20 Comments
 

 

Gordon K. Uyehara at Bead&Button

Gordon K. Uyehara is a fabulous artist working in metal clay. He teaches, creates, interacts with the metal-clay community online, and inspires with his beautiful, elegant designs. He is the author of Metal Clay Fusion: Diverse Clays, Detailed Techniques, Artful Projects. Learn more about Gordon at his website www.honudream.com.

 

Why metal clay, Gordon? How did you discover this medium, and why is it such a good fit for you?

There was just something about it that set my imagination off. I could spend hours working with it and then when I wasn’t, my mind was still engaged to the point of obsession.

 

How do you describe your work and your aesthetic sensibility?

I’d describe my work as organic and nature-inspired, with sculpted features, in restrained refinement.

Artistically, it’s an ongoing process about observing the world around you and learning how to express yourself in every aspect of living.

 

Poison Pill Ring from Metal Clay Fusion

What are your hopes for the book Metal Clay Fusion? What do you want your readers to receive in practical and artistic terms?

I would like the book to inspire as many people as possible. I hope readers will try different techniques and that the book will help them discover their own artistic voice. And I always hope artists are thoughtful as they create.

 

What most impresses you about how metal clay is maturing as a medium today? And in which areas do you think growth is still most obviously needed?

I think the amount of experimentation people are willing to undertake is impressive.

Growth is needed in all areas. Having said that, it is proceeding just fine, under its own momentum.

 

Bronze, Silver & Pearl Pendant from Metal Clay Fusion

I’m not going to make you name your favorite metal clay artists, but would you name a few who you think are doing exciting new things, and say what it is about each that you find exceptional?

There are a lot of artists doing terrific work. As far as exciting new things, a few people come to mind:

Wanaree Tanner: youthful exuberance with a willingness to experiment, coupled with a keen aesthetic sense and natural talent

Hadar Jacobson: tireless innovator with super accessible projects

Samantha Braund: wild and beautiful shell-scapes (as they look to me) combined with wire-wrapping and stone setting

Lisa Lynn Barth: outstanding metal clay and leatherwork/knotting combinations

 

Speak to someone who has worked with other materials but not with metal clay: Please explain what you find most appealing about the medium.

I like that it is pliable and picks up deep texture effortlessly. Plus, it is easily sculpted. The entire transformative process is fun. It can be used in a myriad of ways.

 

Bronze Clay Mask Pendant from Metal Clay Fusion

Do you feel a community has developed in metal clay, with artists really knowing one another and the work intimately, offering ideas, feedback, and support? Or is that still nascent?

There is definitely a real community where ideas are shared freely. But it is also still very young. So it is both.

 

What do you do for fun, Gordon? And what are a few things that might surprise people about you?

Other than playing with clay, I like to relax outside in the sun, play guitar, and watch movies. It might surprise people that I have a mischievous side that I struggle to keep under wraps.

 

In what ways does your home state of Hawaii influence your work?

The flora and fauna definitely play a part—to what extent I do not know.

 

Bronze Asian Bell from Metal Clay Fusion

What’s next? Where do you see yourself going from here professionally? What are your biggest ambitions that you’re willing to share?

I’m not sure. The possibilities are endless, and you never know where you’ll end up. I’m just going to keep creating and see what life presents before me.

 

Thank you, Gordon!

Mahalo!

 
 
 
 
3 Comments
 

Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley, the authors of Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

I’ve done a lot of interviews over the past two years on this blog, and I figure y’all are getting a little tired of my questions. (Okay, I’ve been in Asheville, North Carolina, for six years now, but “y’all” still doesn’t sound right from me even when I type it.)

So, when I was ready to interview Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley—owners of the business Wired Arts, fabulous teachers, renowned jewelry designers, and the authors of the new book Making Wire & Bead Jewelry: Artful Wirework Techniques—I came up with what I think proved to be a better idea: Ask Janice and Tracy to interview one another instead.

They were remarkably good sports about what a skeptic might have perceived as my avoiding work on the weekend.

Enjoy the interview, and click here to go to an earlier blog post with two project PDFs from the book (one from Tracy and one from Janice, naturally) and a collection of preview photos of projects in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry.

I encourage you to buy the book at your local bookstore or bead store, and of course it’s also available via Amazon and BN.com.

Janice:
Okay, first question: Tracy, what was your favorite part of writing Making Wire & Bead Jewelry?

