Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Girl Scouts and their beading personalities

I taught jewelry-making to a Girl Scout troop in Brookfield this weekend. Each girl got a kit with a pendant, beads, and findings, plus a few design tips. Then they pretty much did their own thing. I wish I had taken photos of the girls wearing their finished necklaces: one of the necklaces was pink and summery, one had Swarovski crystals and shell beads in a color-blocked arrangement, another had assorted beads in a careful, symmetrical pattern. Each was unique. I know I've mentioned this before, but I'm still astounded by how different people approach designing. Most of the girls jumped right in, but one took a long time before she started stringing (the other girls pointed this out). I can relate to that: I plan and rearrange beads on a design board, doing a lot of thinking and assessing and reacting before actually stringing. Nothing wrong with a methodical approach.

I also realized how working from a kit can still be creative. Isn't that what creativity is — putting things together in a new way? When I took my first jewelry-making class, I didn't start with a kit. I just dug into a bowl of beads. What about you — how did you learn to make jewelry? And is there an advantage to being given a kit vs. choosing your own beads?

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