Shop handcrafted Artisan Jewelry and Luxury Knits by Janet Bocciardi - Free shipping within the U.S.!

For some time I've been wanting to give my thanks and kudos to the teachers I've had that started me on this path to creativity and addiction. This isn't about those un-sung heroes who encouraged me, praised me, and required me to pass their college prep classes many years ago. Those teachers played a part in who I am for sure. They were my saviors, along with my friends, during a difficult time in my childhood. They taught me the tools to earn a good living and gave me the self-confidence to know I could do anything I set my mind to.

That may be another blog entry for another day, but this is about those artists that have taught me processes and technical skills, permission to look inward, to let go, let be... and yes, ultimately helping me find work that makes my heart sing!

This is going to take multiple posts to share these wonderful people with you that gave me moments of clarity and inspiration. These generous beautiful individuals, who are not afraid to be themselves, to encourage others, and to share their hard-earned knowledge, made a difference in my journey. So, off we go...

Freeform peyote
Pottery, glass seed beads, Picture jasper, amber, carnelian, and garnet
I lived in Vancouver, Washington for about 4 years during a very rainy period of time. Understatement!! We received over 110 inches of rain in a 2 year period (1995-97) when normal rainfall for the area is about 37 inches per year! My husband was traveling every week and I was interviewing new technical candidates for his company every day on the phone. For an outlet outside the house and to see some COLOR!, I went to a local bead shop, Bead City, and a local yarn shop in Portland. I learned to knit and it continues to be something I love. I signed up for a couple classes at Bead City and started to get really hooked. The owner and her daughters were so much fun to visit. The many shapes and colors of the beads, the seemingly unending techniques to learn, all resulting in jewelry to wear; What's wrong with that picture?!

...and then later in 1998 on my own I bought a vase from Goodwill and went to town:

other side with red poppy jasper and pearls

The bead show Bead and Button was originally held in Sacramento on the west coast and upon our return to California, I signed up for a beginner's beadwork class, Aurora Necklace, with Cynthia Rutledge. I went in feeling great trepidation since I felt I was going to be the only one without a traditional art background or at least the only one who was so new to seedbeads. I wrote business computer programs for a living for goodness sake! Desire to create something as beautiful as Cynthia's work overrode the fear I'd be surrounded by artists who would see who I really was: an anal, show me the steps and right way to do this perfect, so I don't look like a fool, kind of student!

Cynthia started the class with a table full of kits. Each kit was completely different from the next in terms of color and focal. The choices allowed each one of us to pick one that spoke to us so we could make it our own, even if we were following her directions. So this was going to be like using my Crayolas! As a child I loved to draw a big circle, squiggle in lines and then color willy nilly with any colors I wanted. Where had that ability to let go, let be, not care what others thought go?! At the end of class it was so much fun to see what each one of us had done and how different they all looked.

There were moments during that class that I felt like openly weeping, not because the other students were cruel either. (btw, I was way too corporate to see that as a sign!) I didn't really understand what was happening to me. I was humming inside! For a number of years I had to continue to work in the corporate world, but in my spare time I found I could get that humming feeling by spending time in my studio.

From the photo you can see I never did finish the Aurora project, but cabbing with beads is one of my favorite things to do!I ended up taking a number of classes from Cynthia over the years at venues like the School of Beadworks' Beads on the Vine retreat. I connected with her mode of teaching that focused on correct technique with emphasis on quality, her love of history and its influence on her work, and of course her beautiful feminine beadwork. Like buying jewelry for myself from other artists I admire, I still buy her kits from time to time to make something for myself. She still teaches full time as enthusiastically as she always has, but with her well written directions and large detailed photos, many that are experienced in beadweaving should have no problem with one of her kits.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Henry Adams

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To help us prevent spam, please prove you're human by typing the words you see here.