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.