The Bead Fest 2019 Buzz: We Can’t Wait For…
We’re all getting excited about the upcoming Bead Fest in Oaks, PA, August 14 through 18. Classes, shopping, demos, friends, and more—there’s a lot to be excited about! See what the Jewelry team is looking forward to and make plans to join us!
ABOVE: Students learning and having fun inside Robyn Cornelius’ classroom.
See What I Made?
Is it the buzz of happy shoppers you hear the second you walk in? The bright lights dancing over tables covered with cut stones, beads, tools, or jewelry? Or maybe it’s catching sight of an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. For me, going to a craft or trade show means all of the above, all reasons why I look forward to these events. Bead Fest offers workshops, too, which sets it apart from many shows.
There’s nothing quite like that See what I made! look on the face of a newly successful workshop attendee. That’s what I love most about Bead Fest: someone new to jewelry making showing off her just-completed, first-ever earrings, or the in-progress necklace she can’t wait to finish. The only thing better than seeing one thrilled new jewelry maker proudly displaying her work is seeing a whole class of students making jewelry. Watching everyone focusing on projects, asking questions, trying until it clicks, and sharing ideas isn’t just about learning these techniques and mastering these skills. It’s watching an entire world of possibility open up, one student at a time.
With its impressive roster of classes taught by talented and experienced instructors, Bead Fest is also a place for experienced jewelry makers to advance their skills, and some of that work is breathtaking to see. But it’s that radiating sense of accomplishment from the beginners that gets me every time. So if you see me at the Bead Fest booth or in your classroom in August, please, show me what you’ve been making. Whatever it is, and however long you’ve been at it, I’d love to see it!
– Merle White, Editor, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist
Something Old, Something New
Bead Fest is a great chance to advance your skills in something you already know . . . but it’s also the perfect time to try something you’ve never done before. And if you can’t decide which route to go, try both!
I’ve always loved polymer clay, and there’s something about being around other people who are also creating that makes it extra enticing. The polymer clay classes at Bead Fest this year look like so much fun. In particular, I’m drawn to Lynn Yuhr’s offerings because they’re so vibrant and colorful.
Take Gone Fishing, for example. How can you look at that all that delicious color and pattern without wanting to make your own dangling fish skeleton? It even moves as you wear it, thanks to how it’s assembled. Lynn will teach techniques like basic canes (that can quickly turn into more complex varieties), micro-veneers, and color blending – not to mention lots of inspiration for how to personalize your design.
Equally fascinating is Lynn’s class Picasso-Inspired Portraits in Polymer Clay. Colorful and playful, these designs seem to reach right out and say “make me!” Lynn will lead the way in making beautiful blends, cutting and pasting artistic shapes over a base veneer, and baking the work-in-progress multiple times to achieve the desired result. I’m already envisioning the laughter-inducing, abstract portraits I could make of my kids!
As far as something new, enameling has long since been on my list to learn. Bead Fest seems like the perfect opportunity to try out a technique that I’m a little hesitant to try on my own. Plus, it’s a great idea to try something new in a workshop environment that provides all the tools and materials, since I’m lacking in those as well.
Since I’m a newbie, Sara Lukkonen’s Torch Enameling 101: Basic Enameling looks just about perfect. Using a torch and colorful enamel powders, participants are encouraged to make as many beads, pendants, and headpins as class allows. Sign me up!
Sara’s other enameling classes look fabulous too. I would love to make an enameled face to complement the Picasso-style polymer clay I will have already made. Her class Torch Enameling 301: Faces covers using crayons, liquid, and acrylic enamels. If you want preparation homework, you’re in luck – sketch out a few face designs before you walk into the class.
Last but not least, I’d love to fit Sara’s Bucket List class into my schedule. Those miniature, enameled buckets look absolutely darling, and participants get to try stamping and metal forming in addition to enameling. That’s a lot of new skills!
– Tamara Kula, Producer, Bead & Jewelry Group
I Love Big Rings and I Cannot Lie
I’m a sucker for big statement rings, so I’m excited that Susan Lenart Kazmer is teaching Rings: Caging Objects Industrial Jewelry at Bead Fest this year. The ring’s vibe is industrial, with nail heads and prongs playing key roles in the design, which is reminiscent of Susan’s successful Industrial Chic line you’ve seen in Michaels stores. The cage bezel is a unique form of construction that allows you to capture a variety of different elements. It would be fun to experiment with different stones, molded resin, or found objects as the centerpiece to make it your own.
My first class with Susan many years ago was a creative whirlwind. We were introduced to the techniques with frequent demonstrations and were encouraged to spend time playing with the materials. A lot of people take classes with Susan just to spend a few hours with her – she’s a gifted artist, an energetic instructor, and her infectious laugh keeps her classes flowing. Susan loves her Bead Fest students and says, “I have creators from movie sets to students who are professionals in the field of jewelry and just need to replenish their creative juices.” My favorite part about learning with Susan is that you go home energized, with tips and techniques that you’ll use in your studio. And, the ring is pretty awesome, too.
– Katie Hacker, Managing Editor, Beadwork
Friends and Time Together at Bead Fest
There are so many things I look forward to at Bead Fest. First and foremost is the chance to catch up with friends and acquaintances and colleagues that I don’t get to see very often — people that I usually only communicate with through email or over the phone. So Bead Fest is social hour!
And then, of course, there’s the shopping! I always find the coolest stuff. One year, I bought nothing but awesome and unusual clasps. And Bead Fest is my chance to stock up on wire and metal and findings and tools. And beads, naturally.
But perhaps my favorite part of Bead Fest is the demos! I love to wander the booths, looking for demonstrations of the newest and most intriguing tools and techniques. I’ve learned to use the latest riveting tools, the coolest hammers, the most versatile pliers, and more. I’ve learned new techniques for making my own rivets, adding patina, and using new dapping blocks. And that’s just from spending a little time at individual Bead Fest booths. You can’t beat it!
We can’t wait to see you at the show!
– Karla Rosenbusch, Managing Editor, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist
How Can I Pick a Favorite Part of Bead Fest?
Picking a favorite part of Bead Fest is like picking a favorite part of Christmas–there are just so many things to love about it! It always so nice to see industry friends–including some coworkers!–at Bead Fest, especially ones that I only get to see there and in Tucson, so twice a year if we’re lucky. There’s never enough time to visit properly, but a hug and a quick catch-up is always nice.
Another thing I can’t wait to enjoy at Bead Fest is a class or two. I rarely seem to have enough time to make jewelry in my own studio anymore, so getting to take workshops at the show is a real treat. Ideally I’d like to take one for fun and one to challenge myself, usually a metal clay class (because I love it but don’t have a kiln) and a more advanced metalsmithing class.
I waited too long to reserve my classes this year, and the Robyn Cornelius classes I had my eye on all filled up. But there are many more to tempt me! I’m torn between casting resin with one of my faves, Susan Lenart Kazmer, in Resin, Relics, and Ancient Artifacts; and Making an Impression with Marti Brown, a class focused on coloring textured niobium, which I’ve never done but it seems really magical! I’ve taken a few metal clay classes with Sulie Girardi and hope for time to do that again this year; she’s a wonderful teacher.
I’d be lying if I said I can’t wait to do a little shopping at the Bead Fest Expo, too! I try to treat myself to a new Fretz hammer at every show, not to mention some gemstones, lampwork beads, and whatever catches my eye. I never know what I’ll find at Bead Fest, and that’s half the fun! See you there!
– Tammy Jones, Online Editor and Social Media Manager, Interweave Jewelry & Beading