July 17, 2010

NH Workshop Treat

Yesterday I took off into the wilds of NH to take a "Rapunzel" workshop with NanC Meinhardt. If you don't know her work, it's fantastic. Her Mask series was what first caught my interest years ago. I just plain like the way she thinks in beads.

"Let Me In", photo courtesy of

Finding the Bead Bush Studio was an adventure in itself. Let's just leave it at the fact that I got lost and arrived 15 min late... never mind that I can get lost in my own back yard!

What a great bead space tucked into the tranquil woods of Deerfield NH.

You walk into an open, well lighted space filled with a great selection of beads and accouterments. The interests and personality of the owner, Judy Bush shows up throughout the shop in the particular choices of interesting beads from around the world.

One of the nice surprises was their Master Beading Program. With beading instructor Deb Fairchild, Judy "created their Master Beader Program. An innovative three-level certificate program designed to allow participants to enjoy the challenge and explore the fun of beading as they become proficient at the techniques they love."

Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery at this point so I don't have any photos of the classroom or NanC showing us what to do next.

If you are ever in the area, spending a couple of hours (or more) in the Bead Bush Studio is well worth your time.

"Rapunzel" is a great lariat piece that incorporates a different way to do flat peyote and add an integral increase to make it spiral. I rather liked the idea of making a "sample piece" rather than spending time just starting the long lariat. NanC emphasises the creative side of "what would happen if..." By doing a shorter sample I was able to let my hands and mind learn the thread paths while trying out variations on bead combinations. Now that I know what I'm doing I could chose beads and colorways and take the time to stitch up a long lariat if I choose. This is the sample that I finished in class.
However, I'm going my own way . . . I determined that the 2-bead start will tuck up inside a 6-around, 9/0 3-cut bead crochet rope. I can see one or more of these flexible, bead encrusted spirals on the end of a long bead crochet rope. Maybe a wired spiral closure on the other end - will have to wait and see.
NanC has drastically cut back on her teaching schedule, saying that she's in semi-retirement. I seldom take classes but, I'd take another from this teacher any time, anywhere. If you have the chance to take a workshop with her, don't hesitate one moment - just go for it. You won't be disappointed.


  1. Judith-

    I'm so happy you enjoyed the Bead Bush experience. And I agree with you wholeheartedly about about NanC Meinhardt and her beadwork. I have traveled around the country to work with NanC and I would do it again!! She always finds a way to challenge my imagination and my perception of my beadwork.


  2. Judith, sitting next to you in class was a learning experience in itself! I enjoyed listening to you discussing your color choices with the woman across from you. Your blog nailed it. NanC Meinhardt has a fantastic teaching style and beading philosophy. I will second that comment that she is worth traveling to where ever she is to get instruction from her. Thank you to Deb Fairchild for making this happen. It was an incredible day.