Saturday, January 23, 2010

TEACHING & GUINEA PIGS...

(I broke this post up into 3 parts... it's a freakin' book, sorry... if you'd like to follow along, I've posted them in reverse order so you read them from the top down, like a book, because I'm posting them all @ once)

As me & my work continue to evolve & get more exposure, I have people asking me if I teach. Teach?? I'd LOVE to teach! I've been told that I have "this way" about me... nurturing, encouraging. I like to share & I love to see others "get it"!

BUT...I don't really know if I CAN teach. You know what I mean?
Some people are amazing @ what they do..... okay, let's just say that I'M amazing @ what I do, LOL, it doesn't mean that I have what it takes to teach people how to do it, does it? I'm a little ADD (yeah, just a little!!!) & words, descriptions or directions don't necessarily flow freely & easily from my mouth at times.... so I just don't know. You know?

So..the more people who ask, the more I want to know if I can & realize that the only way to know is just to do it, right??

I wrote a post a while ago about Robin Koza & Carol Watson, who I met @ The Bead & Button Show... we made a great trade & started a fun friendship. Well, Robin posted a beautiful etched copper cuff on Facebook as well as some etched copper sheets... they were FABULOUS & I couldn't stop myself from contacting her about wanting to buy some of the sheets or make some sort of trade again. I totally could see me incorporating these etched copper pieces into my work. Somewhere along the way I said something about some "Julie torch time", (Robin had told me after B&B that she wanted to take my first class, no matter where or when it happened!) ...turns out that's what we were going to trade!! :o) Carol contacted me a short time later to say "I want to come, too!"

Panic!!! I'm not set up to teach one person, let alone two, in my studio...plus it's a disaster... what to do? I'm thinking..."is there anywhere in between me (Minnesota) & them (Indiana) where we can meet & torch?" Seems while I was worrying about this, Robin & Carol were talking & came up w/ a fabulous plan!! Robin asked me if I was interested in having them flying me out to them? They had a local teaching studio where they could rent torch time & we could all torch together. FABULOUS! FABULOUS! FABULOUS!!! Definitely cheaper for them to fly me out, I could stay in Robin's guest suite (made for a Queen!) & we could spend the weekend learning from eachother. Needless to say, I didn't hesitate saying YES!!

So we made a list of what they want to learn from me. I'm checking out their websites & see that they've taken classes from MULTIPLE fabulous glass artists, way beyond anything I've ever done AND they both teach a variety of classes!! I'm thinking "what in the world could I possibly teach them that they don't already know? Am I really going to bring anything to the table?" They reassured me that I would be. :o)

On their list:
  • Big Disc Beads
  • Shaping tips & techniques
  • Hints on working w/ silver glass
  • My thoughts on Color Theory
  • Making glass acorns & electroforming them
  • Showing them how to put together an expanded electroforming setup
  • Kaleidoscopes
  • Copper display tree
My message back to them:
"I'm so glad that you're both excited about this... I am, too!! I'm just hoping that you aren't expecting more than I can bring to the table! :o) I'm not this brilliant lampworker, you know I've never taught before... I don't even know if I can or SHOULD teach, LOL... I probably have really bad habits that I shouldn't be passing on to others, :o) ...I don't know if I do or not, but you never know! I probably could teach you alot about covering up mistakes, LOL... I'm really good at that! :o)

I also use an electric mandrel spinner...it's my crutch... I don't know if I can turn a mandrel by hand anymore. :o) Actually, I know that I can, LOL...you just work much hotter w/ a spinner, so I'd have to adjust [when working manually]. Do either of you have an electric mandrel spinner... or are either of you interested in learning how to use one? I know Carol likes to make utensil handles... this is why I bought my spinner in the first place... it cuts down my base bead making time, probably by more than half... and it makes pretty much perfectly balanced (centered) beads w/out much effort. I've turned more than a few long distance friends onto them... but then I'm not there to help them figure it out, so I know it's been frustrating for at least one or two of them. That is one of the ideas I have for a class I'd like to teach...the ins & outs of a mandrel spinner... & then making large beads for functional pieces (using the spinner). I talked to Scott Bouwens (Bearfoot Art Glass) at B&B about setting me up w/ a classroom set of spinners & rolling marvers... we still need to work it out, I certainly won't be ready to buy them by December, though. So... if either of you have ever wanted one of these, now's the time so I can give you all of my tips & tricks. (Scott has a 6-8 week lead time on these right now. No, they're not cheap... but boy, mine paid for itself almost instantly. Make sure you pick up the small sized brass rolling marver, too... really essential to have w/ the spinner.

Gosh... your list of what you want to learn... I'm laughing, because I've been able to get really good at these things BECAUSE of the mandrel spinner. LOL. Shaping: mandrel spinner... large discs: mandrel spinner. :o) I only started making those large discs recently & they're pretty much a breeze w/ the spinner.... I'm sure I can do them w/out... but why? LOL.

Color theory, eh? That would mean I actually have to have deep thoughts on the subject, doesn't it? You forget, I'm ADD. :o) I know somewhat what I like... I play, if it works it works & I use it... over & over & over again, LOL, if it doesn't I move on. We can talk it through, though... discussion & feedback is a good thing.

Silver glass.... I have a bunch of silver glass that I can't get to do squat... I find ones that like me & I work w/ them. :o) This is a work in progress for me, hit & miss at times... I might be able to teach you guys some things, but I can't guarantee that you don't already know everything I do!

Did I change your mind? :o) I think as long as we all go into this as a great learning experience for all, we'll be good.

This is good for me, too... I like the idea of just a few "students" at first...how do you guys feel about being my guinea pigs? :o)"

So....that's what we did!! I'll tell you all about THAT in my next post... this is already a book. :o)

4 MUCH APPRECIATED COMMENTS:

Pretty Things said...

Yes, you can teach! I felt the same way when I was approached to teach, but after the first class, when they asked me to come back, I felt SO much better. I love to see the light go on in people's eyes when they realize they ARE creative!

Julie Nordine said...

I really enjoy that, too, Lori. I'm definitely a "sharer".... this is going to be fun. :o)

Jenny J-V said...

I'm LMAO...haaaaaaa LOL!!!!!!!! You are so fun! And, you really touch on that little piece of doubt we all have...until someone sees what we make and thinks it's the greatest thing ever.

So happy to be part of your share-world. :)

Julie Nordine said...

:o) Jen. You're funny. I still have those "WHO the heck am I?" doubts... what do I do that's so freakin' special that would make people want to pay me to teach them, much less fly me somewhere to teach them!!??

So glad you're part of my share-world, too, Jen. :o)

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