Tracy:
My favorite part of writing the book was knowing that I could put out what I consider to be good, solid techniques in an easily followed format.

I also wanted to reach more students than I ever could in the past, and now those people who do take classes with me finally have a book to go home with that they can use as a reference in their wireworking ventures.

Question: What do you hope people will take away from this book, Janice?

Janice:
Thanks for asking, Tracy! To me the most important thing is technique. Because the book has so many step-by-step images, the processes are easy to follow visually, making this the go-to guide for wire-bending techniques.

Wire-Wrapped Bangle, a project by Tracy Stanley in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

After technique, the rest is just plain wire-bending fun!

Rock and Roll by the Sea necklace, a project by Tracy Stanley in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

Which of your projects is your favorite, Tracy, and why?

Tracy:
My favorite project to make is the Rock and Roll by the Sea necklace. It has a little bit of everything in it, from my favorite—a double loop wrap—to coiled eye links. It’s hard to get bored making this one because there are so many fun components, and every necklace you make looks so different depending on how you combine the components, beads, and charms!

My favorite piece to wear is the Wire-Wrapped Bangle. I wear mine every day. The specific one I wear every day is made up of all metal beads. This bracelet is so comfortable and it goes well combined with other bracelets.

How about you, Janice: What is your favorite project you created for the book?

Janice:
It’s hard for me to choose. My two favorite techniques are making spirals and basket weave. For that reason, I would choose my Beach Pebble Bracelet and Wire Pod.

Beach Pebble Bracelet, a project by Janice Berkebile in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

As far as everyday wear, I choose my Beach Pebble Bracelet. It has simple techniques that I would use every day, especially the spiral. The spiral, one of the common forms found in nature, is one of my favorite techniques.

While we were writing the book, I made a Beach Pebble Bracelet, and it has only left my wrist once since then. That was at the Denver airport. I took it off for the TSA and promptly forgot it!

Some jewelry is just meant to be yours, though. The Denver airport was on its game and got it back to me in no time, so it’s safe and sound on my wrist again.

Wire Pod pendant, a project by Janice Berkebile in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

And basket weave—I have always been a fan of pods. With the Wire Pod project, you learn the basket weave technique, which is a soothing and tranquil process. All the while you’re creating a pod form, and then you get to stuff it with your favorite beads. It doesn’t get any better than that! [Editor’s note: The Wire Pod pendant is one of the projects posted as a PDF to download in this earlier post.)

So, tell me a little bit about how you began wire bending?

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
11 Comments
 

Jamie Cloud Eakin is the popular author of three books — Dimensional Bead Embroidery, Beading with Cabochons, and Bugle Bead Bonanza — with more than 50,000 books in print. She was generous enough to do a little interview with us, and even more, to create and let us share a wonderful stitch index for Dimensional Bead Embroidery and Beading with Cabochons, as she explains below.

Jamie lives in Modesto, California, and she teaches classes all over. See more of her work at http://www.studiojamie.com/.

Jamie, what are your favorite bead shops?

I love ALL bead shops! I can’t walk into one without some treasure that calls my name and has to come home with me.

But it really is more than just the beads. I love spending time with other beaders and people who love beads.

There is a joy and energy in bead shops that is difficult to describe. I think many people go to bead stores and bead shows thinking “I’m here for the beads,” but it really is so much more than that.

My theory is that the creation process accesses certain parts of our brain. Whether you are designing something yourself or following a pattern by someone else, the transformation process, the creation process, has an elevating influence on the person.

Classic Chic Earrings project from Dimensional Bead Embroidery

I think this happens more in beadwork than in some other crafts because of the process itself. You’ve heard many times, “When you are angry, count to 10 before you act to calm yourself.” Well, think about how many times you are doing this “counting” when you are beading … lots!

For this and other reasons, I think beading lets us get in touch with the best of ourselves. The end product is a huge bonus, but it’s the process itself that keeps us beading.

There are many types of beading — from stringing to elaborate stitches — so there is a process available for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your choice of process is, it is all wonderful.

How much do you teach in a given year? What do you enjoy about teaching, and what do you find most challenging about it?

How much? That’s hard to say in terms of a number or count — let’s just say LOTS.

I teach at my local bead store and some shows and even at my local bead society.

I love spending time with other beaders. I get a special pleasure seeing new beaders discover the joys of beading and experienced beaders take it to a whole new level.

