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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Back from Bead and Button

A week ago today I was enjoying a trolley ride to Milwaukee's wonderful bead store called Eclectica. Based in a suburb of the city, the store is actually three connected storefronts that hold an amazing treasure trove of goodies. 


I'll blog about some of the interesting things I saw and classes I took over the next few weeks. If you were there too, please feel free to share your impressions/photos in the comments section. 

I fell in love with this red dragon scale bustier that was an entry in the Bead Dreams competition. I know it would never fit me but I would love to know how it feels. There were a lot of purses entered in the competition and I will post that series of photos later. 

It felt like there were fewer attendees, classes seemed a bit smaller and there were definitely fewer vendors - at least six that I usually visit and buy from and was disappointed not to see. Meet the Teachers was busy but not as crazed as in years past. 

The class I took with Mary Hettmansperger was full. An all-day class on colouring metal and creating one of a kind pendants featuring portholes and hinges, it was an amazing opportunity to learn from an inspired artisan who inspired me to new creative challenges. More on that class later, but here's a picture of the group at work. Mary is in the black shirt and white apron.

Here's one of my completed projects from Mary's class. She complimented me on my design, which is a focus on circles, from the patina on the copper to the dented texture to the portholes. I love it!

I learned how mokume gane is created and made a lovely leaf pendant. After I finish shaping it and polishing it, I'll post a picture. I also built a beautiful spinner ring. 

The rest of my classes were spent learning the tricky technique of enamelling by immersing your metal in flame and how to create a raku effect on metal using enamels. I'm creating original projects featuring these techniques to bring my knowledge to students in Toronto. Here's a picture of my enamelled raku copper. I adore this technique and you never know what will come out of that smoking can!

Well it's time for me to unpack the goodies I picked up while shopping and get to work on samples. 

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