Nov 11, 2005, 7:33 AM
Post #1 of 1
We stopped posting a class schedule, since no one was showing up. Once, we had students, and no instructor.
Classes??? Any interest in a schedule?
We started doing "impromptu" classes, and individual instruction (at no charge) to give those who wanted to learn something the opportunity, without having to depend on others.
But, lately, we've had a HUGE increase in the request for classes.
We also started running the Jewelry Making Meetup (as flagged above). [We noticed the Beadwork organizer stepped down, so that group needs an organizer].
We are seriously looking at using themed meetups, so that people have an extra incentive to show up, and make time for participating.
Pittsburgh is a tough town. Beaders are a tough group. Few beading forums ever reach any level of activity and sustain it for long.
Some forums are simply advertising billboards, with links to "buy" something everywhere.
Others, are thinly veiled attempts to do some sell-through of products. eg: each "free pattern" is loaded with things you have to buy, and suggestions where to buy them.
Beading should be able to be done with GENERIC materials, and the materials you have in your hand at the moment. You should not need to run out and buy a certain bead, finding or "form" to make your project. If beads are our colored pencils or oils, we should be able to create with just a blank page to work on!
Our shop supports this forum -- and beaders in and around Pittsburgh. We try to support a number of other craft/hobby activities both on and off line. Our projects use materials that we sell (usually), but which you probably have in your stash already, or which can be obtained from many sources -- seed beads, Swarovski crystals, bali spacers, sterling wire, etc. We search out and try our best to stock the best of the materials, and the materials our customers want and use. But, we are about BEADING and JEWELRY making (and other crafts) so it's not about _BUYING_ materials, but it _IS_ about MAKING things and having fun.
I watch DIY Network's Jewelry Making show (and model railroads, and some others). There is a Scrap Booking segment on one of their interstitial DIY Kits shows. They show how to make "scrap book" gift bag and matching card. The project list of materials is several hundred dollars. The entire effort is how much can you BUY to make a "hand made" gift!! There is no emphasis on MAKING the items, simply gluing them together.
While it may seem to some splitting hairs, if I can sit down with a pair of scissors, some paper and glue and scraps of materials I have around, and create something, *THAT* is a craft, a hobby, and 'scrap booking'. If I have to go out to buy $30 of glue-ons, and pre-made decorations, that is CONSUMERISM.
With beading we take some stringing material, and often simple, inexpensive beads, and create something worh MUCH, MUCH MORE that we started with -- both in sentiment and actual dollar value.
With wire working we take basic wire and shapes and create items which we love, and which would cost far more to buy (and be of a lesser quality, or not exactly what we wanted).
It's not about going to a store and letting someone else's vision of what to do rule you (eg: pre-made glue-on decorations). It's about looking around you and collecting what you need to create YOUR vision. Some you might have to buy -- but you buy it because YOUR VISION called for it. Others, you can make, or scrounge, or recycle, or whatever.
So, our CLASSES are about MAKING THINGS or LEARNING something, not about BUYING. We usually don't charge for classes, unless we have a reason. You can bring your own materials, or you can buy them from us. Those of you who have been in our shop know we don't pressure you to buy things -- and often talk you out of a lot of extras you don't need right now. That's part of the _service_ and part of the vision we have of ENJOYING the hobby, and keeping it affordable (eg: not letting your bead stash be worth more than your finished jewelry!)
Our job is to HELP YOU reach your vision, learn new things, and (not or) HAVE FUN.
So, let us know what it is you want, and we'll arrange it.
You are some of the lucky ones. You have a bead store (even several bead stores) local to you. Make use of them! We get calls all the time from people who don't have a local bead shop, and miss us (from when they visited Pittsburgh for family, kids in school, or just passing through).
PUGDOG's Rock & Bead Shop
Pittsburgh, PA 15217