Friday, May 29, 2015

Inside the Studio: Erin Prais-Hintz, Tesori Trovati

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries.

Congratulations to Katherine Thompson!

You have won a $20.00 gift certificate to spend in Mary Harding's Etsy shop.
Send Mary an email to claim your prize. 
Hello bead tribe!

I don't know about you, but I feel a bit like I am barely treading water right now. Spring is always a bit frenzied for me. I am having a hard time keeping up!

Dance was over in April (but starting up again) and now travel softball (first tournament next weekend) and rec league are about to start for my daughter. Today is the last day of school for my son. Tomorrow he will officially be a senior for the 2015-2016 school year (wait...what?!!!?). Next Wednesday his baseball team takes on a regional semi-final baseball game on their march to State (they made it past the regionals only to fall in the last game - sectionals - two years in a row. Feeling hopeful that this is the year we can make it!). My daughter will be graduating from 8th grade next Thursday and I have been up around the clock working on the big through-the-years slideshow celebrating all 64 graduates. Add into that the fact that the grand-daddy of all bead shows is coming to Milwaukee (about 3 hours away - how could I miss it?!), and of course back in December I signed up to take classes on Wednesday  with Thomas Mann, Eva Sherman (yes, I will be missing the baseball game...and the weekend softball tournament), and on Sunday with the Thorntons (Andrew and Cynthia) all of which I am SOOOO not ready for. Needless to say, I am going a bit out of my mind!

Examples from past Thomas Mann classes - can't wait!
I didn't sign up for classes last year and I really missed it. I typically set aside a few hundred dollars for classes/workshops each year and last year I didn't really do anything that wasn't virtual. I miss the face-to-face. So I was excited to get in a class with Thomas Mann. Sometimes I take classes with artists that I admire, not really caring about what I am learning, just to soak up their genius. That would sum up my feeling about Thomas Mann. I had the good fortune to meet Miss Eva Sherman when I filmed a episode of Beads, Baubles & Jewels in December (which will go live in July! Woot!). She is dynamite and so sweet, so I knew that I had to take a class with her. And what more can be said about Andrew Thornton and his sister Cynthia of Green Girl Studios fame? They are absolutely delightful, so I know that I will be captivated by their magical class. 

Lisa Peters Art beads from 2011... I know I still have one of those tubes in my stash!
Of course, I love to shop at the bead show, but I have been on a self-imposed bead diet for over a year (that really hasn't stopped me so much as slowed me down - thanks to Miss Heather Millican of Swoondimples for helping me cheat recently!). I have stacks, bins and boxes of beads that I have purchased over the past few years at B&B that I have been hoarding. So I really don't NEED any more beads (but I know that won't stop me). I am actually hoping to put together some kits that I was asked to design, so that might be the only way that I will get my shopping fix.

Best beady friends!
So I will be heading to the classes I am taking with Thomas Mann and Eva Sherman on Tuesday night. And I will be coming back on Wednesday night as soon as my last class ends so that I can be present for the graduation festivities on Thursday. Then back to Bead & Button on Friday-Sunday, meeting up with my best friend and ABS Editor, Heather Powers and her Aunt Rosanne. It is something I look forward to every year. We really never get enough time to be together as friends and bead shoppers, it is always a whirlwind, more so this year than ever. 

I was honored that a necklace design I made last year was selected as a class for this year's Bead & Button co-teaching with Miss Brenda Schweder using her Now That's A Jig tool. Unfortunately, the world of Bead & Button Show classes is pretty competitive and my class ended up being cancelled due to low enrollment. Bummer! But I do believe everything happens for a reason, and it would have added to my stress level to teach on that large a scale. Plus, this won't be the last you will see of this necklace idea.... ;-)

And when one door closes, another opens... I am delighted to say that I will be teaching two make-and-take mini-classes on Saturday, June 6th at the Now That's A Jig booth #901/903. I think that space is limited, so if you are interested, be sure to sign up! I just saw the template of my original holiday ornament design that I will be teaching, and I am so looking forward to it!

