Monday, September 11, 2006

Beads at the Fair

One nice thing about about having a creative hobby it that you aquire cheerleaders. You know; friends who like your work and encourage you. Stroke your ego a little bit. One of the girls I work with is a great cheerleader. She has been encouraging me to sell my beads (something I don't really do yet) at one particular venue; the Avenues Street Fair. She has been reminding me for months that I have to go with her this year and check it out and this was the big weekend.

The "Avenues" is an old historic neighborhood that runs along the north end of town from downtown up to the university. It sits on a steep hillside; 1st Avenue is at the bottom of the hill, and each progressive avenue is a step higher up the hill. The festival is up on 11th Avenue. Expecting a dinky little neighborhood fair, I was surprised when I got there that were about 200 booths; craftsellers, information, food (Thai food- yummy!), and bands playing at both ends and in the middle.

There were numerous jewelry booths, selling the gamut from imported to hand crafted. I could see why my friend though it would be a good selling venue. I was surprised to find a couple of lampwork bead makers in the mix. There was a woman from Logan (about 2 hours north of Salt Lake) who made beautiful boro pendants and beads. She had some pieces made from small, jewel tone, disc beads that were just lovely.
There was another gal, whom I'd met in a local class a couple of years ago, who was selling jewelry and loose beads; most of her beads were of the style I call "pretty little Corina beads". Small bright pretty detailed beads named after a once popular beadmaker known for that stye.

I'm always excited to meet fellow lampworkers. It's nice to chat with someone with similar interests, and it is so interesting to see what other people are creating in glass. As much as I like looking at other work I wish didn't always feel the need to compare my work to theirs. Being the insecure type my first thoughts are things like, "Why didn't I think of that cool color combo?" or "Why don't I make more of that pretty style?" and "Gee, maybe my beads aren't that good, maybe I should be making things more like theirs". These are silly thoughts because in reality there are so many different styles and types of beads. It would be boring if we all did the same thing, it is so much more interesting to develop our own styles. I'm never quite sure what my style is, but I do know that "pretty little Corina beads" must not be it. I rarely make those sorts of beads. I make them most often when I want to make a gift for someone, because I know that style is very popular. Other times make them just because I want to be able to say I can, that I have the skills to make those sort of beads. But I have to admit I struggle with tiny little encased detailed beads. I sometimes feel like less of a bead maker because this style is not my forte. Silly huh?

The evening after the festival I decided to make some beads. Inspired by what I saw at the festival that day I decided I should practice making some perfect, little, jewelry pretties. I'm not sure I got much past five, a couple of encased stripe beads, a few encased diamond type beads, a couple of (bad!) lentils. Nothing matching of course. (I am so set impaired!) Then my eyes gravitated to the little pile of enamels sitting on my marver. Next thing you know I'm making big enameled tab beads. And it felt good. They feel like MY beads. Hopefully, when I do get around to selling beads, someone will like them. For now, I'll just have to share them with my friend, my cheerleader, because I just know she will.

1 comment:

Lori Greenberg said...

You go girl! Welcome to blog land...you're going to fit right in...and love it.