Thoughts of Design Inspiration

Glass beads


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Bead Shows – Inspiration from Seeing and Touching

beads in a bead show trayFor an artist or a crafter just the gathering of materials can be a satisfying and inspirational experience. You go to a bead show to get beads, yes! But it is also a way to get ideas, see new gemstones, touch them and see combinations of stones together. You can suddenly get an idea, or see a stone that just calls you “make something with me”.

So, what is a bead show? It’s a collection of vendors selling beads, gemstones, materials for beaders, jewelry makers and other crafters. You can find them all over the country, I attended one last weekend in Massachusetts. This one is held at a hotel and every vendor has their own room. You wonder back and forth in the hallway and get dizzy by the quantity of rooms and beads! You will find gemstone beads and your standard glass and crystals. But, you can also find unusual ones, people making their own beads out of sawdust or some other unusual material. Some offer kits for hobbyists, who are not yet ready to design their own, or who just prefer to follow instructions.  Somehow I personally skipped this step, I went straight into my own experiments, for me replicating somebody else’s design is boring. But, there’s a way for everybody that fits.

gemstone beads - lapis, ruby at a bead show

All those gemstone beads – ovals, rounds, lentils, nuggets!

You can also learn a lot if you decide to ask questions. The bead vendors know a lot about the beads and gems that they sell and you can end up having a very inspirational conversation. You can talk to the other shoppers and also admire the jewelry they are wearing. (They often made the piece themselves and are very proud and willing to talk about it!) Once I met a person who makes bead jewelry to fundraise for pets and I still follow their journey online.

So, go bead seeking – you might find something new or come home with a renewed inspiration!

beads and gemstones at a bead show

So many rooms and so many beads! Priscilla Beads – sawdust and handrolled paper beads.

gemstone beads in a bead show

Searching for the ultimate gem