My First Apprenticeship Program

Part of my goal last year was to form a team of apprentice whom I could teach how about bead jewelry making. I decided that in order for this business to grow, I would need to train people who will create pieces to increase my product inventory. With the colossal task of homeschooling my kids, being a financial advisor, and a leader for my Oilista Manila team, there is a call to leverage on people and productivity apps, among other things.

So before the year ended, I decided to bring some of my jewelry making books, tools, beads to our church in Cavite during Christmas break. My sister had invited some of our youth members and their moms into the program in advance and managed to bring in 12 people for the workshop.

The workshop started with card drawing for us to get to know each other and to break the ice. I rarely attend the church service at my dad’s because I live too far so breaking the ice was necessary. Each participant was asked to draw a card from my stack of “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabriel Bernstein. Although the message in each card is simple and self-explanatory, I also further expounded so that my future apprentices will warm up to me.

Then I made them go over to the work table where the beads and tools are and formally introduced myself through this website. I showed them my pieces for their inspiration. I then introduced the books that I was gonna leave with them, each beading tool and its purpose, and the various beads in their organizers.

The first thing I taught them is how to create loops using pliers and pins as this technique is elementary in assembling jewelry pieces.

The first thing I taught them is creating loops in head pins which is the most basic technique to learn when assembling jewelry pieces especially, earrings. I then demonstrated how the technique can be used to assemble earrings by combining beads and dangling these into the French wires. After that, I asked each participant to get creative and assemble their very first pair of earrings. This was to gauge is there was anyone in the group who has knack for combining bead shapes and colours. I observed at least two are naturals, if you know what I mean.

One of my participant’s daughter wearing her first pair of earrings. 🙂
Another participant showing off her freshly assembled pair of earrings. You can see behind her how focused the rest of the participants are. Beading is such a hobby that can really take your mind off things that’s why I find it relaxing.

I also taught them how to design and assemble simple bracelets using a bead board, beads, and elastic silicon garter. I showed them how to combine colours by using the color wheel and also by getting inspiration from nature such as the play of colours in the sky during sunset, sunrise, the flowers, trees, and the beach. I have chosen the beads to bring based on color inspiration from nature. Below is the photo of their first set:

First set of bracelet and earrings that my students assembled.
This little boy also joined his momma to assemble his own bracelet using dark-coloured beads and string.
My participants while assembling bracelets.
Beading can be a great mom and daughter bonding activity.
Designing and combining beads all at the same time is so much easier done using a bead board. This one I got from Bead Smith, US, along with my pliers.
My sister Bam, who made this event possible, also joined in.

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