For the past couple of months I've been busy preparing for the big show. I haven't sold my work at a show for a number of years so dipping my toes back into the water felt like a really big deal. I'm happy to say the show went well and I had fun! The show ... Glass Bead Extravaganza. This is a show organized by my local chapter of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB), The New England Chapter - ISGB. I was surrounded by so many greats in the glass bead world. I won't name names for fear I would leave someone off but suffice it to say I was a wee bit starry eyed.
I must give a huge shout out to the Chapter's leaders and show organizers. These folks worked incredibly hard to bring this show to fruition and deserve a round of applause.
Donna Richey, Chapter President pictured with Lou Crescintini.
Deb Keshishian, Recording Secretary
Susan Sheehan, Treasurer
Doug Wales, Vice President, and Susan Sheehan
My apologies for not photographing Beth Mellor, Secretary of Communications and Debbie Harary, Special Events Coordinator. Beth was outside much of the day (on a cool, rainy New England day) providing visitors with lampworking demonstrations. Other demonstrators included Mike Close and Wes Fleming. Unfortunately (or perhaps I should say fortunately because it was busy) I was unable to leave my table long enough to get outside and see any of the demonstrations.
Here I am, at my table.
My tablemate, Lynn Hahn - Jewels of Earthsea
Lynn and I shared a table. What a wonderful tablemate Lynn was. She saved the day for me. Due to technical difficulties I was unable to access my PayPal account and Lynn happened to have an extra Square card reader with her, which she kindly let me borrow for the day. I don't know what I would've done without her help. Lynn specializes in beautiful, chunky style bracelets. I just loved her kumihimo braided pieces!
My neighbors for the day. With beautiful beads and jewelry for sale.
Sue Underwood and her helper, Andrea of Mystic Moon Beads
Carol Bugarin of Carol Bugarin Glass Art Jewelry
There were so many beautiful beads and jewelry to be oogled over but a couple of pieces really jumped out at me. Let me introduce you to Ann Conlin and her husband, Gary Andriotakis.
I think it's wonderful how Ann and Gary share this beadmaking and jewelry making journey. Ann creates beautiful lampwork beads and Gary creates stunning chain maille jewelry to accentuate Ann's wonderful beads. In the photo above you'll notice Ann is wearing one of Gary's gorgeous creations.
Ann was also offering something I've never seen before. Ann has been decorating glass beads with silver PMC! They were gorgeous! She offered a variety of designs, below is just one example.
Yup! That's silver on glass! Stunning, isn't it? You can head over to Ann's website if you'd like to learn more.
Lori Messenger of DNA Studios and Sylvia de Murias
Sylvia offered unique copper pieces for sale. I had to buy one. They are so cool!
Sylvia offered a variety of designs, it was difficult to decide which one I wanted. I am a heart girl so of course I got this one. These pieces look like ancient artifacts. Some of them have little surprises inside so they jingle when worn. I just love mine.
Sylvia sells her work locally, at The Armory in Somerville, MA or you can contact her via email if you're interested in her work.
There were so many wonderful finds at this show I couldn't possibly share them all. The web has opened up a world of possibilities for both artisans and consumers. It provides us with the opportunity to find material we might otherwise not have access to. However, If you have the chance to visit a local show I hope you do so. As a customer I think there's nothing like touching a handmade item before purchasing it and meeting the maker in person. From an artisans persective I think it's wonderful to meet customers and talk to you face to face. I really get a feel for what customers think about my offerings and what it is you're interested in.
The Bead Extravaganza was a big event for me and I'm happy I had the chance to participate. Thanks for letting me share the day with you.
Ema Kilroy is a lampworker and metalsmith living and working in Central Massachusetts