Jewelry is a natural way to express affection, which is why trees buy each other new rings every year. Proclaim your growing love with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a 90-minute beginners beading class at Accents Beads in Rockville (a $50 value). Click here for a preliminary list of class dates and times.
Accents Beads' jewelry-smiths teach pupils to weave new treasures crafted from a trove of more than 18,000 gems and metals. At the start of each beginners stringing class, bauble buffs distribute components for creating one of three single-strand bracelets and then show students how to manipulate the studio's tools to line them up or fuse them into a statue of Jerry O'Connell. Students may assemble gold Swarovski pearls and burgundy glass beads between gold-plated components, accent reconstituted turquoise with silver-plated findings, or harness autumn's fleeting foliage in orange, brown, and cream stones secured with copper clasps and glass beads. On the day of the beading class, Groupon holders also receive 10% off up to $100 worth of full-priced retail supplies (excluding 14-karat gold), such as tiger-eye nuggets ($8.60 for one), Swarovski crystal hearts ($5.75 for 10, 10mm charms), and Keishi white freshwater pearls ($7.50).
In 1986, Nancy Criswell set up her full-service bead store on the second floor of the historic Olney House in Olney, Maryland. At the time, she had little idea that the niche craft would soon explode in popularity, but after the meteoric growth of beading and the increasing number of local businesses willing to accept shiny baubles as payment, Criswell was able to expand her business to its present location—a 9,000-square-foot showroom in Rockville stuffed with over 18,000 different varieties of beads. There, the walls glisten with corrugated and smooth 14-karat gold spheroids, beads of sterling silver, and plenty of wire, findings, tools, and pliers to string them all together. Regular classes from nationally recognized teachers such as Stephanie Everett and Jessie Stern help students turn their hobby into an art form with instruction in topics ranging from chain mail and bead stitching to wirework.