Thursday, 19 January 2012

Teaching Beading

I love teaching people to bead and really enjoy seeing their confidence grow and their design style emerge alongside their increased technical ability.  I feel a mixture of pride and sadness when they no longer need me any more; sadness because I enjoy getting to know them and our conversations (sometimes they're more like therapy sessions!) whilst beading, and pride because they no longer need me!  I am really lucky that my students keep in contact with me and they will often pop round for a cuppa and an evening of beading together.
Every Tuesday I teach a lovely lady called Kathy beading.  She is relatively new to it but tries very hard and has come on in leaps and bounds over the two months I have taught her.

She came to me after having taken a few day classes and had bought swathes of beads but could not follow patterns very easily, nor was her tension very good.  The first thing I taught her was a different way of holding her beadwork so that she could maintain tension (and nagged her an awful lot about it too!) and then we moved on to various stitches.  So far I have taught her all the basic permutations of herringbone stitch - especially herringbone rope and twisted herringbone rope, right angle weave and we have done a few simple beaded beads, both supported and unsupported. 

Last lesson she was telling me about a friend of hers who us undergoing a second bout of chemotherapy for breast cancer so I suggested we make something for her to cheer her up a little.  Kathy talked about how this lady's faith was really important to her so we had a little brainstorm and decided to make a very simple cross in right angle weave.

This is the basic pattern I came up with.  An extraordinarily simple right angle weave cross in two layers and then joined along the edges as she struggled with cubic RAW, then stiffened with seed beads around the edge.

Kathy chose to do hers in shades of deep red to put on a simple rope of strung garnets.

The other side is a slightly lighter shade of red and she has to add the seed bead edging for her homework to stiffen it up.

I hope she is proud of herself for doing this and that it not only cheers her friend up, but that it brings her solace whilst she's undergoing the chemo.

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