Teaching and Learning

It was a great beginning to the New Year! I started off teaching a class for the Florida Gulf Coast Polymer Clay Guild! It was my Gone Fishin’ class.  What a great group of ladies.  And with every class, I am always so amazed at how much I learn by teaching . . .  ironic isn’t it! 

Gone Fishin’

We spend some time making what I am calling foundational canes (bullseye, jellyroll and stacked stripes) that can be transformed in so many ways. Everyone had the option of using canes they brought, new canes they made or some combination that we then transformed a little bit here and a little bit there to decorate our fish.  I apologize for not getting photos of everyone’s final fish, they were all fun!

But after admiring everyone’s work and driving home, I get to reflect on the class.

  • We all approach our work area differently. I love seeing everyone’s approach to organization. Students often have unique ways to organize tools and make their work process flow or have repurposed containers/bags/organizers that allow you to see everything you need.
  • Not everything runs smoothly. When someone doesn’t understand what I mean, I am obviously not communicating properly or clearly, that’s on me. You can’t proof your own instructions, you need someone from the outside lending a hand.
  • Students often bring tools to class that I haven’t used or seen, except on-line. What a great opportunity to check them out and get a personal review.
  • When someone misunderstands what I mean and misinterprets my instructions, it often has to do with simply seeing things from another perspective. It is not wrong, just a different view.  And I think we can all agree that there are multiple ways of doing everything!
  • Students often work in colors I wouldn’t have dared to or even thought of putting together.  Yet, they work beautifully! So we all need to get out of our comfort zones at times!

There is a part of teaching that is very much like sowing seeds of ideas . . . .  and if I keep an open mind . . .  and just listen . . . .  I get to reap the rewards. Doesn’t seem fair, but . . . .  the new ideas are piling up. I now see the fish as bracelets and lariats and wind chimes, oh my!!  I can’t wait to play and see where we can go with this. 

A big thank you to the ladies of the Florida Gulf Coast Polymer Clay Guild!! Especially Bonnie and Sydney!

This entry was posted in jewelry, polymer clay, teaching, workshops and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Teaching and Learning

  1. Pat Freeman says:

    I love the fish! They’re all so unique. I’d love
    to take the class sometime.


  2. Come join me in Milwaukee at the Bead and Button Show in June! It is one of my classes there.


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