with Ann Scherm Baldwin

A Somewhat Unorthodox Approach to Scheduling Classes.....

I've found that most of my classes that actually take place are not the ones I've published on my website, picking random dates. Most of my classes happen when an interested student emails me inquiring when I might be able to teach them. So, instead of setting up a random schedule of classes, I'm encouraging anyone who wishes to take a class to please CONTACT ME so we can pick a date that's convenient for you. I'm happy to set up a weekend class, week day classes, or (if you live nearby) a four week class which meets during the evenings. I am often available to teach almost as soon as you can get yourself over to the studio, for all you implusive types. (It seems to be a common beadmaker characteristic.... ) All you have to do is email me and request a date. Yeah, I'm that easy.

A Somewhat Unorthodox Approach to Teaching and Pricing.....

I prefer (and I think you will too) to teach students one on one. That way, you have my full attention, and I can tailor the class to your learning style, interest in specific bead styles & techniques, answer all your questions and make sure you receive the information you need to go home, set up a studio that suits your specific requirements, and start making beads.

I have heard over and over again from students who have taken other beadmaking classes that they have gotten so much more out of this arrangement than a class with 6, 8 or 25 (Yes! 25!) other students, and only one teacher to watch what they're doing, and offer corrections and advice.It's my belief that demonstrating and explaining a technique or skill is only half the process; observing you while YOU attempt it and giving you feedback is key to learning and retaining the information beyond our time together in class.

Now, I do have four torches, and I am able to teach up to four people at a time. If you wish to set up a class with a friend, sister, cousin or a couple of co-workers in order to save some money, just let me know. A group class will cost less ($300 per student) if there are two or more students in the class.

Dates and Times
Beginning Beadmaking
Taught one on one
2 day
You pick the dates - Email me !
Special Techniques Classes :
Please refer to class descriptions below for cost and email me if you're interested in taking a class.

Other Classes that can be scheduled as requested:
Basic Skills -
Working Past The Wonky Stage
1 day
Please email to set a date -
9:30am - 4:30pm

Intermediate Beadmaking
1 day
Please email to set a date -
9:30am - 4:30pm


Levels: B = Beginner, AB = Advanced Beginner, I = Intermediate, A = Advanced
Please be sure to read about Skill Level

While you're waiting for your class, take a look at this page, STUDENT PAGE
which provides feedback, pictures and other fun stuff from some of my first students and classes!

Beginning Beadmaking
$350 ~ Two day class

This two day class gives you both the information and basic skills necessary to start making beads on your own. There is an emphasis on safety and knowing your equipment and materials. You will learn about the different types of glass, the importance of annealing your beads, how to pull stringer and simple decorative cane, make basic shapes, and use decorative elements and tools. You will make simple but beautiful beads using dots, frits, stringer and encasing. The class is taught one on one, to ensure you receive individual attention.

Setting up a home studio will be discussed, and I'm happy to guide you with information and resources to assist you in making choices that work for your particular situation. Cost of class includes all materials and use of safety glasses, tools and equipment.


Working Past the Wonky Stage!
Basic Skills Review

$175 ~ One day class

This one day class is for beadmakers who have been torching for a while, but are frustrated at not being able to make the glass do what they want! Often people who are self-taught, who haven't had a class for a while, or have reached a plateau in their beadmaking realize that they could benefit from some basic skill review, giving a little boost to their glass control, satisfaction and confidence.

We will cover the basics, starting with applying glass evenly, learning to read the heat in the bead, and where to work in the flame. Stringer control, shaping and learning to use gravity and a simple marver as well as some of the other tools for complex shapes will be demonstrated and practiced. We will work on balanced beads with even ends and nice puckers. Then we will move on to other decorative techniques as requested by the student. You will come away with a much better understanding of how to make the glass do what YOU want it to do!
No more Wonkys!! (Or at least, far fewer of them!)

Cost of class includes all materials and use of safety glasses, tools and equipment.

Intermediate Beadmaking
$175 ~ One day class

This is a one day class for beadmakers at the intermediate level. (Please see skill level guidelines below, or email me if you're unsure which class would be best for you.) It covers a review of the basic skills listed in the "No More Wonkys!" class (above), and goes on to explore the use of some of the more difficult decorative elements, such as complex cane, foils, and dichro. Advanced techniques using hand tools to shape, sculpt and texture, and color layering for effects will be introduced. Students input and interest will help guide the exact techniques and bead styles covered.

Cost of class includes all materials and use of safety glasses, tools and equipment.

