MixedMedia_CitrinePendantIt’s that time of year again – registration for the Bead&Button Show is open and classes are filling rapidly.  I’ve signed up for four metals classes, two of which have already sold out!  Being one who likes immediate gratification, I always look for projects that can be completed in class.  I no longer take beading classes as I’d rather design my own work and I’ve never finished any of the beaded projects taught in previous classes.  Aside from a few workshops and a class devoted to casting that I took long ago, I’m mainly self-taught in metals.  I’ve learned a lot by trial and error, and there are certain aspects of jewelry making that I’ve never been totally comfortable with. Soldering, for instance, is one of my least favorite tasks so I’m taking a class taught by Joe Silvera,which will deal with soldering near stones and beads – something I have always avoided in the past, fearing I would melt and ruin the piece.  Anne Mitchell will teach Viking Chain making – I need a refresher course in that technique!  And have you ever made a “spinner ring”?  In a three-hour class taught by Robyn Cornelius, I’ll make a hammer-textured fun spinner ring using sterling silver and copper.  Finally, every year I try to squeeze in a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer.  She is a great teacher and I never fail to learn something new in her classes.  Shown in the above photo is a piece I created in a class that Susan taught along with her sister, Cheri Lenart, several years ago. This year I’ve signed up for “The Cutting Edge”, in which Susan will teach an innovative method for creating die cuts in metal and much more. All this, plus hitting the show floor to peruse all things related to jewelry making is heaven to me!