Things I learned this week

When teaching a beading workshop to elementary school students:

  • Terry cloth hand towels under the work surface will keep beads from rolling all over the place.
  • Leave beads at home if they don’t have large enough holes for the elastic to pass through.
  • If you think it’s smart to bring a battery  powered bead reamer  to enlarge the holes in Fimo beads – be prepared for the 8 year old boy who will insist on using it to enlarge holes in just about anything. “Wow, this bead is getting hot!”



During the one hour workshop at the Islesford School, for Inter Island Event, I was amazed at the patience in all of the young students as they waited for me to get to them to help finish off a bracelet, glue a knot, or give them more elastic. They were all great.

I learned that it  may be just too time consuming to use inlay as a technique when making these bronze and copper clay beads. After spending hours getting the copper pressed into an indentation in the dried bronze surface, drying it and then sanding the excess copper from the surface, I finally realized I could probably get a very similar result by rolling pieces of wet copper clay into the surface of wet bronze clay and vice versa. More experiments to come. I’m not sure how these inlay beads will fire. In the end, they are pretty thin. The non-inlay beads are an experiment in firing a piece of fine silver in the bead. Not silver metal clay, but fine silver wire. The plan is to torch fire a silver inlay in these. Also not sure what will happen with the wire when I torch fire.


And, I learned just how much I have missed having a super macro setting on my little digital camera, when my new Pentax arrived this week. This waterproof, dust proof and shock proof baby should be able to withstand all of the times I toss it into a canvas bag or my back pocket.  I can once again start playing with shots of something only 1 cm away.




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2 responses to “Things I learned this week

  1. holly

    you’re probably right about the wet-on-wet clay being faster, but your results probably won’t be as precise….that could be good, or not. i know that sometimes i get BOGGED DOWN with “my plan” and precision and exactly what i need is to roll out a sheet of clay, lay out some tiny flattened coils, roll them in to incorporate and then SEE WHAT HAPPENS. i spend probably too much time planning what is going to happen. hey, you know what? i was about to go plan some earrings (sketching, etc)…you’ve inspired me to go MAKE some earrings and see what happens…


  2. fernald244

    and you’ve inspired me to add to my blog, just as I was about to go to bed. many more earring ideas when I gave up the inlay…


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