Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaching My First Viking Knit Class


Bead-It in Prescott AZ
Viking Knit is one of the oldest wire chaining techniques and we first see it being used in the 9th century.  That must be about the time wire was being made in long enough pieces with a small enough diameter to be flexible for chaining.  It is again popular with jewelry makers and once a person learns the technique it can lead to a Zen like experience.  Basically it is using 26-30 gauge wire and making loops in a circular pattern around a dowel (or similar object) using continuous wire.  When it is finished, the tube is drawn through a series of holes, each smaller than the next, until the chain is the size you want. 
The Project
I’ve wanted to teach this technique and our local bead store, Bead-It, agreed.  We set a date and had lots of interest.  My first Viking Knit Class was a learning experience for my 7 students and for me.  Aren’t we always learning? 
The goal was to make a bracelet with Viking Knit chain and an S hook clasp from wire.  Charms were optional. All in all the class was a success and we had a good time visiting and sharing our progress.  There was time to help each student and make sure they understood the process.

 The original class was to have 5 students and last 3 hours.  As most things are flexible in my life, the class ended up having 7 students and some stayed 4 hours.  Several students actually finished the bracelet but were a little rushed.  A couple of students left with the basic idea and techniques but an unfinished bracelet.  Everyone did a great job of mastering the basic 'stitch'.

Student examples:










There are always lessons to be learned - as a teacher and as a student.  Here are some things I'll change for the next class.
Lesson one: Next time 5 students and 4 hours for the class!  No flexibility!
Lesson two:  Reminding students often that the first time we learn a new technique we will not produce a perfect product.  It was obvious to me that some of us who are perfectionists expect perfection each time we do something.  I know because I am one of those.  And that causes frustration.  I continually remind myself and will remind students that learning is fun and practice makes perfect!
Lesson three:  Each student needs their own light source.  We are all getting older and reading glasses would not hurt either!
Lesson four:  In the next class, we will take more short breaks.  Clears our eyes for fine wire work!
The good news is:  There will be a fall class and once again we will have fun learning!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaching My First Viking Knit Class


Bead-It in Prescott AZ
Viking Knit is one of the oldest wire chaining techniques and we first see it being used in the 9th century.  That must be about the time wire was being made in long enough pieces with a small enough diameter to be flexible for chaining.  It is again popular with jewelry makers and once a person learns the technique it can lead to a Zen like experience.  Basically it is using 26-30 gauge wire and making loops in a circular pattern around a dowel (or similar object) using continuous wire.  When it is finished, the tube is drawn through a series of holes, each smaller than the next, until the chain is the size you want. 
The Project
I’ve wanted to teach this technique and our local bead store, Bead-It, agreed.  We set a date and had lots of interest.  My first Viking Knit Class was a learning experience for my 7 students and for me.  Aren’t we always learning? 
The goal was to make a bracelet with Viking Knit chain and an S hook clasp from wire.  Charms were optional. All in all the class was a success and we had a good time visiting and sharing our progress.  There was time to help each student and make sure they understood the process.

 The original class was to have 5 students and last 3 hours.  As most things are flexible in my life, the class ended up having 7 students and some stayed 4 hours.  Several students actually finished the bracelet but were a little rushed.  A couple of students left with the basic idea and techniques but an unfinished bracelet.  Everyone did a great job of mastering the basic 'stitch'.

Student examples:










There are always lessons to be learned - as a teacher and as a student.  Here are some things I'll change for the next class.
Lesson one: Next time 5 students and 4 hours for the class!  No flexibility!
Lesson two:  Reminding students often that the first time we learn a new technique we will not produce a perfect product.  It was obvious to me that some of us who are perfectionists expect perfection each time we do something.  I know because I am one of those.  And that causes frustration.  I continually remind myself and will remind students that learning is fun and practice makes perfect!
Lesson three:  Each student needs their own light source.  We are all getting older and reading glasses would not hurt either!
Lesson four:  In the next class, we will take more short breaks.  Clears our eyes for fine wire work!
The good news is:  There will be a fall class and once again we will have fun learning!