Since I will be at the Bead & Button show next week, my prize for you will be to have me be your personal shopper at the Bead & Button Show. I am a really good shopper (just ask Heather!), and I need an excuse to go and fondle... er.... buy some beads, so it will be fun for me to pick out some things special for one lucky random winner. I will be sure to pick out some nice things for a surprise bead stew! Here is my question for you....

Would you rather....
...spend your money on BEADS? If so, what would you be looking for at Bead & Button?
...invest in taking classes with MASTERS? If so, what would you most like to learn or who would you like to learn from?

A random winner will be selected at the next Inside the Studio
and in the meantime, I will be shopping for something special just for one of you!


Ann Schroeder said...

Have a wonderful time at Bead & Button. It certainly sounds like you will! I would spend my money on beads rather than classes. I know I lack focus and tend not to follow up and practice to put new skills I learn to good use. I hope to change that in the future, but for now it's beads! :)

Kathy Lindemer said...

Those are 2 really difficult questions to choose from. I have to say I will go for the beads! I do love them and to have you as my personal shopper would be fabulous. I don't get the opportunity to see beads in person often. I really am restricted to Michaels unless I drive about 80 miles and then my selection isn't all that great. I do most of my bead shopping online which is fine once you are familiar with the artist of store. Getting my mind wrapped around the size of the beads is a challenge which sometimes I don't meet. I am in need of larger beads than I have been purchasing, but not gigantic!

Sarajo Wentling said...

The honest answer is that when I finally get to Bead and Button I'm going to maximize the experience and do both even if I break the bank! (and, let's face it, I probably will) I'm determined that next year is going to be my year. Now that I'm not traveling for library conference twice a year every year, I feel like I can justify the time and $$.

My biggest shopping priority would have to be lovely art beads.... No doubt. Ceramics, polymer, glass, oh my! Unusual gemstones and findings would also be high on the list. You have great taste so I'd let you be my personal shopper any day!

You are one busy lady. Good luck doing it all and have a great time at Bead and Button. Give Andrew, Heather, and Rosanne big hugs for me!

Kathy said...

Wow, tough question, but I would probably pick beads too. I really like textural pieces and usual prefer "pretty" (vines, flowers, scrolls, etc.) pieces as opposed to others. I do have to admit though, one designer whose work I consistently like is Lorelei Eurto, so someday maybe I can take a class from her.
--Kathy Bullock

Denise McCabe said...

Such a hard choice. Since I have never been to the show and since most beaders are online and I've been to the shows here in town, I would spend my money on a masters class and find all the beads I want and order them online when I get home:)

Cynthia said...

Well, Miss Erin, do have fun at B&B. Sounds like you'll be busy, but it also sounds wonderful!
This is the one time of the year I wish I lived in the northern Mid-west! lol.
If I were to go to B&B, I suppose, like you, I would sign up for classes. I have a 10-life-time supply of beads already (that would not stop me from shopping ;-)) but I love learning new techniques. I would take a class about metal clay, preferably, torch fired copper or bronze clay!
I hope you get me some FANTASTIC beads to add to my hoard!

Renetha Stanziano said...

I already have a stash of beads, but I am forever adding to my findings. I would look for unique clasps, earring wires, and little dangles and metal beads. I will continue to use the online tutorials until I have saved up enough to take a trip to one of the big bead shows.

Mokki said...

Sounds like you'll have a lot of fun at bead and button. I'd love to learn to use pmc but its hard to resist lovely beads. I love learning new things so maybe I'd go for a lesson in pmc!

Kristina said...

As much as I would love more beads, I would prefer to take a class. I always enjoyed school (excepting the politics and mean people) and learning gets me so motivated to create if I connect with the teacher or subject matter. Plus taking a jewelry class is on my list of 101 things in 1001 days.

I have NO idea who I'd want to learn from, but I would like to learn more about mixed media jewelry (since I love to repurpose old jewelry) or small metal working projects.

Shaiha said...

I would like to take some classes. I can always get beads online.

Kristen said...

If I had the money, I would take classes. I love learning new techniques, and taking a class inspires me and gives me a shot of self confidence.

lindalandig said...

I can't believe how busy you are Erin. Makes me tired just to read it! But a beautiful beady weekend with beautiful beady buddies is a good way to recharge one's batteries. I'd be looking for art beads. I am especially drawn to flower motives, especially if they are a bit rustic or boho style, rather than frilly.

