Beads, beads, and more beads! That’s what you were in store for if you made the trip to Milwaukee for Bead&Button Show 2012. As the new editor of AllFreeJewelryMaking.com, this was my first year attending the show, and I was in bead heaven. Every type of jewelry-making medium was represented among the exhibitor booths, so whether wirework is your thing, you’re in the chainmaille gang, you’re “gaga” for glass and lampwork, or you’re a loom lover, you had plenty to feast your eyes upon on the Bead&Button Show floor.
AllFreeJewelryMaking was only able to attend one day of the 10-day beading bonanza, which took place from June 1 to June 10, but in that one day, we got to see and experience so much! We met the nicest people, got to watch some fabulous demonstrations, and even got a little shopping time in… (Hey, I wasn’t walking off that incredible show floor empty handed!)
Many exhibitors were giving demonstrations of their fabulous jewelry-making products on the show floor, and Kristal Wick with Alacarte Clasps and WireLace was kind enough to show us a quick and easy method for using WireLace to make a gorgeous necklace!
WireLace is an amazing wire mesh ribbon material that is at once soft and structural. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors for all kinds of incredible jewelry creations and is even offered in kits, like the luxurious Swirls of Pearls bracelet kit. Here’s a display of the various sizes that WireLace comes in:
Linda Hartung, co-owner and designer for Alacarte Clasps and WireLace, was the creative genius behind the necklace featuring this year’s Bead&Button Show commemorative bead! Isn’t it gorgeous?
There were so many innovative jewelry supplies and products displayed at this year’s Bead&Button Show, like the versatile and easy-to-use SilverSilk. We were lucky enough to see some SilverSilk in action thanks to this demo by Becky Machinski:
We also got to chat with Soft Flex Company, Beadalon, Wire-Sculpture.com, New Phase Inc., The Urban Beader, Amate Studios, Weave Got Maille, WireKnitz, Tapestry Beads, Impress Art, Crystal Clay, John Bead, and JewelryTools.com, just to name a few. It was a busy day, but we covered just about the whole show floor!
Before we left, we made sure to browse the display cases with all the breathtaking contest winners. These stunning pieces were really beyond belief! Here are some of our favorites:
If you couldn’t make this year’s show, don’t worry! The fabulous folks over at Kalmbach will begin planning for next year’s Bead&Button Show before we know it (something tells me they already have…)! Find out everything you need to know about the show at the official Bead&Button Show website, and find more Bead&Button Show 2012 recap photos on Bead&Button’s Facebook page!