Technique Classes

The following specialty technique and materials classes are available as requested. Most classes will be 4 to 5 hours in length, and can be scheduled for daytime or evening. Please email me for further information about the class topics listed below, or with special requests:

  • Florals - Basic surface floral decoration, including Daisies, Iris, Wisteria, Roses, leaves and vines, as well as flowers under glass (encased florals). Class cost: $100.
  • HI HO Silver! - There are many exciting new brands of glass available with a high silver content, allowing you to produce amazing results with a reduction flame. Let me show you how to get beautiful metallic details, or shimmering opalescent depth from them. Class cost: $110.
  • Hollow Beads - Learn several methods for making, and decorating, hollow beads, using both the traditional method, as well as the "Puffy Mandrel" method. Class cost: $75.
  • Vessels Ancient and Modern -Learn to shape and decorate beautiful miniature vessels to wear. These are actually hollow, and can hold essential oils, ashes, prayers, etc. I'll also show you how to construct a stopper using cork and wire wrapping details. $100.
  • Elegant Organics - Explore the use of metals, chemical reaction, and freeform shaping to create glass beads which mimic the wonders of nature. Class cost: $85.
  • All That JAZZ! - Learn the secrets of success for introducing amazing sparkle and glitter into your beads using Foils, Goldstone & Dichroic glass! Class cost: $110.
  • Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy...: Sculptural beadmaking -Thinking in three dimensions; Learn to make fish, fins, sea creatures and more using basic hot glass sculpting tools and techniques. Class cost: $85.

Cost of classes includes all materials and use of safety glasses, tools and equipment.

Class Information

My studio is set up with four torches: three minor bench burners and a mid-range plus (a minor / mid-range combination). Each teaching station is equipped with a set of basic tools and safety glasses for student use in class. Class size is limited to four students, but for a group class, my preference is to teach 2 - 3 people at a time. Seeing other student's strengths and challenges helps individuals assess their own progress and growing edges. With no more than four students in a class, I can still give each student the personalized assessment, feedback and instruction that makes the difference in learning the beadmaking skills and techniques I teach.

My teaching style is fairly easy-going, and I have a lively sense of humor. There is a lot of information to take in, and many demos of basic skills and techniques. There will always be time for questions. For most classes, there will be hand-outs to take home, with an outline of what we worked on in class. You will have sufficient torch time to work on the new skills and techniques that are introduced in class, with enthusiastic and supportive supervision and guidance from me.

A Word About Beginning Beadmaking
Many students notice that beginning beadmaking class is exhilarating and exciting, but exhausting. Yes ! That's exactly how it should be. Learning to make beads requires a whole new range of motions, eye/hand coordinations and lots of new information. By the end of class, you will be tired, full of ideas, information and enthusiasm, and ready to go home and set up your own torch!

Please consider reading one or more of the following books before your class, to familiarize yourself with the terms and process of making glass beads:
(This helps a lot!)

  • Making Glass Beads by Cindy Jenkins
  • Passing the Flame by Corina Tettinger
  • More Than You Wanted To Know About Glass Beadmaking by Jim Kervin
    (more technical than the first two, but very good for future reference and study)

For additional information about what is involved in setting up your own studio, and making beads, take a look at my
Frequently Asked Questions Page.

Class Skill Levels

Unless you're completely new to beadmaking, classes listed for certain skill levels can be confusing. There is no commonly agreed upon set of skills that an advanced beginner, intermediate or advanced beadmaker should have. What "intermediate" means to you might not be what I mean when I say a class is for someone at the intermediate level. So, I have created a set of guidelines for what I consider the various levels of beadmaking.

These are simply guidelines, (and only my opinion, of course...) because people develop skills at different rates, and sometimes one beadmaker will be very good with stringer control, and still not be able to get a balanced bead with even puckers on the ends. These guidelines are based on the usual progression of skills that I have observed in teaching for several years, but not everyone will fit a skill level exactly. That's okay - I offer these skill level definitions simply as guidelines to help students to choose the most appropriate classes for the skills they have already mastered, and what they still want and need to work on.

Click on link to view:

About taking a class that you are not quite ready for....
Some people think that even if a student doesn't have the necessary skills to get the most benefit from a class that is more advanced than their current skill level, they could still learn techniques and information in that class that they will be able to use later on.

While that is true, unfortunately, it isn't safe, and it isn't fair, to have students without the necessary skills in an intermediate or advanced level class with other students. It isn't safe, because the instructor will not be prepared to give the less experienced student the attention and supervision necessary, and that puts both that student, as well as the students sitting nearby, at a greater risk of getting hurt.

