to make beaded beads that you can adapt to your own jewelry designs. The new classes are; Dagger Down Earrings, Squares and Super Duo Cuff, and Three Metal Medallion Pendant and Toggle.
Dagger Down Earrings
Squares & Super Duo Cuff
Medallion Necklace with Toggle

  •  The Dagger Down Earring pushes the plum blossom beaded bead in a new direction and I wanted to share that with my students. Very fun! 
  • Squares and Super Duo Cuff is for the advanced student that has been doing square stitch with beads for a while, but wants to push it to a new level. By including Super Duo beads in the mix, it will have the student dancing a new step and seeing how well they are paying attention with each stitch. This cuff is definitely my greatest accomplishment recently in "how can you really, really challenge yourself," arena. I have to admit I had a few frustrating moments and restarts, before I got it to work. Come join me and be challenged.
  • The Three Metal Medallion Pendant and Toggle has a little bit of everything for the metal worker. You will be sawing, piercing, filing, riveting, wire wrapping, and, of coarse, including a few beads. I like it hanging long, but the student may choose to have it hang higher, and that will all depend on your taste and what you want to do.
All in all, a good line up of classes at Lady Bug Beads, including students just beginning through advanced. Don't forget to see the other instructors offerings for the fall and winter. There are some really talented ladies teaching classes at Lady Bug Beads, and you don't want to miss out.

That deadline being met, I'm on to the next. I will be teaching for a weekend at Bead Boutique, October 5 and 6. Still getting that all set up times and costs, but the classes are coming together nicely. Saturday morning we will make a metal pendant, using basic metalsmithing techniques. In the afternoon on Saturday we will learn how to make the Plum Blossom beaded bead and as many variations as we can fit in. Sunday afternoon we will make the Dagger Down Earring, which is the Plum Blossom beaded bead in it's newest form. This will be my first excursion out of town to teach at a bead store. I'm really looking forward to meeting Kansas City beaders and see what they are doing with beads.

Through all of what I have just been telling you about developing classes, I am really working on the class proposals for Bead and Button Show 2014. Morphing Plum Blossom, Dagger Down Earrings, Squares and Super Duo Cuff, and the Three Metal Medallion Pendant and Toggle are in the proposal line up. Believe it or
Plum Gold, Flower Petal Necklace
not I have ten more ideas that I am working on for proposals. I am working on all of the ten simultaneously, for some reason. I may have a bright idea or finding a solution to a problem in one project, while steadily working along on another proposal project that is more predictable. Now, whether all ten will make it in the final cut, depends on a lot. The technique has to be interesting to a wide variety of jewelry makers and skill levels. With bead projects I have to consider bead availability, because for each class at Bead and Button I will make a kit for each student. An obscure bead may really make a design, but I have to be able to repeat that same design at least 12 times for the number of students I have in class. Oh, and what if I do that same class twice, times that by two. I'm not going to do any metal classes that include etching metal for 2014. It is someone else's turn to teach metal etching. Teaching how to etch involves a lot of equipment that has to be moved around almost daily, while I am at the week long show, and I've decided to streamline those many moves and cutting out etching was going to be essential to making the moves easier. I really had a lot more fun at the 2013 Bead and Button Show than I had in a long time. This was mostly due to a lighter schedule, and a break in the middle of the week to catch our breath. It was so much fun to get out in Milwaukee and be a tourist. With this in mind, I may teach a little more for 2014, but I will definitely take a break in the middle of the week.

Check out my fall into winter schedule. There are a few times set aside at my home studio you might be interested in. You will need to e-mail me at, to get anything set up at my home studio. I like to screen who's coming to the house, please understand. Hope to see a few of you in class. Until then, happy jewelry making.