Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ask The Mavens

Welcome to our first Sunday questiontime. With it being our first I chose the question, but we'd love to hear from you. If you have a bead related question, this is your chance to get your choice of up to six answers...can't guarantee we'll all agree or do everything the same way :)
You can go to our forum, post questions and we'll answer as many as we can.

Good Quill Hunting teaching at Bead Fiesta
 Q: Why do you teach? What do you like about teaching?

Cindy (Jewelry Tales)
"I teach because I like to see people learn things they want to know. It's fun to see that a-ha moment happen for someone. I also teach because I think it's important to pass on what I know; I don't want what I've created to die with me. I guess teaching is my stab at immortality. And, finally, the most selfish reason of all: when I teach someone something, they often spin it around and take it in a new direction that I would never have thought of going; then I have the chance to lob it back at them and go somewhere new myself. I love that synergy. "

Nancy (NEDbeads)
"Having just started out, I am still a little anxious on the teaching side of things, but so far it has been a LOT of fun. I had a wonderful time seeing someone who had never beaded before find their skills and have something really pretty by the end of class, and it brought back to me how it feels when you first find something that you fall in love with. I think it also helped me to 'see' beads again from a fresh new perspective, and have felt even more inspired because of it. "

Chris (Good Quill Hunting)
"The interaction with the students and seeing their progress throughout a class and knowing that I gave them a part of my passion and knowledge is very rewarding. I make sure that all my students completely understand what they are doing, so when they go home they can carry on. That in turn provides a 'safety net' in their ability and self confidence and building self esteem is key. I most enjoy when students email me their photos after they have finished. I love being able to give them a pat on the back for a job well done. I have been teaching for more than 4 years now and I really enjoy it! "

Peter (Beadsage)
"I teach because I firmly believe that anyone can do anything given the right tuition and direction. We as beadworkers are practicing an ancient art, it is our responsibility to preserve the old skills and develop new skills. When most of us started this there were few if any serious teachers, we were all self taught, which involved spending a lot of money we didn't need to, and making a lot of rubbish we didn't need to. Hopefully the help we offer will save our students both money and headaches!"

Linda (WildWickedBeads)
"I teach because I have never attended a class. Not ever. Therefore, I've had to learn from books, magazines, diagrams and written directions. I know all too well the agony of just not quite getting that one turn, or that one step that, were I shown it, I know would click into place like magic. I started to teach because no one else in my city does - and people were always asking to learn.
Once I began, I discovered that I loved it. I love watching people who doubt they have any creativity suddenly discover that their very own butterfingers can produce something beautiful.
Best of all are the moments when you see someone discover that they can stray from the directions and come up with something new.
I've learned from my students. And teaching has improved my drawn and written instructions, too!"

Mikki (MikkiFerrugiaroDesigns)
"I teach because someone asked me to. I wasn't sure what I would be asked to teach when I walked into our local craft store, I have always done lots of crafts, but when the studio manager saw the necklace I was wearing she knew exactly what I would teach.  It was a very happy accident because I hadn't discovered bead weaving at that point and it was through teaching and wanting to bring lots of techniques to my students that I fell in love with the weaving of seed beads.
I love to see the light bulb moment when students realise they can actually do this and when they cross the line and begin to design for themselves. I also share Cindy's desire to pass on what I know to keep the knowledge alive.

The Mavens and You
We have something brewing and we can't wait to share it with you...but we will...just for a day or two. So stay tuned, watch this spot and be first to know just what we have up our sleeves.


  1. I love learning so I am so glad you all teach! Thank you

  2. I would so love to take all of your classes! I look at your pieces and wish I could create something like them! There are no bead shops offering classes anywhere near me & I'm a visual learner, so teaching myself new techniques can be very frustrating!

  3. You guys are a bunch of teasers!
    Thanks for creating the "Bead Mavens" it is good for all of us. I admire your ability to teach. Although I have been asked to teach and have done so one on one, it absolutely terrifies me to think of teaching a whole class! How do you get past that and how do you become a GOOD teacher?

  4. just jump in the deep end and swim for your life :) It's a good question....I think the first rule is 'be prepared'. A good set of instructions with lots of great illustrations and photos will make your class go a lot smoother, sometimes to the point that you feel redundant :) But your job is to be there for the tricky parts, demo them and help each person with what they find difficult.

  5. I think that the key to being a good teacher is to care - a lot. If you forget how you look, and don't think about what your students will think about you, and just concentrate on how much you want them to learn, everything will be fine. On a purely practical note, always try to explain things a different way if people are having trouble getting it. And never give up; everyone can learn, it just sometimes takes awhile to find the key.