What Was Hot at the Bead & Button Show and Getting Ready for Bead Fest!

There is no shortage of hugs and love when you join up with friends, no matter the occasion. When you head to a bead and jewelry-making event, the hugs are way more plentiful and the love that much more special. Special, as you’re likely only together for a short time. And it isn’t every day you get to be with “your people.” People who understand your passion for beads, tools, and learning!

ABOVE Left: Kris Schaible is a notable glass artist expanding into metalworking; top center: trapezoid amethyst gemstone beads from Dakota Stones; top right and bottom center: designs I made during Julie Sanford’s workshops; lower right: beads by Aja Vaz.

The Bead & Button Show brought beads, tools, and learning together—and it was also wonderful to see familiar faces, spend time with dear friends, and meet a whole lot of new people!

On the Scene

Beadwork Designer of the Year 2018 Laura Graham and Tammy Honaman during the Meet the Teachers event at the Bead & Button Show

Beadwork Designer of the Year 2018 Laura Graham and Tammy Honaman during the Meet the Teachers event at the Bead & Button Show

During one event, I got to hug and see so many Beadwork contributors and Bead Fest instructors: Agnieszka Watts, Scott Mason, Phyllis Flora, Marti Brown, and Sherry Serafini, to name a few. Laura Graham had many of her 2018 Designer of the Year projects on display with kits for sale (or sold out!)—it was so nice to meet her in person.

Leslie Venturoso and Tammy catching up in Milwaukee.

Leslie Venturoso and Tammy catching up in Milwaukee.

Leslie Venturoso had her designs on display for everyone to drool over, including the designs she’ll be teaching at Bead Fest. It’s always so nice to see her and to see and feel her work. If you haven’t signed up for one of her classes yet, don’t delay!

Maggie Thompson, Lisa Krupp-Dooley, and Tammy on the Bead & Button Show floor.

Maggie Thompson, Lisa Krupp-Dooley, and Tammy on the Bead & Button Show floor.

Maggie Thompson and Lisa Krupp-Dooley were very busy during the show—from teaching to exhibiting, they did it all! It was so nice to have time to talk in their booth, see some new designs and kits, and plan some fun for when they are at Bead Fest this August.

Maggie shared that her kumihimo tools were nearly sold out after day one and from all the “busyness” in her booth, she believes kumi is still a HOT technique! If you haven’t seen her clever Traveller Portable Kumi Stand, be sure to check it out, and be sure to get into one of Maggie’s or Lisa’s Bead Fest workshops as they are top-notch instructors!

More to the Show Than Friends

Connecting with people is the main reason behind my love of travel. This trip, there were also lots of beads to get excited about, too!

The struggle is real when it comes to choosing which beads to buy. On the left are only some of the beads by Aja Vaz; top right shows a section of Karen Ovington’s display, with an assortment of her beads and finished designs; lower right is just a taste of the beautiful beads made by Kris Schaible.

The struggle is real when it comes to choosing which beads to buy. On the left are only some of the beads by Aja Vaz; top right shows a section of Karen Ovington’s display, with an assortment of her beads and finished designs; lower right is just a taste of the beautiful beads made by Kris Schaible.

Aja Vaz, a talent you might know from Beads, Baubles & Jewels, had her beads in all their glory on display, including in some finished designs. Kris Schaible (a Bead Fest vendor) shared some of the techniques applied in making her beads as well as showcased her new metalsmithing designs—so much talent! Karen Ovington, who has a project in the upcoming October/November 2019 issue of Beadwork magazine also displayed her beads and finished jewelry. Her latest project combines her bead weaving skills with some of her lampwork beads—don’t miss it!

Left: a good example of the color you could see every way you turned; upper right: faceted beads as far as they eye could see at Dakota Stones; lower right: trapezoid gemstone beads perfect for Cleo’s Collar in the August/September 2019 issue of Beadwork.

Left: a good example of the color you could see every way you turned; upper right: faceted beads as far as the eye could see at Dakota Stones; lower right: trapezoid gemstone beads perfect for Cleo’s Collar in the August/September 2019 issue of Beadwork.

There was no shortage of gemstone cabochons and beads to choose from. The best part was seeing all that color, as it brings a smile to my face; the hardest part was choosing which strand I had to bring home! Dakota Stones had an amazing assortment of beads, including their new precision cut and faceted beads. These beauties come in bicone, rondelle, and round shapes and in sizes as small as 2mm! The trapezoid shaped beads caught my attention and I’m sure it is all thanks to the latest project by Sandra Lupo, which uses these very beads (in a different stone) in the August/September issue of Beadwork.

Who’s Who!

Andy Cooperman trying out the latest hammer from the minds of Brenda Schweder and Bill Fretz.

Andy Cooperman trying out the latest hammer from the minds of Brenda Schweder and Bill Fretz.

Walking the aisles, you couldn’t miss the Micro Tools booth. It was like the who’s who of jewelry tool vendors all in one space. And speaking of who’s who!—I happened to bump into Andy Cooperman (metalsmith guru and jewelry designer extraordinaire!) trying out the new Now That’s a Hammer! These new hammers are a collaborative effort between Brenda Schweder (Now That’s a Jig! inventor) and Bill Fretz. The hammers are vintage inspired and have a stake at the base of the handle—talk about double-duty tools! Now to sit patiently while I wait for my pre-order to arrive!

Regardless of your preference—bead weaving, metalsmithing, lampworking, or things in between—we belong to an amazing community. I hope you’re able to get out and enjoy a bead show in your area, try out the latest jewelry tools, take a class, learn something, share something, and just enjoy being in the presence of like-minded friends.

I look forward to having the chance to see everyone again in August at Bead Fest, and hope to see you there, too!

Tammy Honaman
Editor, Beadwork


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