Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wisdom Highlights

The week has been one of ups and downs in the studio as I get ready for the To Bead True Blue Show in Tucson.

Have made some really excellent chains. I had a breakthrough on a pair of old aluminum gears that have been sitting on my bench for over a year awaiting for inspiration and had a major catastrophe while attempting to set an Ammonite into a pendant.
Hash Tag - Total Frustration
~ Gears of Inspiration ~

The signups opened for the Bead & Button Show and so far it looks like my classes are doing fairly well. I have always loved that show, the entire experience is like old home week when I get to spend time with friends that I only get to see once a year.

As an instructor, I have decided to make a huge change. For almost 15 years, I have maxed my class size to 20 participants and since I started teaching metals, they shared 10 complete workstations that I provided. Well, this year I have invested in an additional 4 complete stations and I will max my class size to 14. I have simply made the decision to be a better “teacher”.  There is a meat market mentality that can overcome instructors at these shows, the opportunity to move the greatest number of students through your classroom to maximize profit. This has led to a get ’em in and get ‘em out process that does not give the participant a fulfilling experience. Projects are not completed and most likely will end up in an “unfinished project” drawer.

When I teach at guilds or at shops I usually keep the class sizes down. I have discovered that I enjoy teaching more and that everyone gets more out of the experience. As I have matured as an instructor I have found that this is truly the best way to pass on the techniques that I treasure and that I want to empower my students with. I take pride in my abilities and I love to see students in my classes have that wonderful “Ah Ha” moment when a technique “clicks.”

I have one mission as a metal worker, “I try to learn something new everyday I spend in my studio.” I have even been teaching class’ when I have discovered something that I can pass on immediately. There is no better feeling than having those moments and I hope for many more years of doing what I love.

Remember to follow my continued work and my travels on my Facebook page Anne Mitchell Metalworks.

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