Tuesday, April 23, 2013

That’s Just How I Roll

Whenever I load the car to go to a teaching assignment, I back out of the garage with the nagging feeling that I have forgotten something. But what? And how could I possibly have forgotten ANYTHING? My car is usually packed to the ceiling. Literally, a mobile jewelry studio. I can never predict where the creative whims of my students may lead, so I try to have everything they might need on hand.

 If you teach already, you know what I mean. If teaching is something you aspire to, you’ll find out very quickly that you always need the one thing you don’t have. So, your tools and supplies just keep growing and expanding. One of the big challenges of schlepping all this stuff around is in keeping it organized. Through the years I’ve tried lots of different approaches. While I still have room for improvement, my system seems to work most of the time. I have designated plastic containers for each major category: PMC, beading, and metalsmithing. Then I break it down even further with separate containers for each skill, each individually labeled. For example:

  • Supplies – PMC clay, syringe, sheet, and paste. 
  • Basic Tools – Students are required to purchase their own tool kit but I keep extras of all the basics in case someone has forgotten something. 
  • Texture – Including lace, fiber, organics, rubber stamps, molds, etc. 
  • Ring Making - Mandrels, ring sizers, tape, freezer paper, etc.
  • Sheet – Paper punches, scalloped and decorative edging scissors. 
  • Miscellaneous– Sales book, calculator, class handouts, pens, etc.
  • Specialty Tools and Supplies – Hole punch for fired silver, drills, mold making compound, Indian ink, patina, fine silver wire, bezel cups, chains, insertable bails and jump rings, slumping, forming, shaping and carving tools, cores for hollow form beads, polishing clothes, and the like.
  • Gemstones – Assorted sizes, colors, etc., separated by those that may and may not be fired in the kiln.
  • Burnishing Compound for Tumbler - I even take “special” water for the tumbler. 
  • Project samples and instructions. 

  • Assorted Hand Tools – Files, hammers, assorted pliers, millimeter index, small anvil or metal block, bezel pusher, metal saw, etc. 
  • Torch – Solder, solder pick, pickle, copper tongs. o Sterling wire and fine silver bezel wire in assorted sizes. 
  • Epoxy/chemical fixature o Jeweler’s investment. 

  • An Assortment of Findings: Headpins, jump rings in various sizes, clasps and toggles, ear wires and posts, pin backs, etc.
  • Beading Wire, i.e., Beadalon or Acculon in various weights.
  • Beads – Spacer, accent and focal beads in glass, gold, silver, natural gemstone, etc., in numerous sizes. 
This list is by no means an all-inclusive list of everything you will need. You’ll figure it out and refine it as you go. The biggest element of success for any organizational plan, however, is in training your students to please return everything to its proper place.

by Linda Kline
Dir. of Education

1 comment:

kamani74 said...

Thanks Linda!
I have the same problem, worrying about forgetting something. Do you have any stories about how you substituted items you forgot? Great blog