Thanks to Groupon I found myself a bargain, in the form of a half day jewellery making workshop only 20 minutes drive from where I live. (see the most excellent http://www.vinesdesigns.co.uk)
Cathy Vine has a beautiful home, full of artistic and creative pieces, and she makes splendid cake, and even more splendid jewellery. Her workshop is a feast of beads of every possible shape and size.
The company at my workshop consisted predominantly of ladies who were probably in their late 50s, all active in the fields of cardmaking and various stitching pursuits, all with short grey hair, and names like Jan, Jane, Janet, Joan; so differentiation was difficult. The chat didn’t get much beyond pleasantries, especially once we were all concentrating hard on our creations.
We were shown some amazing pieces of jewellery, and various techniques and equipment to make it all. A surprising array of paraphernalia, who would have thought there were so many different types of pliers? And Cathy made it all look very easy. At first we were overwhelmed by possibilities, then gradually everyone’s ideas took form. It was remarkable how different the final pieces all were.
Once we began, it all got far trickier than the demo had made it look. My loops were not very loopy. My pins were too short. My clasps were not clasping. I was not the only one experiencing issues, we were all vying for some individual expert tuition. Anything we expressed a need for was found with alacrity, Cathy must have beads in every corner and cranny of her home. And the end results were quite remarkable. If I say so myself, I have come away with an item that I don’t think looks too amateurish. In fact I must send a picture to my personal shopper, because I have tried to create the ‘statement necklace’ that she advised me would complete so many of my outfits. Quite what statement it is making I am not sure!
The only frustration was in seeing so many possibilities and only having time to make one thing. I might even go back again! Whoever would have expected that?!