Day Two started out just fine. Took the back roads. Got to the convention center in plenty of time to find my classroom, get a seat and be settled in by start time.
Or so I thought.
Even though I was 10 minutes early to class, I was about 15th or 16th out of the 20 in the class. And apparently, you got to pick your druzy (see definition in next paragraph) according to when you got into the class. By the time I got to the druzy-picking table, my choices were pretty much grey, tan, or pale, pale pink. I chose pink.
A druzy is a type of stone that has a quartz/mineral coating on it that looks as if someone sprinkled pixie dust on it. Very shiny and sparkly. (And we all know how much I love shiny and sparkly.)
The instructor is a legend – Dale Cougar Armstrong (not sure if Cougar is her actual name or nickname). She is internationally renowned and consults for many of the leading bead/supply companies. She makes very detailed, technically perfect jewelry that I am sure sells for a lot of money.
And, while I was very glad to learn the proper techniques, I sensed her impatience with most of us. (Teaching beginners must be a drag.) I also didn’t buy into her mantra that working with dead soft, round wire is just taking shortcuts, and it will never produce quality work. (Probably was a little offended by that because I of course mostly work with dead soft, round wire.)
But here’s the thing. That class was 8 hours long. Granted, some of the time was twiddle-your-thumbs- waiting for everyone in the class to be on the same page, or breaks for food and bathroom, or someone needed a new tool and had to purchase it then, etc. But even if it took, say 5-6 hours to wrap that one cabochon, and say I charged $20-$30 an hour for my time, by the time I added in the materials (sterling silver, druzy, genuine pearl and sterling silver beads for adornment) that pendant would be a friggin’ fortune!
That’s not what I do…or who I am. I’m all for jewelry that’s fun and affordable. And yes, I cut corners because I don’t aim for perfection. Is that wrong to say?
I certainly will use a lot of what I learned in that class. And I thank Dale for that. But I will continue to “do my own thing” and walk a different path.
If there’s a moral to be learned here it’s this: learn as much as you can from those around you. But rather than trying to be just like someone else – use the information you gain to help define you as an individual. Be your own person, your own jewelry designer. And don’t be afraid to take a few shortcuts if it gets you where you want to go.