If you are heading to Bead Fest Fall, you will definitely want to reserve a spot in Meredith Arnold’s workshop, Adjustable Rings in Metal and Polymer Clay. Meredith is a highly skilled mixed-media artist from Seattle, and she has taught jewelry-making workshops across the U.S. and Europe. In addition, she is known for her great sense of humor, her engaging style of teaching and her aura of cheerfulness that never seems to fade. Keep reading to learn more about this jewelry-making rock star!
1. What is your favorite part of teaching jewelry enthusiasts at Bead Fest?
I love helping people to expand their skills. Seeing the light bulbs go off in their head as they discover new ideas and the freedom they gain because of their new skills is the best ever.
2. Do you have a favorite Bead Fest memory that you would like to share?
At Bead Fest in August one year I had a talented and fun student from Maine. I was packing up after our full day class (dog tired, mind you!), and she arrived with a full sized harp. She asked if it would be okay to play some music! It was beautiful, the acoustics were fabulous and people began streaming into my classroom to listen with such a reverence and glow in their souls. At that moment I remember telling myself that I am the luckiest being ever. And I am.
Another Bead Fest I had a couple of students from Switzerland, a Mom and daughter. They took my first day class and the Mom took my last day class as well. The last class was making silk beads and I had a host of students in from Toronto just for this class. It was lunch time and the Canadian students were immersed in the process and staying the room for lunch. I asked the Swiss student if she would like to join me for lunch. She had a delightful sense of humor and I thought we hit it off. Long story short, she ended up asking me if I would be interested in participating in her show and teaching in her studio in Switzerland! I told her to email me, thinking she probably wouldn’t…but she did. She is my sister-friend and we FaceTime regularly, and have traveled and met up at events all over the U.S.over the last 8 years!
3. What are you looking forward to during your next Bead Fest experience?
I love working with people in the classes and of course, I LOVE the vendor show!
4. How would you describe the Bead Fest experience?
Like jewelry makers Christmas! A special adventure where every class opportunity and vendor booth is a new infusion of inspiration; like going to an exotic country where the smells, colors and sounds are so different that you are bumped out of your every day existence into new realms. Not to be missed!
5. Out of your entire collection, which piece of jewelry is your favorite and what makes it special?
I have some pieces that I bought from Mary Hettmansperger in a Bead Fest vendor show some years ago. They inspire me to fearlessly go places with my jewelry that I might not have if I never saw these. I love her work and it gives me the encouragement to go the directions I want to go but held back because someone might think I was too weird. Not out very elegantly, but she gives me courage.
6. What is the first piece of jewelry you received?
I was given a platinum, Tiffany set diamond ring as a kid but the first piece of jewelry I ever asked for was a large smoky topaz pendant set in Tibetan-like filigree. I still have both pieces, of course.
7. How do you come up with inspiration for your designs?
Lamps in restaurants make me think of earrings…for some reason, my mind sees everything as sculpture/jewelry. I started out as a fine arts painter so this is weird when a I think about it too hard!
8. Do you have any essential tips for beginner jewelry artists?
Take your time to learn the nuts and bolts: the basics of your craft whether it’s right angle weave or riveting. Knowing this info will go a long way towards your success in the long run. Take good care of your body so you can continue your activities for many years. Above all else: enjoy the process!
9. Do you have a favorite social media site? Why?
I LOVE Pinterest. So inspiring and it sparks a million ideas for me. My favorite is Periscope right now. The jewelry makers are on there scoping every day and showing what they’re up to or some technique or tool. I love seeing my ‘tribe’ and knowing I belong!
Join us at Bead Fest Fall!
We are so excited to catch up with Meredith at Bead Fest Fall and we hope you join us! There are two guarantees when you take a workshop led by Meredith Arnold. 1. You are going to learn a LOT. 2. You are going to have a crazy amount of fun and you will create memories that will last a lifetime.
If you are interested in signing up for Meredith’s Bead Fest Fall workshop, Adjustable Rings in Metal and Polymer Clay, you’re in luck! She has a few seats left, so hurry and grab them while you still can!