It is really fascinating to see how different people can see the same instructions and interpret them differently. The challenge is to create instructions and illustrations that work for everyone. Teaching a class where you can see the reactions to the instructions is a big help in doing that.

 

Midnight Waterfall Necklace project from Dimensional Bead Embroidery

Dimensional Bead Embroidery, your recently released book, is already a popular bestseller, and of course your Beading with Cabochons is widely regarded as a bead-book classic. But these are both technique-driven books focused on bead embroidery. Why would a beader want to have both of them?

Good question! This really comes down to my philosophy of beading, which says that techniques are tools in your beading toolbox. Both books are filled with techniques, and there is very little overlap. So you actually need both to fill your toolbox.

I find that many people who do bead embroidery tend to use the same techniques over and over again. These books give you more options for design — and for beading fun!

Personally, I’ve used a list of stitches and techniques at my beading station that I refer to when designing. I thought a much more useful thing would be pictures and a page reference guide for other people.

So, I created a kind of cross-index of stitches in both books that shows a picture of the technique results, which book each one is in. and the corresponding page number. [Download a PDF of the index here.]

Both of these books are used by many beaders as reference books while they’re designing and beading. I think this index will help those people.

Jamie Cloud Eakin

Jamie, what are you working on right now, bead-wise?

I’ve been working on new books concentrating on design. One of the questions I hear most often is, “How do you come up with that?” These books attempt to answer that question and give advice for doing it yourself.

 

 
 
 
 
15 Comments
 

Rachel Nelson-Smith

Rachel Nelson-Smith is one of the most popular and talented beadwork designers and teachers in the world. Rachel is the author of the new book Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs, as well as an earlier release Seed Bead Fusion, and also a contributor to numerous magazines and books, including the gallery book Masters: Beadweaving. Visit her online at www.rachelnelsonsmith.com.

We also invite you to sample projects from Rachel’s new Bead Riffs book we’ve posted on this blog: Download a PDF of the Billie’s Bounce necklace or a PDF of the gorgeous Rondo neckpiece.

Rachel, this is a distinct variant of the standard first question for my interviews with beaders: How did you start … singing jazz? Tell us about what that experience—and that work and play—are like.

A mutual high school friend of local ladies I sang renaissance madrigals with, Michael Parker, once asked me if I was interested in singers like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. In response to my disinterest he made a mix tape featuring jazz singers like those two, along with others like Bette Midler and Edie Brickell.

The music really grew on me as I listened to the recordings over and over—particularly the song “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most,” because Parker said it was a very difficult song to sing. Years later, my friend Craig Pena introduced me to his coworkers who had a garage band called The Jazz Dogs in San Jose, California. With this group, led by Apple software engineer Kris Stephens in psychologist Tom Martin’s garage, I learned to sing jazz.

Kris later took me in and I became his housemate. With his experience as a jazz trombone major, he taught me many of the ins and outs of jazz from a musician’s perspective, rather than a singer’s. Another member of the Jazz Dogs group, Nick Beason, who worked for Compaq at the time, would share his jazz CDs with me. We’d shop at Tower Records after practice and attend live shows at Yoshi’s in Oakland, Bimbo’s in San Francisco, and other venues in the Bay Area. Those concerts, recordings, and discussions expanded my jazz knowledge.

Later, I attended the weeklong Stanford Jazz Festival as a student of the well-recorded singer and pianist Dena DeRose, as well as Bay Area singer Madeline Eastman and one of my all-time-favorite international singers, Mark Murphy. Drummer Billy Higgins was also teaching that summer, along with bassist Ray Drummond. The horizons really expanded. In a vocal jazz class with Roger Letson at DeAnza College, I was even beginning to scat and gain more live performance confidence.

It was during this time I volunteered regularly at the local jazz station KCSM 91.1 FM in San Mateo for its fund drives—answering phones and taking donations—and this lead to volunteering on a near-weekly basis with radio announcer Jesse “Chuy” Varela. Chuy would share extra CDs and concert tickets with me for the volunteer work I’d do, mainly entering CD information into their database.

Ultimately, I had attended so many concerts at Yoshi’s through the gratis tickets from the radio station that the Yoshi’s ticket-takers would let me in whether I had a ticket or not—and, most importantly, whether or not the show was sold out. Many times a single chair was pulled into the center aisle so I could listen to a sold-out show.

