Maggie Meister classes at The Bead Attic

Today I was fortunate enough to be able to take a class with Maggie Meister. Her work is outstanding. Everything has a very historic feel to it. We had a small class of six people. Friday’s class was Maggie’s Bacchus earrings and bracelet. She started by teaching us the medium grape leaf. I used a mix of green/gold and red/gold cylinder beads. They ended up really looking like grape leaves. After lunch, we learned how to make the grape clusters. They are a version of Nepal chain using cylinder beads and drop beads. My drop beads are a pretty reddish rootbeer color. They look very realistic. We reviewed the large leaf and the modified leaf she uses for the closure.

I must admit that I’m not a fan of freeform beading. The clusters are a little too disorganized for my taste. I like the way they look. I just don’t enjoy beading them. I’m all about symmetry. One of my greatest beading fears would be having to make bead embroidered anything.

I was able to finish two leaves and two grape clusters. I went ahead and assembled the earrings. They are pretty darn cute, if I say so myself!

Day Two was Maggie’s Santa Sophia pendant class. We learned how to start with circular peyote and add right-angle weave spines which are drawn up to start the pod shape at the top of the project. This is so fun! I’m really learning a lot about combining stitches. I was able to finish the top part of this pendant and set in the pearls. The next step is to start the build of the tip module from the bottom of the piece I completed. Then I’ll embellish and add a triangular bail. This really is a stunning piece.

Day Three- We are all exhausted. There’s something about sitting for hours and concentrating on tiny things that really takes it out of you. Today everyone is geeked up about the Saints game tonight. Plus, I started my fan page on facebook last night and started collecting class information from anyone and everyone who would send me links. By the time I went to bed last night, it was late and I couldn’t turn off my brain. So, I came to class with not enough sleep. Brain is a little foggy but I’ll continue on. Tekla’s cuff is all about combining stitches to fit the brass cuff blank. We had homework of a tubular herringbone piece and a flat two-drop peyote piece. We took the tubular herringbone and made it fit on the arms of the cuff blank. This meant we learned how to decrease the tube and switch to peyote to close the ends. Going the other direction (towards the center of the cuff) I learned how to add a picot edge to herringbone and start right-angle weave. This portion of the bracelet will then join to the two-drop peyote at the center. I really like the look of the three stitches combined on one piece. The focal at the center of the cuff will be a beautiful mabe pearl and some coin pearls. I’ll be sure to post some pictures when I finish. It’s not going to be this week! But, I’m a pretty quick beader. It won’t be months and months.

I so enjoyed getting to know Maggie Meister. She would be a close friend, if she lived here. Hopefully, I’ll see her again soon at a class, retreat or on a trip in the future. I always come away from a class with (at least) one thing that I learned from that particular teacher. With Maggie, I think the one thing is playing with combined stitches and how to transition between those stitches. These are techniques I will use over and over again in my bead projects.

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