This Spring is going to be a great one. I’ve already signed up for Bead and Button. I’m even bringing my beads for Southeastern Michigan Beadmaker’s Guild Table (aka: Glass Act). I’ve got some great classes lined up to take and meeting up with friends at the show is always a delight.
Something new that I haven’t done in a while is sign up for lampworking class at The Gathering Place Studio. This is Portia and Lee Mandel’s Studio in Naperville, Illinois. There are good people in the world – lots of them – but Portia and Lee are a very special kind of genuine good. You know how you meet people and you get the first wave of “impressions”. Often that first impression isn’t a great place to make a judgement about what someone is truly like. In this case – What you see and hear is what you get – they are genuine – genuinely kind, thoughtful, unpretentious, happy, good people. They make you feel at home. The studio is located at their home. I think it’s the first time I had ever been to a studio so set up to make your learning experience as easy as possible. Portia always has plenty of water on hand and a light breakfast for everyone to enjoy. Yeah, you heard me right. In the downstairs the kitchen is set just to the north of the studio area and when we arrive we are greeted every morning with freshly brewed coffee, bagels, fresh fruit, cereals, and so on. We start our day with a meet and greet – and on the second day we compare the beads we’ve made too. It’s just a gracious way to start the day and to put everyone at ease. Going to Portia’s is more like an “experience” than just a class. I always come back feeling invigorated with new ideas, and pampered as if I’d been to a very special retreat.
I’m taking a class with Jari Sheese. What a great way to begin a spring. Jari works with a lot of hollow beads made on Jeri Warhaftig’s great puffy mandrels. I own a boat load of puffy mandrels and just love using them. You can get a super huge glass bead without all of weight of the glass. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the great way Jari Sheese decorates them. You can see Jari’s work here.
The title of this post is Beads of Courage. As I’ve already said – Portia is a joy and has planned for some “extra” fun stuff. One evening we are playing Bead’s of Courage poker. The beads will be our chips and all of the beads we play with will be going to this wonderful program. If you haven’t heard of the program you can clique on the name and it will take you there. I’m not done making beads yet to “play” with but the photo is what I have so far.
Wow, I've left you with plenty of links on this post to check out - Enjoy!