Throughout human history, beads have been used as calculators, blunderbuss ammunition, and deceptive currency when dealing with indigenous cultures that have no concept of ownership. Today’s Groupon lets the artistically minded discover a new use for them: decoration. For $20, you get $40 worth of arts and crafts classes at Bead + Fiber in South End. The cost of materials for each class is not included. For all additional items in the store (materials excluded), class members will enjoy a 10% discount.
Along with its fiber and beaded art adornments from local artists, Bead + Fiber's bevy of arts and crafts classes can teach you to produce crafty creations that accessorize wardrobes with individual flair. Bead Embroidery Basics ($60), for example, will teach you to bead-dazzle a cabochon centerpiece with glass-seed beads. Stringing 101 ($40) imparts the basics of string theory using nylon-coated stainless-steel wire, crimping, and small amounts of krumping, resulting in a single-strand bracelet. There are also tutorials on Overlay Chain-Making ($40), Knitting 101 ($80), and Ring-Bearing 101 (the first in a trilogy of classes). Bead + Fiber even offers a Repurpose Your Jewelry class ($40) that finally gets lazy gewgaws to stop lying around the house, spiff up their appearance, and get jobs accessorizing attire. Courses are also available in weaving, felting, hooking, and high-sticking. Whatever class you take, you get to keep whatever bling you build and flash it to great effect at your next Friar's Club roast or alien abduction.
Once you've mastered the methods of molding jealousy-sparking trinkets that deter rattlesnakes, you can continue making them out of Bead + Fiber's wide selection of materials, including a huge collection of beads grown and harvested from lush bead-tree orchards.
Self-made jewelry produces a sense of satisfaction that’s unmatched even by drafting an impressive fantasy curling team or finally realizing that you’re (spoiler alert) a ghost. Bring a Groupon and some bustling fingers to Bead + Fiber, and keep your unruly right hand busy learning a new skill so that you won't need to replace it with a chainsaw.
Bead + Fiber
Sharing a single art studio with 65 other artists, while inspiring, can get a bit crowded. So when the owner of the renovated factory building in the South End decided to renovate another nearby building, bead crocheter Andrea Garr put her dreams of opening her own studio and bead store into action, and Bead + Fiber was born. Wielding multihued beads, a fine selection of specialty yarns, tools and jewelry-making materials picked up from her travels around the globe, Garr sells her creations as well as those of the other teachers and instructs students on how to make their own, whether it's a pair of elegant earrings for a wedding or a retractable necklace for a fashion-forward pet turtle. A lifelong artist, Garr revels in the rhythm and meditative vibe of crocheting beads as well as the seemingly endless possibilities of making your own jewelry.
460 Harrison Ave.
Boston, Massachusetts 02118Get Directions