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Top 5 reasons to participate in a Master Class at the Bead&Button Show

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I’ve taken a lot of jewelry making classes over the past fourteen years. I've taken classes locally at colleges and bead shops, and even traveled long distances – all in my quest to quench my thirst for knowledge from experts in the field.

Last year was the highlight in my class-taking journey. Why you ask? Well it was my first opportunity to participate in a master class at the Bead&Button Show. I’ve always heard wonderful reports from participants who had taken master classes at the Show, and I was inwardly jealous of them. It was finally my opportunity to learn from a renowned expert in the field. The only problem was that there were several master classes to choose from. It was really hard to narrow it down, as I wanted to take each and every master class. In the end, I chose the stitching master class with instructor Melanie Potter. I was not disappointed.

Here are my top five reasons to consider taking a master class at the Bead&Button Show:

1. You have an intensive three-day workshop in a small class setting (usually less than 15 students) with one of the most well-known instructors in the field. Spending three days together really opens the door wide for all manner of learning that you would never be able to experience in a one-day class. You aren’t overwhelmed with too much information all at once. Instead, the learning seeps in steadily, through several one-on-one learning opportunities with just the instructor and yourself. Not to mention, you are also simultaneously learning with and from your fellow classmates. It’s a plethora of knowledge at your fingertips. 

2. You get enough time to actually work on your project and learn the techniques in-depth. You often walk away with a finished piece or at least started a handful of projects to keep you busy for months to come. Master class instructors spend the entire year researching and preparing for the class. They take it all very seriously. In the months leading up to the Show, I got frequent emails from Melanie Potter in preparation and anticipation of the upcoming class. Her level of involvement with the students in her class was exhilarating. It made me excited because she was so excited.

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3. You will discover almost instant inspiration and creative prowess as soon as the class starts. The air is thick with excitement upon entering the classroom your first day. Master classes are a big investment, and only people that are serious minded like you sign up for them. It’s such a positive environment, and a sense of belonging is immediately forged among the group. Your mind is open to creativity and you will find yourself thinking outside the box and having a lot of “what if I do this” moments. You walk away with a renewed confidence in your creative potential. Your head will be spinning with all sorts of creative ideas. Make sure you bring paper and pencil to capture them all!

4. You will be treated like royalty. The coach bus is your carriage as you are whisked away from the pick up stops surrounding the convention center each morning for your class destination and returned safely (and happy) at the end of day. Be prepared to gain 5 pounds though. Seriously! There is an awesome gourmet breakfast and lunch served everyday with loads of food choices for even the pickiest of eaters. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but these dining hours were a definite highlight each day. To wrap up the end of class, you are wined (yes, they really serve wine) and dined once more at the master class graduation ceremony. And yes, I really did gain weight that week. The food was that good.

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5. You will gain new friends and form a sense of community and belonging not only in class but throughout the week and months to come. The students in these classes are so open and easy to make friends with. Within 30 minutes, you will have started to form friendships with several people in the class. I was impressed with how many students in Melanie’s class traveled long distances (even from other countries) by themselves. They were able to form connections and bonds right away with the other students and never seemed to feel isolated or disconnected. I know I hung out and socialized with a lot of my classmates throughout the week, even after the master class was over. I would see them on the Show floor or at the Saturday night social and feel like we had been friends for a long time. I walked away with phone numbers and business cards from several students and was impressed with how fulfilling getting to know these other beaders made me feel.

I could easily add other highlights to this list, but these five reasons for taking a master class at the Bead&Button Show really sums it up well. I hope they give you some added insight and help make your decision to take a master class a little more compelling.

Find out more about Master Classes at the Bead&Button Show.

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