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.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

~ I Welcome 2014 ~

I needed to take a long break.

I realized during a very tumultuous 2012 that I had to reassess the reasons I felt is was necessary to have this page and I also needed to reassess what it was I actually wanted to share. I want to thank all of you that have messaged me to get back to sharing and I decided that 2014 was going to be a new start here for me.

2012 was a year of curve balls thrown and more than a few bumps along my path. Those frustrations kept me from the desire to write, it no longer seemed to give me the pleasure of release that it once had and as the year passed I found the desire for some introspection.

2013 dawned brighter and clearer and my path of revelations and reorganization on both a personal and professional level truly was at the core of my path. I am not saying that 2013 was a smooth journey by any means. In fact, 2013 was a truly insightful experience on so many levels.

I sat down on many evenings with the genuine desire to start sharing again, but it seemed that I was still not ready. I think that at the core of much of my journey was the loss of my two fuzzy companions of the last 18 years.

Just after my last post in 2012 one of my beloved cats Alex got very sick, we cared for her diligently for the last remaining months of her life and guided as gently as possible on her way. Then, just 4 months later her littermate and sister Niki started showing signs of weight loss. We lost Niki 8 months after loosing Alex. These two beautiful creatures had been with me for close to 2/5's of my life and the void left has been vast.

I plan on sharing more new work and my travel/teaching plans and share insights into my life. 

I welcome 2014 with genuine excitement. I am pleased to have the desire to write again. Let's begin the journey anew with a fresh sense of adventure. My goal for 2014 is to post every Wednesday.. (No Laughing Now!) I make this announcement with full acknowledgement that this first post of 2014 is actually being posted on Thursday.... It really was started yesterday.