I've lived in Indianapolis all my life, but the Fountain Square area is my own personal Bermuda triangle. It doesn't matter where I start or how good my directions are; I always, always get lost.
So, when I headed to Boca Loca Beads for an introductory bead-stringing class a few weeks ago, I allowed plenty of extra time (and needed it). I finally found the shop on Prospect Street, just east of the square, and was grateful for the shop's dedicated parking lot.
When I signed up for the introductory bead-stringing class, I did think, "Well, okay, but how hard can it be? You just slide a whole bunch of beads onto a wire." Of course, as I should have expected, there's a lot more to the process than that.
Our class, which was taught by owner Jari Sheese and met in the store's lamp-working studio, focused instead on how to attach clasps, how to select tools and materials, and how to string beads efficiently. We also practiced several beading patterns and techniques, and every student left the class with two very different bracelets -- which I've actually worn since then.
All in all, it was a worthwhile way to spend two hours and $30. I went alone, but it would certainly be fun with a few friends, too. And, when you're feeling more ambitious, you can sign up for a host of other classes, which focus on different techniques and beading patterns.
One of these days I'm going to sign up for the store's lamp-working boot camp, an intense weekend workshop where students create glass beads, buttons and pendants. It's a bit more expensive, but you get to play with fire!