Utilitarian artists’ well-intentioned desire to create art for everyday use has resulted in such muddled mediums as windshield self-portraits and tax form haikus. Pioneer more practical art forms with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of crafting supplies and jewelry-making classes at Briolette Beads & More in Forest Park.
Briolette Beads & More spurs the creativity of crafters with a large selection of handicraft supplies, from beads and stamps to semiprecious jewels, and the store’s experienced instructors nurture skills with a steady diet of jewelry classes. Hand-painted and pressed in vintage mold, a selection of czech glass buttons ($3+) dots the newly renovated store, which also hosts cylindrical japanese delica seed beads ($3.25) and charming pewter pendants molded into idyllic pastoral accents ($1.25–$5.50). Finished jewelry pieces, such as a tiger chakra bracelet ($38), come strung on elastic cords ideal for encircling the snouts of pouncing mountain lions.
Students tackle the complexities of string theory in stringing workshops such as the 90-minute beginners’ knotting class ($30) and the two-hour introduction to necklaces and bracelets ($35). A chainmaille seminar ushers crafters out of the dark ages, adopting a patterned European weave once found on knights’ armor and medieval speedos for the purpose of designing slinky mesh bracelets ($55). Classes are designed for beginners and beading bodhisattvas aged 12 and older, with all students allowed to keep the jewelry they make in each class. This Groupon can be used for all classes that cost more than $40, with customers responsible for paying the difference.
Briolette Beads & More
Inside Briolette Beads & More, hardwood floors and walls lined with multicolored glass beads and beading supplies envelop customers perusing DIY materials or embarking on jewelry-making classes. Under the tutelage of experienced teachers, hands-on sessions abound, from metal smithing to stringing to wire working—in which students twist government surveillance materials into rings and pendants. The brightly hued party room's](http://gr.pn/w7ZafC) neon-green walls are decked in a vibrantly painted peacock and flowers, inspiring revelers as they fashion myriad beaded items, and Thursday evenings boast crafty diva night, during which participants can finish new or existing projects in the company of other crafters.
7322 Madison St.
Forest Park, Illinois 60130