Bead & Button Show 2015 - Our Experience July 22, 2015 19:59

Lauren & Elizabeth waiting in line to meet the teachers

From Elizabeth:

This June we had the opportunity to attend the 2015 Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee.  What an amazing trip! We learned a new technique to create a dimensional bangle bracelet with superduos, expanded our dimensional peyote skills to create an intricate bracelet, learned the basics of wire weaving, and how to pierce sterling to create a small pendant.  

It was also good for us to be reminded what it feels like to be a student who is out of our comfort zone.  Our mini-piercing class was our first foray into metal working – the first time we’d ever held a jeweler’s saw and torch.  Let’s just say it was a challenge!  Also, Elizabeth was on the last step of creating her superduo bangle when she realized that one of her beads wasn’t completely drilled through – so, she had to scrap and redo the entire bracelet!

The best part of the show was getting to mix and mingle with other beaders and teachers.  Everyone in this community, who appreciate the art of beadwork, were encouraging and inspiring to us! We can’t wait to share what we learned at the show with you in upcoming classes.  Here’s to Bead and Button 2016!!!

Elizabeth & her swag bag

From Lauren:

Having the opportunity to attend the Bead & Button show just felt like a dream come true. It was incredible (and intimidating) to be surrounded by other individuals who love beading as much as we do. We had many highs & lows. "Highs" for me included: Meeting incredibly friendly teachers from around the country, including the bead embroidery queen herself, Sherry Serafini. She turned out to be incredibly humble and laid back. We also got to spend a considerable amount of time with Mandi Ainsworth of Texas, who taught our Superduo Rattan Bangle class. She shared so many great tips from business running, to bead retreats, to getting teachers to come to your shop. She, and all the rest of the teachers we met were incredibly supportive and complimentary of our work. The community of beaders is a community of support. No one seemed to be out to be better than someone else or egotistical. Everyone seemed to have the spirit of furthering this art form and helping everyone learn more about it. Chatting with vendors was amazing as well. Maku Studio was a favorite of mine. Hitting up local bead shop, Eclectica, was pretty neat... spent way to much money, of course.

"Low's" for me included the Mini Piercing class. My first real experience with metalwork was difficult to say the least. At one point I sat on the ground holding the pieces of my project in my hand with tears in my eyes. Robyn Cornelius (a bad-ass metalworker) had taken on a HUGE amount of classes for the week with a ton of attendees. Even with all that stress, she was SO nice and helpful. Another low included a class that we had signed up for, hoping for a challenging dimensional peyote class only to discover we already knew the technique being taught backwards & forwards. We had studied the technique in an effort to be prepared but the project was considerably easier than we thought and than what it was portrayed to be so we ended up walking out of class early. (With only one day left, we had more important things to do!)

"Just plain weird" moments of the trip included waiters at two separate restaurants who took a particular liking to both Elizabeth and I. We also kept running into Mandi at different places in town (Starbucks, a restaurant), I'm sure she thought we were stalking her. Bead & Button invited attendees to post photos on Instagram and we took that duty very seriously. The photos ended up on the Bead & Button Show app and we felt like mini celebrities (or just plain crazy) every time one popped up that we had posted.

All in all it was an amazing trip and I cannot wait to attend the 2016 show!

Mini Piercing Class