Continuation from the previous post:
My favorite activities were bead related, not ship related (except for eating, of course!). Teaching was a blast, and the gentle rocking and tipping of the boat made me focus in a new kind of way. I didn’t want to fall on a student’s needle. And I know they didn’t want me falling in their laps.
We gathered each night for instructor’s demos, open beading, and the bazaar; a relaxed, intimate way to end the day. One could participate as much or as little as they wanted. This was when I got the opportunity to meet and talk with new friends, and oogle their creations. And when I learned the passions of the other instructor’s on the cruise…
Barb Switzer’s wire work is the most intricate and unique I’ve ever seen. www.beadswitzer.com. For her, wire is the art and the focal point, not an add-on that enhances an existing stone or bead. I love her approach: in her hands, wire becomes a fluid, feminine medium that hardly seems like metal.
Tracy Stanley of www.wiredarts.net brings a delightful sense of play and freedom to metalwork. Her pieces are exuberant, and I wished I could have taken one of her classes. With her kits and techniques, there’s ample room for individual expression, and she welcomes it. I also loved the echoes of hammers banging and clanging that issued from her classroom, reminding me of magical elvin forges.
Steampunk Queen Melanie Brooks www.earthenwoodstudio.com cages, embellishes, and decorates her extraordinary ceramic pieces in the most creative ways. Hers is an industrial kind of palette: dark metallics, olive greens, and browns. I was inspired by how she used these muted deep tones in ways that were not at all heavy. Tiny detail and texture make her pieces tactile and intriguing. I had to pick up each one and investigate for the surprises only available upon close inspection. Her thoughtful and intricate work showcases her distinct voice.
Beverly Herman www.noeasybeads.com is a true master of bead weaving and design. I’ve seen gobs of bead weaving in the last 20 years, but nothing like the bracelets she makes using Heather Powers’ polymer clay beads. She’s not just an extraordinary master of technique (her bead embroidery is technical perfection). She has a true aesthetic sense of balance, or what is beautiful, and what is functional and wearable. I don’t know when I have laughed so much with someone I’d only known for such a short time. The two of us (and others) were boundlessly silly, a quality I admire more and more as I mature.
Heather Powers, www.humblebeads.com, facilitator extraordinaire of the cruise, creates exquisite, detailed polymer clay beads that gave me a sense of serenity when I looked at them and held them. From her tiny hedgehogs, birds and eggs, to Japanese-like floral motifs, and abstracted swirls of color, each bead is carefully crafted, an extraordinary treasure. She gave a copper-stamping-patina-resin-demo that I couldn’t resist. I bought all the parts and will make one for me.
Our supplies vendor were Pam and Belinda from Bello Modo, www.bellomodo.com, with a gorgeous selection of copper parts and findings. They were so helpful,tirelessly explaining everything to everyone in classes, at meals, and each night. I can’t recommend them enough – visit the site. Its full of magical beads and findings.
So I am back, with a suitcase full of gifts from new friends, a shot glass with a faceted turquoise holder (thanks for the trade, Tracy!), and a clear plastic cup with blue flashing lights that looks frighteningly like someone is being arrested when I turn it on in the dark (how did I live without this?). And best of all, a heart full of wonderful memories!