It isn't fair, because someone without the basic skills or experience for a class can slow the class down, taking the instructor's time and attention away from teaching the curriculum that other students are taking the class to learn. (I've also heard from fellow instructors that it often makes the teacher frazzled and frustrated!) If you have questions about your skill level and a class you want to take, please email me to discuss it, before signing up for one of my classes.

About the Instructor:

Scherm Baldwin

I served as Director of Education for the International Society of Glass Beadmakers for four years (2002 -2007), and served as the coordinator / presenter for the Instructor's Seminars at the ISGB Gatherings for a number of years.

During that time, I drafted the Standards of Teaching Beginning Beadmaking, which the ISGB adopted as our approved Standards. The Standards provide much useful information for prospective beadmaking students, to help them choose an appropriate, safe class and a knowledgeable instructor.

You can view the Standards on the ISGB website:
ISGB Standards of Education

I have been making beads since March, 1999.
I have been teaching beadmaking since April, 2001.

I took my first class with Kate Fowle-Meleney, and have also taken classes from Leah Fairbanks and Kim Osibin (team taught), Pati Walton, Larry Scott, and Sharon Peters.

My beads have been published in Lark Books, "1000 Glass Beads", Jim Kervin's "More Than You Wanted To Know About Making Glass Beads", and Kate McKinnon's "Project Workbook 2003". I was a juror for Bead Review 2 (2006).

I have sold my beads at several national bead shows over the years, including The Best Bead Show in Tucson, The Bead Bazaar at The ISGB yearly Gathering, Bead & Button in Milwaukee, and Lapidary Journal's BeadFest in Ft. Washington, PA.

My academic background includes degrees in education and social work. In the past I have worked in retail sales, run several small crafting businesses out of my home, helped start a county hospice, developed and run children's summer programs, and written / performed in murder mysteries for amateur theatre. I also love to sew and quilt, and take up random new hobbies on a regular basis, especially if they involve color, shiny objects, and acquiring new tools and interesting materials... (Magpie syndrome)

I live and teach in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I have a husband, two adult daughters, some adorable grandkids, and a couple of rascally animals. (Way too much of ) My spare time is spent on the computer, designing jewelry, sewing (or stockpiling fabric for my stash!) or with my family. I have a secret addiction to watching "Law and Order", "America's Next Top Model", "Survivor", and "Project Runway". Obviously, Beadmaking is just not exciting enough by itself.

Okay, so now it's not much of a secret anymore...

Registration and Payment
The first step in registering for a class is done by emailing me with the class / dates you are interested in. Email is often the fastest way to reach me, as I don't answer the phone when I am teaching, but I do check email (at least!) twice a day. I will then give you the full details on deposits, payment and directions in my responding emails. If you don't hear back from me within 48 hours, I may be out of town, but I promise to get back to you when I return.

At this time, I do not require a deposit on classes; You can pay me when you get here. (Cash or personal check preferred.) The bottom line is: Sometimes life happens, and for very good reasons, one of us has to cancel or reschedule. In eight years of teaching, this has happened only a handful of times. I am flexible and understanding. However, if you are travelling here by plane (or other non-refundable transportation), please let me know that when you register for a class, so that I can get it down on my calendar, and be sure to hold that date for you.


Many of my students travel here from out of the area to take a class, and in the past I have offered my guest room as accomodations. For the time being, my guest room is "out of commission" (filled with adult daughters who just keep coming back to the nest!), so I am not able to offer that to my students right now. I can, however, give you information regarding where to stay in this area. Here are some nearby accomodations - clean, safe, reasonably priced - that I can recommend:

La Quinta Inn
192 Newtown Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462-2401
Phone: (757) 497-6620

Courtyard by Marriott
5700 Greenwich Road
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
Phone: (757) 490-2002

Holiday Inn
5655 Greenwich Rd,
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 473-0517

Hampton Inn
5793 Greenwich Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 490-9800

All of these hotels are in the same general area, just off the interstate within a ten minute drive from my house. They are not near the oceanfront, which is another 15 minute drive from here.Just so you know - accomodations near the oceanfront - which can be lovely and scenic - will either cost significantly more, or be less appealing, and sometimes even shabby or dirty. This is a tourist town, and I try to avoid trying to drive near the oceanfront during the summer months, as traffic and parking can be a nightmare. Okay, okay.... so I'm a curmudgeon.
Just don't say I didn't warn you. (And don't forget your sunscreen, if you plan to visit the beach!)