Whether you are advanced or just starting, jewelry classes provide new techniques, hints, and inspiration. Get the most out of taking a class by being prepared.
Always bring the required tools that are listed in the class description for individual classes. Some classes require very general tools like scissors, beads, clasps, and tweezers, and some classes require very specific tools like sterling cones, 20-gauge wire, draw-plates, or 4mm beads. If you have any questions about what tools are needed, call the teacher or school before class starts. Most teachers sell or bring extra supplies just in case, but you should make every attempt to bring what the teacher wants.
Pliers: Jewelry pliers are a special kind of pliers. They do not have teeth inside them. If you borrowed your pliers from a garage toolbox, you might not want to use them, because they will ruin all your jewelry with nicks and marks. The most common hand pliers are needle nosed (also called flat-nose, rosary, or chain-nosed), round-nosed, and hand cutters. Remember to label each of your tools so you go home with yours.
Chairs: Some classrooms have very uncomfortable chairs. If you have trouble sitting for a long period of time, bring a cushion or your own folding chair. Remember to get up from time to time and stretch your legs.
Other things might be helpful: pencil and paper for note taking, reading glasses, magnifiers, tweezers, scissors, work surface, glue, portable light.
Carefully read the description of the class you wish to join. If it is an advanced class, you must have the basic skills required. Jumping in on a class that is more advanced than your skills holds everyone back while the teacher shows you the basics.
Arrive to class 5 minutes early to get yourself settled. Map directions to the class location in advance and always carry the phone number given. If you are late, calling the teacher usually helps, as most teachers wait until all the students are present before starting lectures or demos.
After class, go home and practice what you were taught as soon as possible. This will give you a deeper understanding of the technique.
Class time is your time to pick the teachers brain and watch them demonstrate. Write down all of your questions before class and make sure you get them answered. Your questions will undoubtedly help someone else in class. Also, call your teacher over if you feel stuck or puzzled. If you don't speak up, your teacher will never know if you need help. Sometimes during a demo, a teacher forgets to verbally describe what she/he is doing. Don’t be afraid to interrupt a demo with a specific question. Understanding the demo is very important to all the students.
Don’t forget that the teacher works for you. Email a teacher after class if he/she offers to answer further questions.