It was a busy and stressful few weeks with the run up to the Big Bead Show, at Sandown Racecourse, then Flame Off and the North Midlands Bead Fair, at Uttoxteter Racecourse, a week later.
The Big Bead Show promised lots and delivered little, largely due to the burdensome overheads – extortionate table fee (compared to other bead fairs) and charges for both electricity (£30 per stall!) and an additional cost for a table. We brought our own tables, but there isn’t a way of avoiding the power costs if we want lights, bar taking our own generator.
Flame Off, however, is total value for money – three long benches of torches, with everything from a hot head to a midrange plus to try out; demonstrations by fantastic glass artists, lots of great stalls selling beads, equipment and supplies and, of course, the chance to catch up with everyone.
I entered the GBUK annual bead competition. I did two entries this year, go me!, in the focal and bead set sections. The entries are kept secret until after judging so I’ve had to wait to show people.
This was my focal, following the theme of Forever Blue, I called it Serenity.
The alternative theme was Famous Artists, and I made a set of beads inspired by Wassily Kandinsky called Wood Carved Rainbow.
Flame Off also saw the launch of Gloworms, glow glass in frit and stringer form, and I’m glad to say it was well received – lots of ooohs and aahs. This is a joint venture between myself and Debbie Dew of Silverartz and we worked tirelessly in the run up to Flame Off making stringer, frit, murrini, vine and petal cane.