Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tucson: If It's Wednesday, It Must Be The Best Bead Show

Hard to believe I've been here for five days already, going from one bead show to another every day. Today I covered the Tucson Best Bead Show, the best (IMHO) of the retail bead shows. This is a lampworked bead bonanza, second only to an ISGB conference.

Most of the "big names" in the lampworking world are here: Milon Townsend, Leah Fairbanks, Sharon Peters, Akihiro Okhama to name the first few that pop into my head. Check out Beau Tsai's gallery if you want to see some exquisite seascapes. The foreign gallery owners were packing his booth and almost fighting over his works. I'll bet his booth will be empty before the show ends.

There was lots going on at the other booths of the TBBS as well. With throngs of happy customers in all the aisles, you'd never know there's supposed to be a recession going on.

Also, good news for those of you who have been patiently waiting for it. Softflex has finally resumed manufacturing their Extreme 24K gold Softflex. They've also made improvements to the line to make it more abrasion-resistant and also "greener" to manufacture. In addition, they've introduced a whole bunch of new colours. I understand the shipment has arrived in Canada, so I'll be picking up the new gold next week, when I'm back in Toronto.


Barb said...

Have you seen any Russian hand painted black onyx beads? Could you please bring back contact info for me if you do. Wish I could be there too.

The BeadFX Buyer said...

Yes, I know who you mean. I bought one of those last Tucson. The name escapes me at the moment, but I'll look it up and get back to you here.

The BeadFX Buyer said...

Barb - the company is called Lumina Inspirations. Here's their website:

The Russian beads are towards the bottom of the page.
If I recall, some of their smaller pieces are done on papier mache or wood, but the larger pieces are on black onyx.