Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Class Act ~ I Need Some Feedback

What I am about to tell you has absolutely nothing to do with the bear in the picture.  He is the bear I am currently working on...he isn't done, I am still detailing him and of course he needs to be dressed.  But I know you guys like pics so I thought I would take one real fast to add.  Besides you won't get to see him finished anyway since he is going to Philly for the show.

Now on to what I did want to talk about...yesterday I called and ordered a bunch of mohair.  I have had an idea in the back of my mind for about a year now, and I finally got around to figuring out all the details of making it happen.  In the next week to two weeks I am going to make a bear that I intend to teach as a class online.  I have taught quite a few classes at show in the past and they were always so much fun!  But I know that people can't always get to a show to do a class, especially if they live in another country.  This is something you can do in the comfort of your own home at your own pace.

I am going to design a bear pattern specifically for the class, and you will get a kit and online detailed instructions with pictures on how to make it.  It will still be the standard distressed, traditional style that I make.  I just want to do a pattern that is especially for the class.  You will be able to ask questions and we will have some discussion, etc.  I will give you all the details on that when I formally announce it.  There is also going to be a fun surprise too...but you will just have to wait and see.

Now what I need before I start designing is some feedback from you guys.  First of all would you like to take a class like that?  Also what size bear would you want to make if you did?  Do you prefer presewn parts in a kit/for a class or would you rather sew them yourself?  Anything else you might want to suggest would be appreciated.  I will take any and all comments under advisement.

Again, the bear I will teaching is NOT the bear in the pic above! Just wanted to make sure no one thinks it is!

Thanks a lot!  Hugs, K. <3


Heather said...

I really like the idea of a class with a premade kit to purchase. I've seen a lot of online bear classes, but they've never offered that, they just tell you "Go buy this stuff... from somewhere" and don't actually give links or anything for a good place to buy.

My only problem would be affordability. I've seen a lot of really neat bear making classes that I'd love to go to (live ones)... but they cost somewhere in the ballpark of $50+ just to get into the event they are in, then another $250-$400 for the class... I just can't afford that, but at the same time, I absolutely understand why it's priced that way... and I'm envious of the people who can attend, I just won't be one of them.

Heather said...

Oh, and I love the vibrant color on your little show bear! Beautiful!

ginger@bearbits said...

Hi Kelly,

As usual I had given this some thought but never quite got to this stage of planning. I think it could be a very beneficial service to those who would like to learn from someone with your experience. I might even take it! For me, it would primarily be the timing, but I think it's a really good idea.

Maybe you could offer an option for a pre-sewn kit for those who, like Heather, would like to have all the parts and pieces in one place without having to chase them down.

Good luck!


Jennifer said...

I think it's a great idea! I couldn't take the class though, I have tried teddy bear making and I'm really no good at it at all, trust me :o( I have a pattern for an easier looking bear and the more I look at the pattern the more I put it on the back burner. I'm better at buying the fully made kind. LOL! have a great day Kelly!

Katy Cameron said...

Well that sounds like a great idea. I've been to a couple of classes where almost all has been pre-sewn. On the one hand, I understand that that helps people on a one-day course get things done, but on the other hand you then miss out on all the tips about the best way to cut the pattern out, making sure you don't hack through the fur etc.

If you could stand to run it over a couple of days, either a weekend, or 2 Saturdays running, for example, you could then do the tracing out, cutting out, trimming, pinning and machine sewing on day one, and the detailed bit on day 2. You could also offer some pre-sewn up to where you would end your day 1, and then people could just take the second day of the course if they feel they know how to do that bit already.

Claire said...

Hi Kelly,

I think an online class is a great idea, like you said, especially for people who live in other countries or states. I have done classes with both pre-sewn bears & ones where I have had to do all the sewing. I prefer the latter because I want to feel like I have made the bear myself & seeing as sewing is such an important part of bear making having someone else do it runs the risk of detracting from the experience. Plus from your perspective-it saves you time that you could be investing in other work. The only other thing is I like to get the pattern with the kit even if the bear is pre-cut so I can make another from scratch when I finish the first. Good Luck Kelly, sounds like a great idea, cant wait to hear more about it! Claire X

bensonbear said...

Hi Kelly, as you know I do ALOT of workshops all over the place and I know there are many people out there who would love to join me but are unable to for various reasons, so I have been thinking of something very similar :o) If (when) it were me doing it, I would give out the pattern and maybe the kit(not marked out , cut, or sewn) or at the very least links to sites where the stuff can be bought! (I absolutelt HATE making up kits!!!!) I never pre-sew for my workshops, apart from it being really boring for me, I think it's really important for people to do the lot so that they get a true sense of what's involved in our craft. Also I'm sure they have a greater sense of accomplishment if they have done the lot! I'll be very interested to know how it all goes.
I have signed up for a felt doll-making course with Sue McFadden. I like the fact that I can work on it when I have time (hasn't happened yet). What she did was, send a pdf with lots of photos, the pattern for the body, and a list of materials with recommended suppliers. So once you've paid your money you then have everything you need to start when you get the chance. She offers email support and encourages us to send pics of our dolls... :o) Hope it goes well for you...Hugs

Kelly said...

I knew that it would come up about the pattern. The one thing I won't give you is the pattern. It's not that I don't trust any of you, but I do know that patterns have a way of being made into pieces to be that do get sold even when you say not to, and that's why I don't sell patterns in the first place.

But I am not opposed to letting you sew the pieces yourself if you prefer it that way.

As for the timing issue...I have figured out a way to make that easy for everyone. The class will technically be run at a certain time period but the info will be available to everyone who signs up for the class for a few weeks, so you will be able to get it done at your leisure.

Claire said...

I think it's good that the pattern issue has come up early because now you can deal with it before you start classes and avoid an issue later. As an artist it's your prerogative whether or not you supply the pattern, just state it up front so people are clear about what they are receiving.

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