Laura Gasparanni of Om Tara

Jewelry Instructor Sets High Five Standard to Emulate

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. Laura Gasparrini, Om Tara

Laura Gasparanni of Om Tara

©2014, Laura Gasparrini reviews a student’s work and (inset) demonstrates a technique

As I delved into the artist, educator, counselor and inventor of Laura Gasparrini, I felt huge respect for her accomplishments and talents.

My one class introduction (JOGS, Tucson 2014) to this dynamo encouraged me to probe further, to discover and identify the magic that resonates from all things Laura.

Based on my experience, five things made Laura’s class great:

  1. Clarity
  2. Specificity
  3. Choices
  4. Generosity
  5. Sincerity

I discuss each aspect below, but let me warn you. I’m an “LG/Om Tara (her company)” fan! Watch for an artist interview with Laura Gasparrini on this blog in the near future because my fascination with her led me to ask additional questions.

1. Clarity

Ten of us practiced various leather eyelet, woven and wire wrapped links under Laura’s expert tutelage during “Leather Links for Everything,” a three-hour class segment at the 2014 JOGS event in Tucson.

Clear explanations strengthen every classroom experience. Most of us had not worked with leather. Laura offered easy-to-follow instructions for the process of “notching” our leather to make the links for her Boho-style necklace.

Laura Gasparrini's leather links

©2014, Laura Gasparrini Leather Links Necklace project

We experimented. Some held work up for teacher input. A week later, as I prepared to complete the project at my own workbench, Laura’s clear commentary echoed. As a result, it was much easier to move forward on my project.

Leather pattern for my leather link necklace

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, leather pattern ready for cutting

I tweaked my pattern, drew, cut and punched it and built my necklace.

2. Specificity

Throughout class we cut and wrapped, listened and questioned, and generally absorbed information as we used leather lace, leather pieces and created a “station” for our wire wrapped pearl focal.

I did not work quickly enough to complete my station during class, (NOTE: some students completed the entire necklace during the time allotted!) but once in the studio I added two more pearls. Again, I remembered Laura’s descriptions and easily performed my wrap attachment.

My station for the leather link necklace

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, leather link station for wrapped pearls

3. Choices

Laura’s positioning set the stage for a fun class but her encouragement of our individual creativity won our hearts. We chose our materials from her stash, so each of us could work in favorite colors or types of leather that caught our eye.

She explained:

“The craft of any artform requires active engagement of your mind. Taking a class to better or vary your skills is about exercising your creative muscles, and that exercise takes commitment, focus, intention, courage and follow through.”

My email conversation with Laura further revealed:

“I encourage myself (and my students) to follow through with a project even if I don’t like how it is turning out.”

Like Laura, I love metallics, especially the metallic leather with which I chose to work. My project-in-progress will complete this weekend.

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Leather Link Boho necklace in progress

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Leather Link Boho necklace in progress

Meanwhile, a tip of the hat to an instructor who empowered me to complete my project on my time.

4. Generosity

The creative in all of us loves what it loves. So, for me, and for Pat who sat across from me, it was a special treat to access a range of colors and styles and leather to play with.

“Take what you need.”
“Enjoy these beads.”
“Cut yourself a two-foot segment of wire. You want something long enough to experiment with.”

Here is my project bag from Laura’s class.

Om Tara project bag

©2014, Project Bag from Laura Gasparrini at Om Tara

We needed two freshwater pearls; Laura provided a strand. The colorful glass beads were just a little added surprise. NOTE to self: Model your class kits after Laura’s to provide value and an abundant experience.

Beyond the materials for the class, Laura gave generously of her time, with compliments and suggestions, along with respect and consideration for each student.

One thing’s clear: Laura loves what she does. She serves as an example to others who want to live a creative life that reflects their unique expression.

5. Sincerity

“My intention is both to educate and to empower. …My hope is that each person I touch is strengthened in their skills and also in the courage needed to explore their own self-expression.”

Well done, Laura. You definitely touched me. You’re the real deal.

©2014, Laura Gasparrini and Mary Ellen Merrigan

©2014, Laura Gasparrini and Mary Ellen Merrigan

“Like” OmTaraBeads to find out more. If you already know Laura, spread the word. If you don’t, consider letting the Gasparrini high five standard inspire you. Will you meet the high five standard?

P.S. As an inventor, Laura’s onto something. Her Easy-Crimp Crimping Pliers is amazing, patented, and worthy of another, later post!