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Beadwork & Metal: Meet in the Middle

Instructor: Cynthia Rutledge
Dates: June 4-6, 2018
Class Code: B18B

Bead&Button Show Master Class 2018 - Beadwork & Metal: Meet in the Middle

The best of both worlds come together in this workshop to explore the process of creating miniature boxes. In the 18th century, Grand Tours were “de rigueur” for the royal families of Europe and wealthy young men experiencing life before settling into the demands of having a family, along with couples on their honeymoon. Many travelers commissioned miniature boxes, called souvenir boxes, to remind them of cities that they had visited or a spectacular event that they witnessed, like a circus act; or to document the excitement of a fox hunt. Some boxes were commissioned to show off an ancestral home, castle, or palace. A Limner (miniature portrait painter) could be commissioned to paint miniature portraits of children, family, and friends, making these little boxes keepsakes. These miniature works of art were the aristocracies’ form of souvenir collecting.

Kings and queens also commissioned souvenir boxes and snuff boxes to give as gifts to loyal subjects. Nothing but the best was used for these little gems. The boxes were made of gold, silver, enamel, precious gems and pearls, cameos, and intaglios along with miniature paintings. The craftsmanship is truly spectacular!

In this workshop we will explore techniques that lend themselves to a variety of box shapes. Using seed beads and Delica beads, fine patina copper sheet, CZs and pearls, tiny cup-chain, specialty findings along with embellishing and finishing materials, students will create their own souvenir boxes. Once the box body is underway, we will work on options for embellishing. This portion of the workshop will be really exciting, as there will be lots of samples to look at and plenty of materials to work with to create a one-of-a-kind souvenir box.

The format of this intensive workshop will be open once the introductory lecture is over. Small groups will be working on cutting metal, plastic sheeting, and the lining materials while others head for bead selection and looking at just a few of the many options for embellishing. There will be a lot of freedom here to explore and create, along with a lot of samples to show options and results.

Students will learn how to measure and cut the metal, punch holes for adding the feet and embellishments, setting small CZs successfully, and then walk the students through the process of gathering supplies for embellishing. As students move into the embellishing stage of the project, Cynthia will be on board to assist with decision-making and how to best approach the process of embellishing, along with color theory and moral support!

Who should take this class?
This class is for advanced jewelry makers.

3-day class fee: $1,145 plus $110 kit fee.

Added benefits for Master Class students:
  • Waived registration fee
  • Advance registration for general classes
  • Fun-filled tote bag
  • Special event tickets
  • Graduation celebration
  • Transportation to class location
  • Breakfast and lunch on class days
  • Commemorative Show bead, pin, and T-shirt
Bead&Button Show 2018 Master Class Instructor - Cynthia Rutlege

About Cynthia Rutledge

Cynthia is a contemporary seed bead artist and educator specializing in peyote stitch and other off‐loom weaving techniques, with an emphasis on developing designs that are inspired by historical perspective. 

As a teacher for over 20 years, Cynthia shares her expertise on the road for most of the year teaching in the U.S. and abroad. Her work has been exhibited in national and international shows, many books and publications. Cynthia recently published her first book, “Timeless Beadwork Designs” through Lark Books, in 2016.

Cynthia received the 2016 Excellence in Jewelry Artistry Award from the Bead&Button Show. In 2011, she was named Designer of the Year for Beadwork magazine, along with Carol Wilcox-Wells and Kelly Weise and Sherry Serafini. She was named as one of Bead&Button magazine's top 10 teachers for 2010.

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