Monday, April 23, 2012

BeadFest Philadelphia...

It's been a little over a week since we got back from our whirlwind trip to Philadelphia.  William, Becki (Williams's mom), and I headed out dark and early to attend BeadFest.  Although it was a short trip, I'm still processing everything that I saw and all the wonderful people that I met.

It was by sheer happenstance that we ran into Gail Crosman Moore.  She was in between classes and we were unfolding after the four hour drive from Western Pennsylvania to Eastern Pennsylvania.  It's always delightful to see Gail.  She has such a positive energy and is one of the people in the business that is a true innovator.  She's always exploring and developing and creating new and beautiful things.  It's  really exciting to see what she's working on!  I am glad we ran into each other!
I feel really fortunate to be amongst such a creative and supportive community.  For the most part, everyone is very kind and friendly.  Barbara Lewis and the Painting with Fire crew are no exception!  (In the picture from left to right: Chris, Toni, David, Barbara, and Jim.)  They're so sweet and helpful.  Barbara's book, Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop in Painting with Fire, has become an indispensable reference book for me that I'm constantly looking at!  
Right as we walked out onto the show floor, we were greeted by a familiar and friendly face!  Meredith from Beadalon was demoing a flexible beading wire technique.
As we made our way down the row, there were even more friends!  We stopped and talked with several folks.  We saw Beth from Kabela Design.  Here she is, presenting their new antique silver filigree pieces.  The new pieces are very nice and have an almost silky look to them.
We ran into Erica Cessna and had a brief chat before she went off to take a class.  She was really instrumental to the opening of Allegory Gallery and I can't thank her enough for all her help and support.
While we were wandering the show, we stopped at the Bead Goes On booth and saw Sally and Amy.  I really love chatting with them.  Sally has so many stories and she has a very frank humor that got me laughing like a crazy person.
When we pulled into the parking lot, I saw Leslie Rogalski with her sister sitting out on the curb taking a break and getting sorted out before plunging head-on into the show.  Later, when we ran into them again, I joked around that they had sold their car to get more beads.  (A little bit of "beader" humor.)  These big shows have an almost Vegas quality to them that the idea of parting with one's vehicle to get more beads is not quite so absurd!
Another treat was seeing Erin Siegel and Lorelei Eurto.  They were there with their new book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon, and Cords!  It's due to come out in June, but it's available for pre-order now!  The book is simply beautiful and just full of lovely designs and rich textures.

It's funny when you see someone from your neck of the woods when you're not anywhere near where you live.  We saw AR of Satorious Designs and Maria Richmond of Lost Marbles (who are both based out of Pittsburgh and teach at Allegory Gallery from time to time).  It was great seeing them and seeing Maria's new kits.  They're both fabulous teachers and I can't wait to get them back in the store!
Speaking of teachers, we visited with Anne Mitchell.  We're going to try and coordinate our schedules to get her to teach at Allegory Gallery.  We also hope to bring in Gail Crosman Moore.  I envision planning a weekend intensive workshop around their visits.  I think it could be a lot of fun and people could take a lot away from the experience!  The times of year that we are talking about them coming are just beautiful and I know that people would enjoy poking around this part of the world and taking classes with these very talented artists.  Of course, the planning stage is in its infancy, but I have a feeling that these will shape up to be quite the weekends!

In reading back over the blog post, I came away with the sense that not everything that I wanted to say was said nor that everything I wanted to show was shared.  I guess it's nearly impossible to really condense and express just how much there was to see and experience in a show like this.  Even though it's smaller than the August show, there was still just so much!  I didn't even scratch the surface with everyone that we saw!  It really was a whirlwind event and I'm glad that we decided to go at the last minute.


Lorelei Eurto said...

me too! I'm glad you showed up! it was great to see you!!
Thanks for the shout out in your recap!
it was a great show. I was thinking ok, smaller show... i'll buy less beads.... NOPE! didn't happen!

eva sherman designs said...

Bead Fest is always a blast, glad you enjoyed it...

Erin Siegel said...

I always look forward to your show posts, Andrew! I love seeing all the pictures and people you met along the way. I marvel at the contacts and connections you have made in this industry. It was such a pleasure to see you again. You are a ton of fun to be around...I love your sense of humor. I do hope we can get together at Allegory Gallery sometime in the future. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing you at the next show.
P.S. I love the shot you got of me and Lori with our book!

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Such a great post Andrew, thanks for sharing! I hope to get to this show one day. I'm so glad you posted the picture and blurb about Maria Richmond. I have a fish ornament/ sculpture she made years ago (I think I've had it at least 8 years if not more) hanging in a window. Love it!

Cyndi J said...

Looks like a lot of fun--seeing old friends, making new ones.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Glad you made it to the show! I unfortunately spent that Saturday in my hotel room with a migraine. Doesn't my body realize that every day at Bead Fest counts!! I like it's size as it is easier to see almost all of the vendors. The downside is that the vendors don't have as much of their product with them, so I have to wait until August for some things that were on my shopping list.

I may have not gotten everything on my list, but I still left with bags of treasures (I will be photographing and posting them later today). Lorelei is right, smaller show does not equal returning home with less beads!

terri said...

Andrew! So sorry I missed you there....please let me know next time you're in the Philly area. I would love to see you!