Thursday, November 12, 2009


I just got back from a long weekend in Austin, Texas taking a glass beadmaking class w/ Andrea Guarino-Slemmons at Blue Moon Glassworks. It was AWESOME!!!

Andrea has been the one artist that I've had on my "want to take a class with" list pretty much from day one. I love her style(s) & having met her a few times before, I really like HER, too. I had also heard that she was a fantastic teacher, they were right!

What a fantastic class! First off, I want to say that Blue Moon is such a wonderful place...those that live there & get to take classes from nationally (& internationally) known artists are spoiled, spoiled, spoiled!! (I'm just a tiny bit envious!) Jim & Rose Berry, the owners, are the sweetest people. We were lucky enough to hang out w/ them after class each night. I got a chance to sit at the quiet end of the table w/ them & were able to chat w/ them & get to know them a bit. Lucky me. :o)

(click images to enlarge)
Andrea is not only talented....but a really great teacher! Just because you have something to offer others doesn't automatically make you a good teacher.... she's a good teacher! :o) I learned so much from her. Not only how to use her techniques to make her fabulous beads... (& definitely some techniques that I can incorporate into my own style), but I also learned how to encase & keep my clear from getting scummy!

(I DON'T clear encase... I didn't "get it" back when I was first learning how to make beads & just moved on w/out it. I'm known more now for my opaque beads, so I never needed to figure it out. But who knows? Maybe I'll figure out how to incorporate encasing into my style!?

I'm so excited to not only
be able to do it confidently, but to keep it clear!! LOL!)I'm so pleased w/ my class beads...

I was so excited that a friend that I met in 2008 @ Glass Stock came along w/ Andrea to be her TA... Nicole Valentine (Nicker on LE). It was so nice to get to spend some time w/ her! Such a neat lady... AND she is a fantastic TA! She knows exactly what Andrea is doing when, had everything ready for her & just basically kicked butt the entire class. I can't imagine doing that class on my own as a teacher, there are so many pieces & parts to the class, Nicole was so good about really keeping it together & being there when we needed something from her (some glass, a tool, scratch my back, tie my hair up, etc... LOL) I'm so glad she came.

I didn't mention that I took this class w/ 4 friends, did I?? Kimberly Polka, Serena Thomas, Becky Caspersen & Jeannette Remmington. Oh my gosh, we had so much fun!! We stayed in an awesome little cottage that is part of the Austin Hyde Park Inn & is just a couple of blocks away from Blue Moon. So much fun. Lots of late nights hanging out on the back deck chatting & laughing. The 5 of us made up half of the class... I think that our familiarity w/ eachother helped pull in others in the class. (or so I'd like to think!) It was fun to meet the other ladies in class, a few of them came out w/ us after class, so we got to get to know them a bit better. Nice to make new friends. :o)

We enjoyed hanging out w/ Holly Cooper each evening after class, it was fun to get to know her a bit better (she was a teacher @ Third Degree Glass Factory's Midwest Glass Experience back in February)

& on our final night there, Donna Mehnert, Anne Ricketts & Jill Symons joined all of us for dinner. Nice to meet Jill for the first time, I so admire her work. I first met Anne @ the ISGB Gathering in 2007 when I was just a new kid on the block. She's such a nice lady (& talented!) was nice to have a chance to visit w/ her on a smaller scale. :o) .....& Ms. Donna... I love me a Ms. Donna. I met her for the first time just this past summer @ The Bead & Button Show.....she's so talented & just a cutiepie. I'm so glad I got a chance to see her again. All 4 of these ladies live in the Austin area... I'm so jealous! All of that talent in one place. Dang. I'm glad that we can continue these friendships online... & I'll definitely be back down there to see them again.

Anyway.... it was such a great experience all the way around. A fantastic class over way too quickly... a great time w/ friends & a wonderful chance to meet new people & make new connections.

I'll be back.

Till next time....

~ Julie
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