Hey everyone, I’m home from the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee and attempting to get back into the swing of things. My next show is not until August, when I will be exhibiting at Bead Fest in Oaks, PA. So I am looking forward to some time to catch up on inventory, my garden, and still unpacking boxes from last years move.
The Wisconsin Center, home of Bead and Button
I did a little giveaway post on Facebook before I left, I asked my friends to leave a comment about what they would be interested in reading about regarding the Bead and Button Show. Sorry that post did not get a lot of news feed time, I’m still learning all the Facebook tricks. The comments fell into two categories, one was about participating in a show from the perspective of an exhibitor, show preparation, and ways to market and display our work. I was flattered that my Facebook friends wanted to know how it felt from my side of the table. I will answer these questions in a future post about preparing for shows in general. The second most common question which I will address today, was an interest in the Artisans that create handmade beads. This inquiry made me happy since that is what I do, and heck this is what Art Bead Scene is all about.
I am going to introduce you to a small sampling of Artisans that were exhibiting at Bead and Button this year, it does not scratch the surface. But all of these Artisans make what they sell, have a quality product, and each and every one of them are not only multi-talented but truly wonderful people.
So get comfy with your morning beverage, its going to be a long post with lots of pictures.
This is Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio
This is only a small sampling of her porcelain and stoneware beads. Marsha’s booth is a one stop shop, she has everything her customers need to make a piece of jewelry on the spot. I’m taking notes, she is one smart business woman.
But what makes Marsha’s exhibit not just a booth but a destination, is the fact that she shares the booth space with Nikki Thornberg-Lanigan of Thornberg Bead Studio.
These ladies smile and laugh all the time, my customers often tell me about the “fun booth,” of course I know they are talking about Nikki and Marsha. These ladies are not only a good match personality wise, but their beads also work well together when customers are designing on the fly.
Nikki makes amazing lampwork beads, I have a background in lampwork, so I truly appreciate her work, here are some of her new bird creations.
Take note of booth #608 in the photo above, Marsha and Nikki will be in the same spot next year at Bead and Button 2017. They will also be sharing a booth at Bead Fest 2016 in Oaks, PA this August. I will be there too, its great being able to touch base with fellow exhibitors and friends throughout the year.
If you like Raku you will love Amy Mealey of Xaz Beads. Amy is one of my neighbors at The To Bead True Blue Show in Tucson. I love her textures and organic shapes, my favorites are her nugget beads.
Check out the photos, the colors and metallic luster speaks for itself.
Please visit Xaz Beads to see all the pendant and bead choices Amy has to offer. Amy will be exhibiting at the new Bead Fest in Tacoma, Washington in October of this year, I will be there too.
Here are photos of those Xaz Raku Nugget beads that I love.
This Artisan is also a fellow contributor on Art Bead Scene, Michelle Ann McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio.
Michelle had so many new things to offer this year, which is what our customers want to see at every show. My favorites are these headpin sets. Michelle’s pieces all coordinate so well together, if you need a beach themed focal for a necklace to match these headpins, she has it. More notes I need to take, my customers are always looking for matched jewelry sets.
Michelle has been my neighbor the past two years at Bead Fest in August, so it is a regular thing now. Michelle will be in booth #550A and Gardanne Beads, that me, will be right next door in booth #552. Please stop by and say hello.
I think I like ceramic beads, because I am seeing a trend here. Even though the materials are the same, the variety is endless, that is the beauty of handmade.
My next Artisan is Diane Hawkey please click the link to see the variety of artwork Diane creates, because a couple photos just does not begin to cover it. When I first started exhibiting at bead shows I noticed that Diane not only offered beads, but also other pieces of ceramic art for the home. A smart move that I am starting to see other artists do at bead shows.
These were some new mini works of art Diane had this year at Bead and Button. I believe Diane will also be at Bead Fest this August.
The last two Artisans are also my neighbors at the To Bead True Blue Show in Tucson. I met Vlad of Golem Studio for the first time at my first Bead and Button show three years ago. Vlad is from Bulgaria, and we are so lucky that he travels to shows in the US to share his beads, pendants, and cabs.
Here are a couple of new pendant styles that Vlad had to offer this year at Bead and Button. I just noticed the tulips in that tulip pendant look just like my enameled tulip bud caps, I hope I was as observant while making my purchases at Bead and Button.
I know I keep mentioning Bead Fest this August, but this will be the first time that Golem Studio will be exhibiting at Bead Fest on the East Coast. So now you really have to attend the show.
Last and certainly not least is another international Artisan from Russia. Anna of Anna Bronze, Anna carves each design and her husband Slava casts the designs into brass and bronze findings.
I first met Anna and Slava at the To Bead True Blue Show in Tucson, Vlad from Golem Studio was our translator. My jaw dropped when I saw Anna’s work for the first time. the variety and the detail in her work was unreal. That’s Anna and her beautiful daughter Alice at their Bead and Button display this year. Look at that display, every single little square on those boards represents a different choice of finding and design, see for yourself visit Anna Bronze.
I am drawn to designs that look like they belong in my garden, just like Anna’s pod-like creations in the photo above. One of the most clever features of Anna’s findings, especially her pendants and connectors, is that she has multiple hidden loops built into the design of the piece. So when creating jewelry there are so many design options.
These skull designs are brand new, I see a lot of bead embroidery applications for so many of her pieces.
If that was not enough, if you see some lampwork glass with her findings on her Facebook page, she has most likely made the lampwork glass too. Anna and Slava will be at Bead Fest in August, in Oaks, PA.
Remember all you need is one handmade bead in your jewelry designs, and you will have a unique piece of jewelry that no one else has.
If all goes as planned I will be writing a post next week about changes coming to the Bead and Button Show for 2017, so stay tuned.