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Teaching at the Big Bead Show 2017

October is a very busy month for me! After teaching my first residential course last week I was teaching at The Big Bead Show in Sandown Park, Esher this week for the London Jewellery School! For some reason I've never been before.
It is a bit of a walk from the station with all my kit but soon I was there and jumping the queue that had already formed outside, waiting to get in! My workshop space was at the other end of the large exhibition area so I was able to see everyone setting up their stalls with all their sparkly wares!
I went up to the workshop space to set up. It had a very expansive view of the racecourse.

I was able to set up quickly, chat with Alison Tarry, the tutor teaching the workshop next door to me and even managed to get a cup of tea before we got started! These were Alison's gorgeous class samples and I was jealous not to get a chance to pop in and see her teaching!

The super talented Alison Tarry's work (not mine!)
I had 12 students in the group and we got started quickly. I was teaching a two-hour workshop in wax carving a ring. The process of lost wax casting is an ancient one and continues today. You make your piece in wax by cutting, filing, whittling etc the wax away to leave the shape you want. This can then be refined and sanded down and is cast by a professional caster in any metal you want. I enjoy the process and it is the way I made our wedding rings.

I started by showing some sample pieces as it is useful to get an idea of the types of things that work well if you haven't tried the technique before. We discussed design ideas and I showed everyone how to make it to a ring size. People then started to shave wax off their ring blanks and I was glad I remembered the dustpan and brush as it's a messy process!

Once everyone had sized their wax blank and done some sketched designs I demonstrated different ways to shape the wax and they were all off and working on their rings! It was just a two-hour session but it was good to see how the designs took shape and I think everyone was pleased with what they managed to achieve. I know some people were going to send their pieces to a caster and I hope they will share a photo of the finished piece with me when they do!

After my workshop I had a chance to have a look around the Show before I was at the 'Meet The Tutors' session with Jessica Rose, my manager and the founder of the London Jewellery School. We were lucky to chat to some lovely people and were able to answer questions. And then I had to get back to London to get my train back up to Scotland! Via the London Jewellery School because I had to drop off the equipment that I'd used.
It's been a busy month but I had a great time at The Big Bead Show.


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