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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Bead and Button 2016

     My time at Bead and Button started with a bang as I tripped the uneven pavement by my hotel and did a face plant right onto the sidewalk on my first night in Milwaukee.  I didn't break anything, although I have 2 scrapes on my hands and a big hole in my knee.  Add to that, 1 slashed knuckle from bending copper sheet and a mystery scratch on my left thumb and I won't be doing much beading for a while.  Luckily, my mouse finger still works.
      Tuesday night, I took the Steampunk Trellis Pendant class with Irina Miech, which turned out to be not what I expected.  I thought that we would be using the wire looping technique to make the base of the pendant, but Irina had a neat cheat. 
Steampunk Trellis Pendant and Niobium Flower Ring

Moonlight Madness started right after class, so I wandered over to the shopping event to say hello to people.  I actually bought some crocodile leather-it was just so dinosaur-y that I couldn't pass it up.  I also bought a cute pair of flowers from Stephanie Sersich to make a pair of earrings.

Australian crocodile leather

Flower beads from Stephanie Sersich.  How cute are these?

 Wednesday, I had a day-long class with Maria Richmond as we made Riffing on a Zipper, which taught us how to wire wrap zippers onto wire.  Maria is a great teacher and we had a lot of fun.  I am not finished with my pendant because I hit a wall with it's design but I intend to finish it once I can use my hands again.  Wednesday night was Meet the Teachers, where I got to say hello to lots of friends.

Riffing on a Zipper

Thursday, I had a short class with Marti Brown where we learned to make a niobium flower ring.  As usual, playing with niobium was such fun!  Then the shopping floor opened at 4pm and I was busy for the next 4 hours.  The main mission was to buy beads to cover a stuffed frog toy.

Froggy is surveying some of the beads that might adorn him soon.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that they all won't fit on him.

Friday, I got to spend a few minutes with Kelly Stevenson of Back2Bead and his lovely wife Alicia.  Although they have many tempting beads, I was good and only bought these etched daggers.

Etched daggers from Back2Bead 

I also did my first wire crochet demonstration session at the ParaWire booth.  I needed earrings, so I have been obsessed with crocheting the smaller gauges of wire.

One pair of wire crochet earrings

Another pair of wire crochet earrings

I also stopped at Trinket Foundry booth to see Cathy's new recycled glass with silver metal clay.  Sadly, the earring pieces were quite popular, but I managed to find 2 shapes that went together.  Who says that earrings have to match?

Recycled glass with silver clay decoration

Saturday morning, I took the Painted Pendants class with Eva Sherman-what a treat!  I learned how to fold a sheet of copper  so that it looked like crumpled paper, cut it into shapes, add enamel and fire it with a torch, and mount our creations into frames.  I really liked this class and Eva is a great teacher.

A folded sheet of copper (top) and 3 finished pendants (bottom)

In the afternoon, I did a second wire crochet demonstration at the ParaWire booth.

Wire crochet earrings with pearls.

Wire crochet sewn to a textured frame.  I didn't start out to make dream catchers but that was what the earrings wanted to be.

I also discovered a new tool at the ParaWire booth.  I have been thinking about buying a few texturing hammers.  My metal friends swear by the Fretz hammers, but I don't do enough metal and wire work to justify spending that kind of money...but I do want to do some metal texturing.  This hammer with multiple texturing heads looked like a good way to get a number of heads for a decent price, especially since it feels balanced when you use it.  I played with it a bit in the booth and can't wait to explore what it can do.

My haul from ParaWire

My friend Akiko Nomura surprised me with a pair of Ninja socks and some cute stickers  from Japan. 


Then it was out to dinner with friends on Saturday night before I headed back to the hotel to pack.