“Follow the water tank wall” She says, “Take a right and the second left; you would see a board as your come inside the street – Christina’s Art Studio”. As my Uber makes the turn, I take a moment to prepare for my Mandala jewelry workshop. Between 2011 and 2014, I conducted jewelry workshops at regular intervals. However, once I started working fulltime, I gave it up save for 1-2 workshops a year. Naturally, I was nervous as this was the first workshop in over 1.5 years and I was about to teach 10 students a technique that I had just discovered.
Christina’s Art Studio
I met Christina somewhere in 2011 when we used to teach design at a Private design school. Her friendly nature and out spoken personality instantly attracted me and we became friends. She is a Psychologist turned Interior designer cum artist who handles both structured classes in a college setting and personal workshops with Elan. She teaches Calligraphy and decoupage amongst other crafts at her studio in Ayanavaram in Chennai, near Kilpauk. You can find details about her classes on her website – Christina’s art studio. I invited her to take classes at NIFT and so we meet once a week. During one such meeting she persuaded me to start teaching workshops again. I protested lack of time and energy but eventually gave in. After much thought and planning, I decided to teach a beginner class that combined art and jewelry making which turned out to be the very successful – Mandala jewelry Workshop.
Mandala jewelry Workshop
Mandalas are super in trend at the moment. But what are mandalas and why are they important? More on than it the following post. Since this was meant to be a beginner workshop I focused on simple Doodled Mandalas. In the class, the participants learned to create a colourful mini canvas mandala and turned it into a wearable necklace. You can see the samples that I created for the class in the first picture of this post.
To keep the session personal, we closed the registrations at 10 participants. But boy, they were all from diverse backgrounds. From Art teachers to Tech employees and the age group ranging from 11 to 50’s it was a little intimidating to begin with. Christina really stepped in and eased us all into it. So as the workshop proceeded we all had fun. From learning about what mandalas are, to drawing them out on self prepared canvas, the participants showed a lot of interest. They picked colours of their choosing and happily painted away while chatting about their lives.
Other than two of the participants, the rest had no prior experience in jewelry making. So questions like “why is this called a jump ring” or “how do I crimp the crimps?” filled the air. I usually provide pre-planned kits for my classes but this time, I wanted the participants to choose from a selection of beads. It was interesting to see how they chose beads and spacers to match their pendants. You can see their creations here.
Yes, the participants designed the necklaces and earrings all by themselves. I gave inputs on colour theory and colour psychology and they just ran with it. I only helped with the looping for the earrings and with the crimps when it was required by someone. Fantastic, first timers right?
The Course was divided into four parts – Introduction to Mandalas, Preparation of the base, Doodling and finishing the pendant and finally jewelry making. I have received a lot of enquiries from people who missed this workshop. So I will plan another one soon. Please keep a tab on my Facebook Page Sayuri and subscribe to my blog for future announcements.
Some Feedback from the Participants
“I attended your workshop this afternoon. Enjoyed very much. Thank you” – Manjula Kettay
“Wow training, Divya. You explained each and every technique in detail in an understandable way. May you flourish in your career”… Rajini
I was delighted that I was able to come up with a new technique in mixed media jewelry making to create Mandala jewelry. (Sshh, I won’t divulge the technique so soon! LOL) Whether in trend or not, Mandalas are super special and are a great tool to rediscover yourself.
Special Thanks to Christina for making this happen!!
Stay tuned for upcoming post on Mandala ornaments where you can learn about the philosophy of a mandala.