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Thursday, October 23, 2014


My intention was to write this post on Saturday night as a kind of  "see what good things are at the show, come join us" entry, but a stomach bug or food poisoning laid me low.  Instead, here is a story about what fun I had at the Whole Beads Show on Saturday.

After I finished my stint at the Bead Society of Greater New York's table, I stopped to see my friend Michael Harrington of Beads That Bounce.
Michael Harrington

He always has such interesting beads and his new experiments didn't disappoint, as you can see below.
Some of Michael's latest line of beads.

These were my favorite new beads; they look so 1950s.

Then I stopped to see renowned bead artists Tom and Sage Holland.  I first met Tom when we were both attending the bead conference in Istanbul, Turkey in 2007-me as a speaker and teacher and Tom as a teacher.  I was checking the info board in the lobby of the Hotel Richmond one night for my friend Yoshie, trying to find out where her class was being held, when I hear the desk clerk say "Ask her-she'll know."  I turn around and there is this travel-weary man who introduces himself as Tom Holland and explains that he is trying to figure out where he is supposed to stay because the hotel does not have the promised reservation for him.
While we were talking, Carole Morris (of the Bead Society of Great Britain) stopped to chat because she knew Tom and as we were all talking, the desk clerk found Tom a room in a nearby youth hostel for only about $40.  The next day Tom found out that the organizer did have a room for him, but at different hotel; so that was my introduction to a talented bead artist.  This year, I was privileged to meet Sage Holland at Bead and Button.  You can see more of their work at

Tom and Sage Holland

Some of their lovely beads

This snake necklace made of individual beads is one of Sage's signature pieces.

I bought a pair of earrings (made by Sage) that caught my eye.  Much as I love big, eye-catching earrings, sometimes you just need to wear something simple and elegant.

After visiting with Tom and Sage, I set off to buy something that had caught my eye: Libyan Desert Glass.  I thought the merchant was pulling my leg, but it turned out to be a real item (thank you Google).  Libyan desert glass is a naturally occurring glass made of silica that is generally found in the Libyan desert.  It is believed that the glass was formed 29 million years ago when a meteor crashed into the Libyan desert, causing enough heat to turn the sand to glass.
 My purchase of Libyan desert glass.

The glass is yellow or green in color and the pieces can range from small to chunks up to 16 pounds.  As you can see, I bought 2 small, yellow pieces with some lovely patina.  The glass was used to make sharp blades in palaeolithic times and carved into a scarab for Tutanhkamen's pendant. It was rediscovered by Western explorers in 1846.
Tutanhkamen's pendant with the carved scarab of Libyan desert glass in the center.  Sadly, this was not on view at the show.

After buying my lovely rocks, I stopped to see my friend Meg Fillmore Mullen of Bead My Love; that took some doing because her booth is always so popular with shoppers.

Meg and her intrepid assistant.
Some of Meg's bead embroidery.

Then it was time to say hello to my friend Ren Farnsworth of  Designs in Glass and, of course, I had to buy a few of her lampwork flowers.

Here's Ren wearing a necklace and headband made of her lovely flowers.

Two of Ren's new flower beads made with silver glass.  The black flower actually has a lovely silver sheen on it.

Then, I said a quick hello to Perry Bookstein at the York Beads booth; it has to be quick because he soon had more shoppers needing attention.

The infamous Perry Bookstein.

I scored one of Perry's new magnetic clasps.

Then I got distracted by all of the lovely titanium-covered hematite shapes at Eagle Gemstones.  I have been looking for shapes that were a little larger than bugle beads and these might just do the trick.  Of course. they had so many other shapes, I couldn't resist.

Titanium-covered hematite shapes.

Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of my friend Anne of Gardanne Beads when we were chatting and then she was busy with customers, but here is an example of her charming enamel work.

Enameled leaves by Gardanne.

After that, it was time to head for home with my new purchases.