My work

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Teachers Can Be Life Changing

I just read an amazing article on the blog, Art Jewelry Elements, by Francesca Watson. The title of the article was, The Importance of a Teacher and it was about exactly what I say all the time. I feel teachers are so important and if you get a good one it can be life changing.

Thomas Mann's Class at Art-is-Petaluma Retreat
She talked about taking a three day class with Thomas Mann. I took a three hour class with Tom on cold connections and after the class I told him that I had learned more with him in three hours than in an entire semester of Metal Arts at Junior College. He was and still is that good at teaching.
I highly respect teachers because I was one for many years and I know that the three hours that they teach is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the work they do in preparing for a class. It takes a special person to be good at teaching and to handle the different personalities that they encounter.
At the Wire Master’s Weekend I was lucky enough to take classes from three teachers that I would highly recommend. One is Connie Fox and the others are Mary Hettmansperger and Janice Berkebile.

Connie Fox is from the San Diego area and I knew her from her online store, Jatayu, where I had purchased my Lortone Jewelry Tumbler. Her prices were extremely reasonable and she gives lots of advice on her site. I also knew her from the numerous articles that she has written for various jewelry making magazines. She has video tutorials on her site as well and I had watched quite a few.

June, me and Connie wearing her cuff. 
Being an Army Brat, I have yet to meet a stranger. I felt I knew her so well that when she arrived at the hotel and walked into the lobby, I piped up and said, “Oh, hi Connie; nice to see you again.” The poor woman looked at me and her face went blank. She didn’t know me and was quite confused. I felt sorry for her because I have been in the same position. Your mind is racing into all the old files and boxes looking for a clue as to how you know this person. I just said, “We are online friends. I’m a good customer of yours.” She smiled and was very gracious but I felt guilty for putting her in such an awkward situation.

Her class, Freeform Cuff Bracelet, was wonderful. I’m very glad that I had a chance to take it from her. She now teaches in her own studio in San Diego and there is always a waiting list to get into her classes.
One of the unique features of Wire Master’s Weekend was the way you paid. One fee paid for the entire weekend and it included any and all classes you could fit into that time schedule. It was quite a bargain if you booked early which we did. That enabled us to take classes from four different people. I was expecting to get one or two great teachers. Instead I got four outstanding teachers. I felt the weekend was a start to a whole new beginning to my learning and I was right.

Julie Panusis

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more! I've been so fortunate to have good teachers and I cherish everything they taught me!