Chris White said...

I hope you have a wonderful time at B&B this year. 'sounds like you have a grand time planned.
RE: your question, I would like to answer yes to both! I think taking a class with a master in his/her field and learning something new is priceless. However, I do like to return home with a wonderful stash of things to look at over and over again, and use them to create designs inspired by the show.

'looking forward to the BB&J show that you filmed, congrats on that!

Be sure to post all of your adventures at the B&B show when you return.

Alice said...

If I had my choice I would choose art beads and am mix of metal clasps.
I know you will have a great time!

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

I agree this is a difficult question, Erin... especially since I have hands-on access to neither in my part of the world :( The chance to connect with an experienced specialist MIGHT be too much to resist. But then there are all those beads... *sigh* A clone or two may be required LOL

Have a wonderful time!

Erin S said...

I'd rather spend my money on beads. I'm always nervous to take a class. What if I mess up? What if I am too stupid to learn the technique? What if I panic and set the room on fire with a torch? So yeah, BEADS for me, baby.

Klassy Joolz said...

Miss Erin,

Have a great time at the B&B...I wish I could go one of these years. I have a passion for beads and findings. So I would have to go for the beads. BUT...if I had enough $ I would have to take class...soldering.

Have fun. Be safe!

Patti P. said...

I would love to go to a Bead & Button show! I would not be able to resist the beads & I tend to like nature type beads & buttons. To take a class with a Master in wire working would be so helpful to me, so I would make sure to get into a class if I went! Enjoy!!

beadrecipes said...

Oh that's a tricky one. Here in Australia, I generally go for the beads as most of the classes are for those who use seed beads, which is just not me! If there is an interesting class dealing with metal techniques, I snap that up quickly though (even though I am not yet using it in my own designs)! But this year I am going to be in the USA for BeadFest and of course I have to go! I am enrolled in two classes at this point and I am drooling at the thought of all the beady shopping (remind me to set a budget!). I would love you to shop for me!

Maria Rosa Sharrow said...

I would more than likely would choose taking a class or classes. I have never in my ten plus years of jewelry making taken a class. I am completely self taught. So I think it would be fun to do so. I hope you have a great time.

Sarah Sieradzki said...

That's about the hardest question ever, Erin. Beads just seem to call to me with a siren song, but I guess my love of learning would take precedence. I've been so pleased that I've had the opportunity to learn from Heather and you. Eva Sherman is from the Cleveland area--I've wanted to take her courses, but simply haven't had the time. I used to shoat her bead store.

I hope you have a marvelous time. Have fun learning new techniques and picking the brains of masters of their crafts. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Sarah Sieradzki

Terri said...

Would love to go to bead and button some pose a difficult question....I want both...but if I was able to go I would like to buy a boat load of bead and when I got to go again..I'd take all the classes I could squeeze in. Congrats to my friend Katherine Thompson. I know she is going to be thrilled!

Terri said...

One day I will be able to attend until then I'll dream of the fields of Beads. I fancy glass, gem stones and ceramic the most. But then again I would love to take some classes as many as I could squeeze in. You pose a really tough question. Congratulation to my Friend Katherine Thompson for winning she is going to be thrilled!

Carolyn said...

Miss Erin,

Have fun at Bead &Button. Tell Andrew hello. I enjoyed meeting him last December.

I have never been to B&B but I think I would join the other commenters and purchase beads, lots of beads. I would buy some Art Beads and findings.


L said...

Wow, I can so relate to your stress and whirlwind of activity!!!! All good stuff but-agh! Tough choice beads or class-would love both but I have a "dragon's hoard" and definately need more. However, I'm choosing a class-it's time to expand! :)


Attending such a show is one of dreams, there's nothing like it in either France or Greece, where I live.
I'd definitely spend the biggest portion of my budget on beads and supplies, but I'd also love learning from the best - and I'm sure there are lots of lovely people to meet!
Have a wonderful time, what a fantastic idea for a prize, too!
I adore surprises, especially picked by people with such exquisite taste :-)

Karen M said...

At BeadFest I shopped and took classes and thoroughly enjoyed both. Beads and tools are fun to have, hold and see in a design. Have a great time!!