02 June 2009

Beads, Beads and more Beads!

"You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives." ~Clay P. Bedford

I believe that it is not a good day unless you learn something new.

So I am on a quest to learn as many something new's as I can in the next three days.

I leave tomorrow for the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee. With the country's largest bead expo and hundreds of classes all week long with artists who are masters of their medium and it is all happening a short 3 hour drive from my house and my sister lives just outside Milwaukee so the lodging is free......how can you not go?

I went for the very first time last year. I could only afford so many days and so many dollars so I made the decision to go on Sunday-Monday and attend a two-day intensive class. I chose wisely. I never made it to the bead expo portion (I think my husband was happy!), but the class that I took was so amazing, that I didn't mind.

I spent two days learning about working with metal...sawing, filing, dapping, torching....and working with resins...filling, molding, tinting, layering...with the incomparable Susan Lenart Kazmer. What an incredible experience! I met some amazing artists all getting their creative mojos on. The spontaneous combustion of talent in that room amazes me to this day. I only wish that we could have had more time...to do more but also to get to know one another.

From that experience I met Jennifer Heynen of Jangles. Happened to sit next to her...because I was late. Now I consider her a bead-y friend. I am proud to use her art beads (in two of the pieces that made it into Bead Star!) I am excited to touch base with her this year, even though we won't be sitting next to each other. But maybe we will be learning something new about each other anyway...

This year I decided that I needed to attend more than one class and whet my appetite for lots of different techniques I can expand on. So I am challenging myself to a class to cut, saw, file and stamp on metal...a PMC class where we will make a silver pearl ring....a metal etching class...and a byzantine chain maille class. All techniques I would like to try but need an expert's hand to guide me. I can't wait to see what I will learn and what doors will open because of it.

I am also over the moon about the fact that I will be connecting with Heather Powers at Humblebeads. You may remember that I used her bead in my Bead Star entry titled "Besame Mucho." Well, on Friday Heather sent me a note that she found a flight to come in from Texas and hand deliver some beads to a booth that sells her art beads if she can only find a roommate. Without even thinking I invited her to be a guest at my sister's house. (And then I called my sister to let her know! Backwards, to be sure. But I have the greatest sister in the world who is so warm and inviting, she probably would have invited Heather to stay even if I weren't there!) So I am not only going to be taking classes at Bead & Button, and meeting the teachers and hopefully some editors of magazines and some people that I see online all the time, but I am also going to be tour guide and chauffeur and roomie to my new friend Heather. Color me excited!

I will be posting more about my experiences at the Bead & Button in the next coming weeks not only here, but also on the Watch Me Create blog as well as my guest posts for June at the Art Bead Scene blog (an incredible opportunity in and of itself!). Stay tuned!

And speaking of staying tuned....I just had a post at Watch Me Create about the way that a cause can inspire you. I made four pieces of jewelry for four different causes for the celebrations of four of my networking business buddies for next weekend. Each piece is unique and features something that speaks to the clientele of each business. And I have the satisfaction of helping those in need while also having a reason to bead! Please go read it (click the Check It Out below), and then let me know what you think either here or there.

Check It Out:: Bringing In The Sunshine

Enjoy the day!


Christina J. said...

Bead & Button is so wonderful. I live close enough to drive there and have take classes for the past several years. This year I decided to only go to the expo portion and now I'm regretting that decision. I'm curious to hear how your classes go!

Rosanne said...

You have the best of time. Don't forget to take a break and drink lots of water...and I hope you find some special beads to bring home. You'll have a great time with Heather, she is a sweetheart, if I do say so myself. I always wanted to take a PMC class, but it was buy beads or take a class...hmmm. You can guess what won out.

Stacey said...

OH I am so jealous - I have never been to a bead expo - of any sort - I so wish I was going. Oh the fun you will have. I can't wait to hear all about it. And etching - oh it's on the top of my need to figure out how list. The fantastic book semiprecious salvage started that desire for me. Can't WAIT to see what you create! Have a blast!!! And congrats on the guest posting on ABS.

Leah said...

Sounds wonderful!! Take it all in and enjoy!

stregata said...

I look forward to hearing about your classes afterward. Unfortunately, we do not have these opportunities here in Germany.
I am also very impressed with your inspirational treasures of Sunshine!!

Jannie Funster said...

Byzantine chainmail!! Now that sounds fabulous!

I can tell your excitement. It just exudes. And your sister sounds like a real chip off the old YOU block.

Have fun - I'm sure you will. How exciting for you. I'm sure you'll be inspired beyond belief.

Debbie said...

That bead and button show sounds great. I've never even heard of such a thing.


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