Monday, June 14, 2010

Bead and Button, 2010: The Day After

Kimmie here, about to get opinionated:

It's Monday after the Bead and Button show, and we are all tired, exhilirated, and ready to go home.

It has been great hanging out with friends and developing new ideas. I think that's why we all come; sales are good and important, but the quality and quantity of artists at this show make it unmatched as an inspirational experience. I hope it can stay that way. Economics have made it hard for many of us to come, especially with increasing numbers of non-art-bead vendors at the show, but we are all optimists and fully expect things to improve with each passing year. I hope Bead and Button pays attention to what people are saying and needing, because so-called 'gem and jewelry' shows are a dime a dozen, and really not what this show is supposed to be about. It's supposed to be about artistry, like the wonderful work in Bead Dreams! I saw a booth here selling cheap sunglasses and fake pashmina scarves. That is NOT Bead and Button. Enough rant; but the mixed feelings of excitement and frustration are hard to keep in. Maybe keeping them in is a bad idea, anyway. The more people express concern about the direction the show is taking, the better, I think.

But about those new ideas: I'm really bad about keeping track of ideas, never having a sketchbook at hand when something percolates up. I have, however, learned to trust that if I put something into the flowing waters of my brain, it will swirl into the appropriate eddy and come back when it's ready and I'm ready to make it a reality. Tentative new projects will involve learning to carve wax for casting jewelry, recomitting to my metal clay/embroidery pieces, and designing some exciting jewelry pieces with my own beads. Can't wait to get started--and come back to Milwaukee next year with a suitcase full of exciting new work!

*also want to add extra thanks here to Kate McKinnon for offering to share booth space and a hotel for the show. She is talented, nice, and above all, fun! I wouldn't have been here if she hadn't given me the opportunity, and I really appreciate it.


  1. Welcome back Kimmie! Were artists booths busy? I really don't know what the answer is to the frustration. Most of my reasons for taking a break were personal but certainly the current state of the show entered into it.

  2. Some people were busy, and I had a nice order or two, but sometimes the aisles seemed eerily quiet! Even the seed bead booth across from us got slow at times. Why come if the perception is that it's no different from the Gem-Faire type thing that will be there in a few weeks?
    So many people grouse but I have wondered if anybody actually says anything. I wrote an email and mentioned my concerns...hope others will do the same!