Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ukraine Exhibit! More Bead and Button Show 2012

In the main hall there was an exhibit of beadwork from Ukraine,  I happen to visit a Ukrainian friend almost every Friday (she makes a wonderful sandwich!) at the Euro Deli here in Bloomington.  I think she will like to see this!

Yes! Amazing beadwork! First - my favorite....

This was definitely my favorite, how original and intricate:


And my - this is more stunning in person than my poor little camera skills can capture!   I really need to pay more attention to reflections!   It was hard to get pictures through the glass with overhead flourescents (said with a whine in her voice).


A close up - ...WOW!


I have no clue what this says but.....another amazing beaded piece. I wonder if the Ukraine Chapter of the Beady Eyed Beaders would teach us?

Very intricate and bold work:


I had no idea all of this was going on in Ukraine! Obviously there is a Beady Eyed Beader group over there as well.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bead & Button 2012 - down to business


Finally!  We are ready for the classes.  We survived the trip up to Milwaukee, got registered, have made a preliminary patrol of the perimeter, I didn't get lost - although I had Peggy's cell phone # just in case.   Now for the next 3 days.

I took 2 classes - both chain making but one class was fusing with fine silver and the other was fusing with a new Sterling Silver alloy - Argentium. 

Peggy and Susan took 3 classes - riviting, dogwood charms, and Viking Knit (a knitted chain using metal).

A look at the classes as I strolled by the doors

One of the classrooms set up for significant metal work - this one was set up for learning how to forge silver rings....from the ingot!  Wow!

My first class - fusing fine silver links and patterning for a bracelet... the rings scattered around are the ones I have fused and patterned.   I wasn't able to finish it in class but the hope is that it will look like the piture!
Yep - this is what I used to fuse! A 'creme brulee' torch (butane), a NEW honeycomb soldering board (my old one is behind the new one), bent nose cross-locking tweezers, and a quenching jar to quench the red hot rings as I finish fusing them:

I was able to complete about 1/3 of the bracelet in class...


Uh....oops....yes - there were a fair number of these!   Fusing doesn't always...well, fuse!  The one on the left was a 'rescue' after it didn't fuse the first time.  I had to use flush cutting nippers, smoosh down the ends and re-try.   I will round it up on a mandrel and be able to use it.  Unfortunately, it isn't often I can rescue one!

Anyway - the rest of the sequence will look something like this... if I am lucky...

So  - What have Peggy and Susan been doing?.....I caught them goofing off in their Viking Knit class!

And beading away between classes..

Making a necklace....and earrings from glass lampworked beads purchased at the show....I couldn't do the glass beads justice with the camera - they are very beautiful and delicate...

A brief pause for tribute to Wisconsin and Milwaukee.....for the longest time I couldn't determine just where that polka music was coming from!!!  Then I spied a picture of it.  and just in case you can't see that little button I got another picture just of that and embedded it in the big picture (very proud of myself for learning how to do that!)
There was a security guard stationed at a desk right below the escalator - they cringed everytime someone pushed the button....their eyes had that glazed look. I really really wanted to push the button but just didn't have the heart!

So - back to the show!!! More Peggy and Susan!!! The produce from their riviting class....very very cool.  I learned that Peggy, who has never really soldered or annealed metal, was labled 'very good' - not just a good beginner but good for an experienced smith! That figures, though, Peggy has always been an over achiever and quite 'fiery'!

The fruits of their Dogwood charm class? Very nice...very very nice. Wish I had taken that class as well. I like those little flowers!

Finally, the produce from my other class - an amazing class:

Cross-Linked Bracelet - Chain Making Boot Camp

Taught by John Fetvedt who has developed a wide array of chains and also teaches in Georgia at the Wm. Holland School of Lapidary Arts.  He is teaching for an entire week in July.  Unfortunately, it is back to work for me!  His website is very good and he is very helpful by email as well:

A wonderful class, taught so very well and with such good humor. He taught us how to wind and make our own coils and cut the coils into rings to assemble. No pre-cut links here! He was such a good teacher and moved the class along so we were all able to complete this project in 3 hours even though it was much more involved than the other fusing project..and here it is!!!!!

Fusing with the Argentium alloy is a dream compared to fusing with  fine silver.  The twisted rings (that I twisted myself I am proud to say) are fused but the smaller rings are not.  I was even able to fuse the ring that contains the clasp without melting the darned clasp.  I used a tweezers for a heat sink but, still, fine silver would not have allowed that since the entire ring would have had to be red hot to fuse.  Argentium just requires a flame directly to the join and isn't as good of a heat conductor so the clasp wasn't in that much danger.  Life was good in John's class!

I am ending this post with a picture of John and will be saying good bye to Bead and Button Show 2012!   It was an amazing experience and I am very happy I went, very grateful to Peggy for including me in this trip.  Next year - if I am lucky - perhaps a  journey to Georgia for John's week long class in chain making!

For the Beady-Eyed Bunch....Happy Beading!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

YES!!! The Bead and Button Show!


Peggy, Peggy's sister, Susan, and I headed off to Milwaukee, WI....The show was amazing and overwhelming...lots of venders - two football fields worth of venders...lots of classes in beading, metal, polymer clay, chain, glass lampworking...and more. Every class from Master's classes to beginner's classes, from 3 days to 3 hours, all taught by experts in their craft. It was amazing.

Of course there are pictures! Off we go through Indiana....past giants turning cartwheels...

And on into and straight through Chicago..which is, as always, Chicago. Captain Susan was the brave soul who got us through safely.
A baseball field of some sort - that is big in Chicago I hear
Wait .... now we are hungry!!!
Nah - Peggy and Susan have found a better place about 25 minutes South of Milwaukee....
The gateway to paradise, serious paradise..
After filling up on amazing Wisconsin sandwiches and deserts we couldn't resist the hokey picture and then piled back in the car and headed to The Show!

THE ARRIVAL: Yes - we are really there, threw our suitcases in our rooms and headed down to register and get the magic badge that let everyone know that *we* got to wander around as we pleased.
The venders were setting up and only we, very 'special registered' beaders, could attend that night. The 'public' gets to shop the next night.
Lots of big tables scattered around for beading, resting, meeting other people and - in this case - looking at the show program and trying to figure out where our classes will be tomorrow. And waiting for the vender exhibit to open - Peggy and Susan are planning their attack.
It's been a very very long day....we had left Indy at 8 in the morning, driven up through Chicago and on into Wisconsin, had a big and amazing lunch at Apple Holler, got settled in our rooms, pawed through our complementary Bead and Button tote bag stuffed with information and more goodies, cruised the vender exhibit, purchased our first finds,  chatted with venders we knew, looked at our show guide, then to a very good and very very funny and enjoyable dinner.....we were tuckered out and ready to head to our rooms so we would be rested for our classes the next day!

More tomorrow!