As my love of listening, performing, and singing grew, I drove many miles to attend jam sessions in San Francisco at Rasselas and Bruno’s, as well as in Santa Cruz, where I ultimately spent time on the board of the Jazz Society of Santa Cruz and conducted their weekly jam session.

Great origins story, Rachel. Is the story about how you started beading as dramatic? Why don’t you tell it?

After a failed semester away at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, studying musical theater, I returned home to live with my parents in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I took up classes at the local junior college as a mostly undecided English, psychology, and theater major with a short attention span. To help with expenses I got a job in downtown Santa Cruz at the local bead shop, Bead It.

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
18 Comments
 

With Maggie Meister’s first book, Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance, part of Lark Jewelry & Beading’s best-selling Beadweaving Master Class series, due to reach stores in the next few weeks, I asked this incredibly busy teacher and designer to take the time to answer a few questions about her work, her life, and the new book. Maggie teaches nationally and internationally, and her designs have been featured in virtually all leading bead magazines. She is one of the artists showcased in the inspiring gallery book, Masters: Beadweaving. Maggie lives with her family in Norfolk, Virginia.

Maggie, when did you start beading—and beadweaving—and why?

I started beading in 1993. My son’s kindergarten teacher was wearing a great pair of earrings and told me that she made them. It had never occurred to me that I could make jewelry myself.

I took some classes and liked it. When I tried seed beads, something immediately clicked, and I was hooked. I liked the colors of the beads and the rhythm of the stitches.

Maggie Meister

 

How much time do you spend beading? What does your beading space look like?

 

I bead about 7 to 10 hours a day, particularly when I’m getting ready for a show. I take breaks throughout the day to catch up on administrative tasks and work on my Beadventure trips to Italy.

My beading space? Maybe I should let my husband answer this one! He always says that I have my bead room—our sun room is my studio—and the rest of the house is the “bead annex.”

One of the tables in my studio is full of components that I am using for projects or plan to use for projects. I have cabinets full of beads and stones that I love.

The walls have mosaics, prints, and postcards of things I love and my framed piece of vintage beaded fringe that I found in Murano.

 

Rosette Earrings from Maggie Meister's Classical Elegance

 

In your new book, Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance, your inspirations are explicit: classical architecture, jewelry, mosaics, textiles, and motifs. What do you think it is—about you and about it—that draws you to the ancient world?

As far back as I can remember I’ve loved ancient history. Maybe it started when my parents would take us to museums when we were young. I don’t know, but the interest has always been there, and when we lived in Italy it really came alive for me. It opened doors for me while learning the history.

I love the ancient myths and the iconography of those myths incorporated into the art and architecture. I think I’ve always been drawn to mosaics and patterns in rugs. I love researching the history and stories behind pieces that I see.

I’m also interested in other periods of history and gradually working my way through them. What I find interesting is how the ancient motifs find their way into each period of history.

What design principles guide you?

 

The line! When I studied mosaics, I learned that the lines in the mosaic were so important. I think they’re also important in beadwork, whether it is the lines in a geometric pattern or building a three-dimensional component. When I see a piece that inspires me, I look at the lines and try to determine which stitch will give me the lines I need to make the shape.

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
19 Comments
 

Mari Shaw is an enthusiastic advocate for art jewelry. A patron in the truest sense of the word, Mary collects, curates, writes, studies, and sells the work she loves. She is particularly drawn to jewelers at the start of their career. This affinity keeps her ahead of the field and in touch with where and how it is evolving. She also has an impeccable eye, so when Mari alerts me to someone new, you better believe I take notice! Emily Cobb is one such artist, and Mari Shaw profiles her in the following blog. Enjoy! – Marthe

emily necklace

Frolicking Foxes

Emily Cobb

Emily Cobb

Emily Cobb is a storyteller. Each piece of jewelry she makes is a fantasy springing from the imagination of a child and the knowledge of an art historian.

She views myths and images from the past with the perspective of a person born after 1980 into a world of digital 3-D animation. Then, using the technologies of her time, Emily transforms their stories into jewelry that contemplates the future.

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
11 Comments
 

Candie Cooper!!!

(One of my jobs is to keep an eye on inventory and sales of our jewelry and beading titles. A few days ago, when I looked up Candie Cooper’s classic book Metalworking 101 for Beaders, the beautiful exact round number of 15,000 net [plus another 3,300 for the craft club] shipped from our warehouse caught my attention and prompted me to contact Candie and ask her a few questions.)

