Resin Jewellery Workshop @ Riverside Beads

On of my pieces from the workshop

Today I achieved one of my crafting ambitions. I have gazed starry eyed at other creator’s resin work for as long as I can remember and from the first time I saw resin being used I knew I HAD to try it.

Whether it is being used in jewellery, home decor, wall art or any other application I just can’t get enough of resin. I can’t say exactly what it is about resin that makes me tick, there’s just so much to love. It brings out colours and details in every day objects, you can add colour and texture and whatever you put in there is perfectly preserved forever more leaving you with tiny treasures you can carry around with you. Anyway, enough of that.

The Nitty Gritty:

The resin workshop is approximately three hours long, you get a lovely cup of tea or coffee and today there was cake. (Major plus point). You will make between five and six items depending on time and all materials are provided for you. The cost of the class is £17.50 and given that the majority of our group were able to make six pieces I would say that definitely represents Value for money! The class is held in a dedicated teaching room and groups are small enough that you can have plenty of help from your crafting pro (our group had seven people today). Not only are all the materials provided for you, your lovely crafting pro (Heidi, who is a fab teacher) keeps an eye on your pieces while they cure over a few days and trims off/tidies up any excess resin that has overflowed the edge of your finished piece. If you live far away they will even post them for you, all for no extra cost! How amazing is that?!

If you would like to go on this workshop follow the link for online booking here. (I don’t work for Riverside Beads and they aren’t paying me to send you to their workshop. I had a great time and I think it’s important to support independent businesses!)

Here’s What Happened:

A few of us arrived at the same time and were greeted by the lovely Riverside team who checked us in for our workshop. We were shown into the classroom where Heidi (our crafty pro for the day) had finished setting up the room and was waiting for us. We were told where we can put bags etc. and where we could go to the loo. We chatted while waiting for others to arrive. The table was laid out with loads of supplies. Aprons, gloves, pots stirrers and the all important sparkles and colours we crafty magpies (and frequently our bank cards) are so strongly drawn to. There were crystals, buttons, charms, watch parts, mica powders, dried flowers sea shells, stones, sand, glitters (obviously!), craft papers, alcohol inks, old sheet music, book pages and road maps. I knew before we started it would be a difficult task to decide what to include in my pieces because everything was so beautiful.  Heidi told us a little about some of the samples on the table to give us some ideas for our own makes, showed us what comes inside the resin kit available from the shop and told us about an upcoming new class for resin pouring (which sounds brilliant and I will definitely be going on). After that it was on with the crafting. What was great about the workshop in particular was being able to try a new craft with other people, seeing their creative ideas, helping each other and learning together.

We all chose five pieces to make, I chose necklace pendants but there were also rings, cuff links and various other findings. We arranged our assorted crystals, papers and flowers etc. within our pieces as Heidi gave us tips on how to use certain items to best effect such as the flowers and the papers. We mixed and poured out our resin mixture into our pieces and then added finishing touches with alcohol inks, mica powders and more as desired. Some of us had time to make a sixth piece. All our pieces were left in Heidi’s expert hands and we all had a look around Riverside’s amazing bead and craft shop (for those of you who are wondering, it is impossible for me to enter a craft shop without spending money!). Time just flew by as we were all having great fun. I had had so much fun, in fact, that I was still in a world of my own and managed to leave the shop with someone else’s coat which was not even remotely the same colour as the jacket I had come in with. All’s well that end’s well, The Coat and I walked into Market Deeping town centre and back to Riverside Beads so The Coat’s owner and I could trade garments and be on our merry way. All that’s left to do is watch the postman like a hawk until my finished pieces arrive!

Why did I have such a great time?

As I made clear (hopefully) at the start of this review I have a bit of a thing for resin. I don’t mind telling you that is may have been very built up in my mind prior to the workshop and I was up very early today like a small child at Christmas. That said, it could have been so easy for things not to live up to expectations. I am happy to report that this did not happen!

Heidi was a great teacher. She was encouraging, professional, patient and passionate about resin. All of the shop staff were extremely friendly and easy to chat too, they are all experienced crafters and teachers. The team has just won an International Craft Award for their services and their beautiful shop. If you would like to know more about this, take a look at my post here and check out the Riverside Beads Blog here.

The quality and range of materials we were given was fantastic. It would have been very easy for the workshop to have run as a demonstration and then have a go at making a single piece, but the focus of the workshop is completely on value for money for the customer. You could use as much of the materials available as you liked and if something wasn’t there, for example if we ran out of cufflink findings, Heidi was able to go into the shop for more. Nothing was too much trouble and we were really well looked after. The Riverside team knows their customers, because they are all crafters themselves, and they are in this for the long haul not the quick quid. If they give you a good time and great value for money you will keep going back for more. It’s a system that works as several of the people in my group had been to multiple Riverside workshops before and not all of us were local. At least two of us in the group (including me) had come from out of county to come to the class today.

No one leaves Riverside Beads disappointed, this is at the centre of everything they do! I will definitely be (bead) back for more (if they will have me!) and I promise to leave wearing the clothes I arrived in!

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