I visited the Bead & Button Show 2005 in Milwaukee yesterday. I was very impressed with the fine craftmanship and intricate work. My cousin, who is visiting from India to attend this show and participate in workshops, has penned a few thoughts on the show. Also at her new blog, artyzen.
The Bead and Button show 2005 is a landmark of sorts for me.The last three days have been a flurry of initiations into realms I have always dreamt of foraying into….hoping for a chance to learn from teachers who live their passion.
I took my glass bead making class for beginners on the 15th, made friends with the flame torch and all it takes to make beads, and a couple of months down the line I see myself making beads that look just the way I see them in my mind’s eye.My teacher, Kim Hickox, shared beautiful insights and gave me a lovely rod of dichroic glass .as a li’l present for coming all the way from India to be in her class:)!
Yesterday, I attended the ‘bejeweled tile bracelet’ with Andrea Alyse. Armed with just the basics,I had pushed myself to attend an intermediate level class – .and it was worth it. The dreaded Even Peyote stitch does not intimidate anymore (so long as I keep practising it – .and I guess I will:)
Today, I had the pleasure of learning the art of bead looming from Don Pierce, noted author of “Beading On A Loom”, and it was a pleasure. Larry the loom, invention of Don, is going with me to India, as is my first loomed pendant, embellished with a gorgeous Larry Brickman bead.
Tomorrow, I will make friends with the minor burner The noted beadeuse Jeri Warhaftig will be my guide and Didymium glasses will have me looking at the world in an interesting purple light all through the class.
And this is not all!! The Bead and Button Market and the show itself are a feast in another realm.
The marketplace leaves everyone glassy-eyed….there are beads….and beads…and more beads….and tools…and wires…and embellishments…and all it takes to make beads and jewelry….you walk among contemporary jewelry artists of all genres….the master artist beaders and bead makers and creators who write just the books that souls like me love to browse through till I know each page by heart.
To me, America responds with a spontaneous warmth and creative generosity that is unconditional and beautiful. The artists are what they create – each glass bead artist I spoke to had at least a thousand beads to sell, and they were made personally…one at a time…often through the long dreary Midwestern winters. Every one of the artists and jewelry designers works at a certain pace, in a typical rhythm, with a regular schedule that is more often than not adhered to.
It is delightful to see people milling around, taking classes, buying beads, sharing experiences and knowledge. The red tote bag handed out to participants is a wonderful thing. It serves as a mark of identity. One needn’t know who the person walking towards one is. One just knows that both share a common bond… a passion…or most likely, an obsession…emerging from a dream … to create multi-dimensional, colored, textured statements of the heart’s desire to celebrate creativity.