Candie, Metalworking 101 for Beaders is one of those rare books for which sales actually build — sales in Year 2 have outpaced sales in Year 1 — as word about the quality of the title has spread and great reviews have come in. What do you teach in the book?

First of all, this makes me smile BIG because it means people are playing with metal! It is my favorite material because it looks good next to anything — glass, fiber, you name it.

In Metalworking 101 for Beaders I show readers how they can make their own findings in a super simple, low tech fashion. Most of the projects have one- or two-step soldering (if any at all), rivets, sawing, lots of texture, and forming.

Metalworking 101 for BeadersWhat’s your goal when you teach? For you, how does teaching in person differ from teaching in book form?

How does teaching in person differ? That’s easy: a lot of laughter and chocolate!

When I teach in person, I want to show jewelry makers how easily they can make awesome pieces for their jewelry, plain and simple. Another goal is for their own style to emerge, so I give them options in their kits for creating their pieces. One of my students recently wrote to say she appreciated my laid back but technically correct teaching approach to metalworking. Now that’s a compliment!

Teaching through a book is different, because while I try to create a personal, caring, encouraging atmosphere on the pages, at the end of the day I’m not there to pat readers on the back or ease their worries when they feel like chucking their piece out the window. I find myself writing over and over that practice and persistence is what it’s all about.

Fanciful Feathered Friends brooches project from Metalworking 101 for Beaders

What feedback have your received about the book, and do you have any special stories about it to share?

I’ve received some wonderful feedback! No kidding! Lots of people took a class years ago in college, and they’re picking it back up again.

The one thing I’d like to apologize about, though, is the pencil torch. I get many emails asking for that and sadly — very, very sadly — BernzOmatic decided not to manufacture it anymore. I’m still searching for a neat little torch.

You’re very active as a craft blogger at http://candiecooper.typepad.com/. Why? What are you trying to achieve or express through this platform?

My blog started as a way to let my family know I was “alive” while living in China for 3 years. I had no idea other people would read it!

I’ve found that blogging is a place for me to focus on the positive, to show the different things I’m working on, and to give people a little bit more of the inside skinny. I took a blogging break when I went through a divorce, and I can now say I’m very happy to be back in the blogging saddle again.

There are about 30 projects in Metalworking 101 for Beaders. Which is your favorite, and what makes it special?

Are you really asking me to play favorites, Ray?!?

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
17 Comments
 

 

Brenda Schweder

Brenda Schweder is the author of the newly released Steel Wire Jewelry, a book of 30 fun, inspiring jewelry designs that riffs on jewelry made of steel. Want to get a sampling of the book? Click here for a PDF of the book’s instructions for the Butter(Really?)Fly Ring, and click here for a PDF of the instructions for the Zulu in Teal Necklace. Want to get a sampling of Brenda? Read the interview below, and then visit her website to see more of this teacher, author, and designer’s work at www.brendaschweder.com.

How do you describe your jewelry, Brenda? In what ways has it evolved over the course of your career, and where are you headed with it now?

Oh, boy! I’m interested in designing with objects that are unexpected, and I choose to highlight the mundane or overlooked. I enjoy creating jewelry scenarios that illustrate irony or whimsy or works that tell a story.

That’s really been the underlying current of my work, and it’s evident when you view my published work over the past few years—especially my three books together. You can see how I’ve evolved in (three) nutshells.

My next direction is considering narrative works, exploring the pairing of recognizable found objects and weaving contemporary fables.

Then again, I’ve applied for graduate study in jewelry and metalsmithing, so all bets are off when I start to explore my jewelry making on an even deeper level.

 

 

Steel Wire Jewelry by Brenda Schweder

Steel Wire Jewelry is your third book, after Junk to Jewelry and Vintage Redux. What are you trying to accomplish with this new book? What would you like readers to take from it?

Steel Wire Jewelry may seem like a bit of a departure from my first two books, but when you know me and see the direction of the book’s projects, it makes perfect sense.

Working with a lot of found objects—and only cold connections—means you have to get creative with how your components are captured and physically relate to each other. While Junk to Jewelry and Vintage Redux both showcase up-cycling, Steel Wire Jewelry takes the leap to the next level of art jewelry.

The works utilize no manufactured components or findings—actually, I believe there is one (hee!), so here’s a call-out to those who may be interested in a Steel Wire Jewelry scavenger hunt—other than the found pieces and wire. The finished wire, then, both advances and recedes depending on what I need to communicate with the piece.

