Copper and Black Mosaic Channel Cuff Bracelet

Schedule Bead Practice for Inspiration

“It takes practice to stay inspired.” – unknown

A two-hour class at Bead Fest Santa Fe 2015, offered me a ticket to inspiration.

Heidi Kummli, beader extraordinaire, shepherded the workshop. A 6:30-8:30pm offering, the class was packed with participants eager to learn new techniques from a nationally known and respected artist, author and beading expert.

The students chatted with enthusiasm as they plugged in portable ott lights, unrolled bead mats selected and unpacked their kit. Across from me two sisters – one from Boston, the other from south of Albuquerque – shared the experience, texting their mother as they prepared to learn. Next to me, a friend prepared for the evening’s fun.

You could hear the buzz of the worker bees begin as the group opened kits, introduced themselves to tablemates and began manipulating epoxy.

Heidi Kummli

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Heidi Kummli

In a manner unnatural for many instructors, Heidi worked the room, checking in with individuals, commenting to every table of four. Her assistant and husband Gregg added commentary and the session proceeded in a light-hearted way, non-traditional way.

At first I had difficulty with the pattern outline. Once I gave myself permission to add my beads in a more free-form fashion, all was well. (NOTE: Readers of this blog are familiar with my place of ‘no pattern.’) Heidi encouraged each of us to relax with the process.

When the bulk of our beads were in place, we began to embellish with micro beads.
(I’d experimented with microbeads earlier in the week when someone showed me how to use them with resin. “Synchronicity,” I realized. “A second exposure to a new technique.” I made a mental note to acquire some mirco beads in the near future.)

Copper and Black Mosaic Channel Cuff Bracelet

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Mosaic Channel Cuff Bracelet

The channel cuffs took on a personal touch as micro beads influenced the outcome. My love of copper showed in my choice of copper micro beads to enhance my selection of the black and copper kit. In her generous fashion, Heidi invited me to use the kitted black micro beads for future experiments.

Completion was not an option in that the epoxy hardened with a rather finite timeline. At the end of two hours it could accept nothing new. Every participant completed their work.
The class taught itself and the results were amazing.

Heidi Kummli's Mosaic Channel Cuff Class

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Mosaic Channel Cuffs from our table plus one

Every bracelet looked like a masterpiece. More importantly, I suspect every one of us left inspired. AND, we had a great time in the process.

Mary Ellen Merrigan and Heidi Kummli

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, with Heidi Kummli at Mosaic Channel Cuff Bracelet Class

I resolved to schedule time to repeat my new technique. And, just to be sure I get it, I’ll invite someone else to the experience.

How will you practice inspiration?