Friday, September 3, 2010


Well... things are moving forward on the teaching front! I'm just thrilled. I can't believe I didn't blog about the Missouri Bead Retreat in May! It was so much fun... but oh-so exhausting!! I ended up teaching 2 copper etching classes, showed people how to electroform & did a quick Electric Mandrel Spinner demo on the last night, after a shower, around 11pm. :o)

Here I am, passing out copper & ink kits that everyone ordered... on top of my stash of rubber stamps (& my faithful companion, my water bottle!)

Copper squares & washers getting ready to be etched! So many wonderful people helped me out, as it's a 4-hand job!

Melissa's before. Everyone's kits had 3 squares of copper & 6 washers Students stacked their stamped pieces on paper towels w/ their name so that I could keep track of whose is whose! What a job!

I made sure I was completely organized for the class. I wrote up instructions & found different etching ideas online, so I printed them up & put them all together in a little binder for everyone to take home w/ them. Even included a NOTES page @ the back! The copper was all individually packaged per order, as well as optional ink kits that everyone could purchase so they could continue etching when they got home!

It was so much work, but so much fun & so satisfying! Such a great experience as far as teaching & feedback goes!! it just verified, for me, that when I know what I'm talking about, I have no problems teaching others. I was even told that I was being talked about.... one of the ladies who is an art teacher @ a college was really impressed w/ me. Wow. (Yay!) There were wonderful messages all over Facebook about me & my classes afterwards... I can't tell you what a thrill that was for me! 

About a month later, I got a message from Karen Leonardo, who is a well known lampworker, tool maker & author... she was in my Copper Etching class & I was beside myself when I recieved this message from her:

Hi Julie,
I know it is almost a month since MBR but I just wanted to let you know you are greatly appreciated for all the classes you did. You are honestly the best teacher I ever had in any class. So thorough. I wish I was as organized as you....incredible work! I missed the electroforming....there was so much going on My brain couldn't keep up.

I really want to start with the etching and am slowly adding stuff for my collection with metals. I don't have everything I need yet but it will happen.

Will you be at the Gathering? If so say hello.

My best,


In another message, she added,

The notes and folder is what brought your level of teaching up. I always appreciate and am a bit jealous of those who are so prepared.

Keep doing the classes because you are very thorough and did a really good job. If I would add anything it would be to write out a step by step plan for your self and follow that. Don't let people get ahead of you until all the steps are done and all the info is out there and then have them ask questions because with that many people it can get confusing and maybe have an assistant which knows the process and can help. It will make it easier and smoother for you.

Could you imagine my response??? Karen is an established glass beadmaker who makes incredible pieces & has developed not only fantastic lampworking tools & written books, but has also developed a wonderful reputation throughout the lampworking community in general. She's a wonderful lady & it was my pleasure to be able to spend some time w/ her at the bead retreat & definitely my pleasure to teach her how to etch copper!

About the same time, I got a message from Libby Leuchtman, from Third Degree Glassworks in Saint Louis, Missouri, asking if I was interested in teaching at their Midwest Glass Experience next February!! How exciting is that?? I said YES, of course, I know Libby & probably the majority of the students down there, so what a comfy situation to be teaching in!! So exciting. 

AND... I was just contacted by another glass friend (who is an amazing glass bead artist) & owns a lampworking teaching studio... she said that she'd really like for me to come teach early next year, too! Woo-hoo!!! 

So... here we go!

Till then...

~ Julie


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