Last week I popped into my local library to have a look for information about leisure activities so I could sign up for something to get me out of the house a little bit while I am trying to find a new job.
As I walked in the door there was a notice board with information on a few new events and activities happening at the library over the next few weeks. One of these was a Jewellery Making course – perfect, fun, creative and different, exactly the kind of thing I had been looking for and best of all, enrolment was taking place that very day. Of course I had to find out more…
A brief chat with the staff told me that the course was free, not yet filled up and would lead to a qualification. All that remained was to return that afternoon to meet the tutor and complete the enrolment.
So, I cam back on the afternoon, enrolled and found out more about the course content and structure.
Over the next 10 weeks myself and the other students will learn how to make a different jewellery item each week and also gain some business skills to enable us to price, market, promote and sell our goods should we wish to do so in the future. The course was free due to the business element and all we would need to pay for would be the materials we used in each class, which would not be more than £2.50 per week.
At the end of the term or work will be showcased in the libraries display cabinets, and we can sell our work if we wish.
I returned this week to begin the course proper.
Being the first class a lot of time was taken up with induction and paperwork of course. Like it or not these things have to be done. We spent a bit of time looking at some example pieces the tutor had bought in to show us and different beads and elastics we would be using for the first project, today.
Eventually though it was time to start work on our first project. A woven, bead bracelet.
The tutor bought round bead mats for us to work on so the beads did not roll away and we had a choice of 4 different bead colours – gold, silver, grey, or blue (the grey and blue were actually quite ‘rainbow’ style with different shading running through each bead).
I chose the blue beads.
Armed with our bead mats, beads and a meter and a half of elastic, we began to weave.
The pattern was fairly simple to follow, starting with 3 bead in the centre of the elastic then a fourth bead threaded on with the ends of the elastic crossing over through the bead, when you pulled the bead down to meet the first three the pattern began to show immediately. 2 more beads one on each end of the thread, another cross over bead and repeat until you have a strip of beading long enough to go around you wrist. The first layer was then complete.
Now you could chose to keep your bracelet as simple single band of bead or to add a second layer. I decided to add the second layer and was shown how to tie off the first layer with the first bead from the last layer and then begin the next layer copying the format used for the last, only passing one end of the elastic through the top bead from the previous layer instead of a new bead. Again keep going until you are back where you began. Now it is time to either start a third layer or tie-off and complete your bracelet.
I decided two layers was enough for me so I left it there, intending to make some matching earrings with my remaining beads. I also purchased an extra pack of the same beads from the tutor so I could make a matching necklace too.
What do you think of my completed project piece?
I will be back there next week to see what item we are going to work on next. In the meantime I am going to start looking for the most cost effective supplier for the items I will need to continue my jewellery making at home between classes. And as such I’m off to do that necklace now, wish me luck! 😉
What artistic/creative activities are you involved with?
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