The other day a friend and I went on a bit of an adventure to a Jewellery making workshop. Neither of us had really made much jewellery before, but we thought we'd give it a try, as it was only for 2 hour in our local town, with a bit of planning and resting up in advance and afterwards it seemed like it would be quite manageable.
Before this class the above bracelet was the only piece of jewellery I'd ever made, which was beads simply threaded onto nylon with a clasp attached. I made this for my sister for her birthday last year.
Before going to the workshop I really didn't realise that we would be making anything as technical as the bracelets we made. To be honest with you I really didn't think that beading was going to be my thing as my manual dexterity is really not great. I thought I was going to be spending a morning dropping things and knocking over pots of beads. So I was actually pleasantly surprised when I managed to leave with a piece of completed jewellery.
First we had to make seventeen charms by putting sead beads and then the beautiful Indian glass beads onto head pins. I should point out at this stage I spent quite a lot of time chasing my seed beads around my piece of felt in fact you can see a few stray ones in the above shot. We then had to twist the tops of the pins with pillars to make a loop and then snip off the excess wire to form a tiny hook. I choose these lovely emerald green beads and I have to confess my inner magpie found it all very pleasing, so many shiny, pretty things everywhere.
When I had my charms all lined up in a order that pleased me it was time to start attaching the hooks I'd made onto the chain. This I discovered was not a easy task, especially with hands that are stiff and don't bend properly. To be honest I was struggling, really achy and exhausted. I could really have done with stopping when the charms we complete and coming back on another day to attach them to the chain. But hay ho there's never a energy fairy around when you need one.
So after much huffing, puffing a bit of swearing under my breath, lots of dropping of things and charms I thought we attached falling off again. I ended up with something that almost resembled a bracelet.
By this point my hands and the rest of me was losing the will to live, so the lady running the class kindly took pity on me and helped me attach the jump rings to each end of the chain and put the clasp on so all I had to do was tighten up the link with the pillars ready for my bracelet's Ta-dah moment.
My friend took the photo below, of me wearing my bracelet when we all put them on at the end of the class, so please ignore my horrible hand in the shot, as by then the joints in my hands were rather swollen up, very sore and burning.
All in all I think it was worth it though, even if I had to spend the next couple of days bed resting. As I had a great morning chatting and making, I actually left the house and at the end of it all I had a lovely bracelet to take home. So I've discover jewellery making is fun but does not come easily to me, with my lack of patient, poor co-ordination and dodgy hands. I salute all you jewellery makers out there.
Maybe I'll have another try, one day at home when I can do a bit at a time and pace myself a bit better.