I’m also more interested in the beauty of a thing for its history and origin than its intrinsic value, so along with loving steel for its many user-friendly characteristics and its economy, it’s also more befitting my style and the style of my work.

Brenda Schweder's Butter(Really?)Fly Ring from Steel Wire Jewelry

How has the high cost of metals impacted jewelers? What about the state of the economy vis a vis jewelers selling their pieces? And, speaking in the broadest terms, do you think together that’s having an effect on the kind of jewelry being made today and even the aesthetic of that jewelry?

I read somewhere—and I completely agree—that the inflation of metal prices will force designers to amp up their problem solving around this dilemma and therefore produce more creative works.

The economy has and will continue to shake things up. Some designers won’t know how to manage working around it, but others will benefit and flourish. The problem solvers—those who “push through”—will prevail. I plan to be part of the latter group!

Regarding the kind of jewelry being made as a result of the economy (and the choices made due to it), I believe common metals and materials are indeed now more heartily embraced and used more frequently.

For me, it goes back to that intrinsic value thing. I appreciate designers whose work is valued for its creativity and inventiveness, not for the monetary value attached to its elements. That’s not to say that the finest gems aren’t used in the most creative settings, but in my mind, there’s more of a challenge in designing with the humblest of things.

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
14 Comments
 

I asked our panel of Beadweaving Master Class authors, “What’s your best advice for a beginning beader?” Their responses, the final entries in this blog series, are below.

See the links at the bottom of this post for all the previous questions asked and, more importantly, the answers provided by Diane Fitzgerald, Marcia DeCoster, Laura McCabe, Sherry Serafini, Maggie Meister, and Rachel Nelson-Smith. I thank all our panelists for sharing their experience and perspectives by participating in this forum.

Diane Fitzgerald, author of Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork, of Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Work with all the colors of beads until you know how they look within beadwork. Beads look different in tubes or bags. I beaded nearly 200 samples to learn about how colors looked.

Practice visualizing, and take classes in design and color theory.

Marcia DeCoster, author of Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence, of Lemon Grove, California:

Carve out a space for yourself where your beads and at least a project or two can be left out.

Work on building your fundamental skills so you have a good grasp of the basic stitches, including how to increase and decrease with each of them, as well as working tubular and flat, odd and even. Building these skills will enable you to create your own designs.

Laura McCabe, author of Laura McCabe’s Embellished Beadweaving, of Old Mystic, Connecticut:

Bead on! Commitment to the craft and making lots of mistakes is the only way to learn.

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
4 Comments

Panel Q-and-A: The Bead & Button Show

January 10, 2011, 14:49 pm  Posted by Lark Jewelry & Beading
 

The 2011 Bead & Button Show is now open for registration! (That sentence alone should generate a fair number of “Likes” for this post!) The show will be held June 4-12 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

With all due respect to all the wonderful regional shows and those held abroad, Bead & Button is generally recognized as the most important event of the year for beaders worldwide. Find information about this year’s show and how to register at www.beadandbuttonshow.com.

I asked the members of our Beadweaving Master Class panel to share what makes the show so special to them. (Please tell me in the Comments section what makes the show special to you or, if you haven’t gone yet, why you’d like to attend!)

Diane Fitzgerald, author of Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork, of Minneapolis, Minnesota:

My favorite part of the Bead & Button Show is the Meet the Teachers reception featuring all the show’s teachers.

I love to talk to the beaders who come to my table and see what they’re wearing. It’s like a constant parade of beautiful beading going by.

Sherry Serafini, author of the Spring 2011 release Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery, of Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania:

I love this show with all of my heart. It was my first teaching venue.

My favorite part is getting to see everyone in the industry. And of course people from all over are at this event, making it one incredible and unique experience.

Rachel Nelson-Smith, author of the Fall 2011 release Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs, of Santa Cruz, California:

Knowing I’ll get to see Marcia DeCoster, Suzanne Golden, Stacy Creamer, Huib Petersen, Lisa Niven Kelly, Kriss Silva, Dallas Lovett, Jeannette Cook, Amy Katz, Paulette Baron, Sherry Serafini, Adrienne Gaskell, Lisa Claxton, Judy Walker, Barb Switzer, Melanie Potter, and so many more at least once each year and all in one place makes me giddy.

Seeing all the wonderful lampwork beads in one place tickles my fancy, too.

Continue reading...