THE Luckiest Person on Earth

August 31, 2008


  I’ve just returned from teaching at Bead Fest Philadelphia and I know now that I AM the luckiest person on earth.  I don’t know how many times and in how many ways I’ve learned this but it must be so.  Here’s the story why:

  I was scheduled to teach 4 different programs, one each day all day.  It took me 23 hrs. to pack everything , inventory it all, etc.   The day before I started teaching, Shelly Crossen and I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see Alexander Calder’s jewelry exhibit. What a wonderful experience that was and how fortunate the timing was so right for getting to see it!

  My first class was on Thursday, Aug. 21st.  I taught a polymer clay class that day and then on Friday, it was metal etching…

   BUT (!) my shipment for the metal etching class never arrived!  Turns out it never got sent.  My brain went into overtime furiously working to figure out what I could do to avoid cancelling an over full class, lose my shirt,  disappoint a bunch of people, etc. Many phone calls all around, trips to the hotel biz center to send out an S.O.S. in email and so forth, my brain finally came out of it’s panic freeze and reminded me that I had had one of the Associate Editors of Jewelry Artist magazine in my class when the show was in Delaware last year and I had given her the extra etching solution from my class (it can’t be flown, must be trucked so I couldn’t take it with me).  So I ended up with 32 oz. to etch 224 pieces of metal for 16 people thanks to Sara Graham and LOTS of help from Karen Keegan, both of Interweave Press. WOW. 

  Thank goodness for Felicia Croom and her creative mind.  She built “scaffolding” from bamboo skewers so that we could hang things into a bowl of etching solution.  We had to cycle through three etching batches to get everything done since we only had enough to fill one bowl at a time but it worked. PHEW!  THANKS Felicia and everyone for your help and patience.

  SO by Saturday, I was pretty crispy but still had my PMC Branch Jewelry class running from 1-8 p.m. and a class on Sunday to go, too. We finished firing the metal clay pieces at 9:15 p.m. and I was pretty much toast by that time.  No sooner had we finished firing when Daryne Rockett, a student from my polymer class, whips into my classroom with her HARP!  OMIGOSH!  What an amazing experience.   When I saw my friends, Jack Berry and his sister Sue Latsha peek in the doorway, I motioned for them to come on in.  Those two are a hoot, by the way.    Daryne told us that a good harpist can make you laugh, make you cry and put you to sleep and that’s what she did: made us cry, made us laugh and she played a beautiful improvised harp meditation that was really out of this world.  I can’t wait for her CD! 

  Between sets of music, Daryne told us some stories centered around an Irish couple. HILARIOUS stuff… and of course, Jack and Sue have some stories that will put you on the floor with tears running down your face.  And then… yeah, I have some stories and figured that it was time to talk about my friend, John, with the wooden leg. Oh my, our sides were fairly splitting with hilarity.

  By the time I got packed up and into my hotel room it was after 11:30 p.m. and I still had to organize some things for class in the morning but – truly there has never been a more amazing classroom than mine this trip. The flying by the seat of my pants and other similar adventures notwithstanding.  I AM truly the luckiest person on earth.  =)

Sue Latsha, Jack Berry, Kristy Mosteller, student, visitor, Donna Ryan-Kocun, Deryn Rocket on the harp

L to R: Sue Latsha, Jack Berry, Kristy Mosteller, student, visitor, Donna Ryan-Kocun, Daryne Rockett on the harp

Deryn Rocket, harpist from Maine

Daryne Rockett, harpist from Maine

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