I have always...and I mean ALWAYS wanted to try my hand at teaching beading classes. Recently the opportunity presented itself and I immediately started thinking of ideas for a basic bead embroidery class. I wanted something that would be basic but also give the class more than just a bezeled (why isn't 'bezeled' a verb?!) cab - something that at least touched on some of the other embellishments one can do. So, as is the way of beading, I tore through all my bead-boxes making a holy terror of a mess.
My local beadstore doesn't have a large selection of cabochons so I chose to use a Luna Soft cab, since I knew they had a good number in stock, and got to work. I decided I would write the instructions as I created in the hopes that it would make the process a bit easier. Also, I usually don't really know how something is going to look until it is done.
Here are a few things I learned/am learning:
- Explaining what to do in words is far more difficult than you would guess. You end up with things like this: "Stitch back up through the Lacy’s in the same location you stitched in the hole closest to the bezeled cab and string another 2-hole Czech cab" ....WHAT? I wrote it and I'm not sure I know what I was saying. LOL!
- In order to adequetly explain you really need more than just good process photos, you need diagrams...lots of diagrams.
- Instructions for even the simplest beaded thing get lengthy...really lengthy. Most of this is due to all the pictures and diagrams. I ended up with 19 pages for a small simple pendant!
- Bead embroidery is technique heavy - there is a lot to learn as a newbie and therefore requires a good number of aside "notes".
- It is a GOOD thing to be a little type A when you are creating class instructions. Having clear, detailed instructions helps free you up as you teach - those who are adept with beading can move ahead easily while you work closer with the ones who aren't.
- It's good to have someone who hasn't done beadwork to read your instructions after you have completed them. This is helpful not only in the editing phase but also to get a feel for how clear the instructions are before you present them to a class.
- Lastly, its actually quite a lot of fun!
I discovered I really enjoy the process of writing and creating instructions and this has opened doors for more classes in multiple locations as well as the option to sell my instructions by themselves. I encourage those of you out there who have considered writing instructions or teaching to give it a go! Ask for feedback from your students and learn to grow in the process - it is a huge step but definitely a rewarding one!