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BeadFest 2015!

July 28, 2015 , In: Events, Inspiration, Metalsmithing
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It’s that time of year again when the AJE team swings into final preparations for BeadFest in Philadelphia… except that this year, it appears we’ve changed things up a little. I’m the only one teaching (for the first time) and Jenny Davies-Reazor is the only one vending. The others are just coming to play, which is a refreshing change (for them) from the annual craziness that usually accompanies BeadFest prep (you can read a bit about last year’s preparations here, here, here and here).

 

Susan Kennedy’s prep from last year

 

Or at least I hear it’s a refreshing change. Because since this is my first time teaching at BeadFest Philly, I’m obsessing a little about making sure I’m completely ready.

 

My bullet journal overfloweth

The good news is that I’m excited about the workshops I’m teaching – they’re fun and two of them are a really good fit for people who just want to get started with metals. While I was discussing all this with the other AJE team members, they thought it might be a good blog post so… here you go!

 
Friday, August 21 – Roll Printing and Keum Boo
 
I’ve written before about my love of roll printing and especially the patterns that are available from Rolling Mill Resource. Tracy was kind enough to help me put kits together for this workshop, which is going to incorporate roll printed designs with keum boo – one of my other favorite techniques.
 

 

 

 
 
The addition of 24k gold to sterling silver makes such a statement – and it’s surprisingly simple, too. I’m looking forward to introducing folks to the process, which will really just scratch the surface of the possibilities it offers. It’s a great workshop for people who want to get an introduction to some of the characteristics of sterling silver and two simple processes for embellishing it.
 
Saturday, August 22 – Welcome Home Jewelry
 
My friend Gail and I designed this jewelry set for our very first Roadhouse metals retreat last year – and if I’m being honest, it sort of kicked our butts! I’ve reworked the design a bit to make it a little less intimidating and now I think it’s a fun project for either a confident beginner or someone with a little bit of soldering experience under their belts.
 
 
We’ll also be making earrings to go with this pendant, so students will learn a cool method for creating embellished earwires and will also have the opportunity to set small stones in bezel cups. It’s a good multi-technique project for anyone wanting to up their metals game.
 
Sunday, August 23 – Chain, Chain, Chain!
 
I adore this project – so simple and easy, and such an elegant result! We’ll be introducing fusing principles with an easy pair of earrings, just to get everyone started, but the star of the show will be this embellished loop-in-loop chain bracelet.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
I’ve heard this called by all sorts of other names, but I just call it embellished loop-in-loop – and since I’m a sucker for handmade chain, I make this one a lot because of its ease of construction and elegant profile. And the little balls… well, you all know I love balls. This is a perfect project for someone with absolutely no experience, and students will leave with two finished projects!
 
So are you planning to come to BeadFest this year? If so, I’d love to meet you and say hi – and since there are still spots open in these workshops, we could even have a little playdate if you’d like! Don’t forget to stop by Jenny’s booth and ogle all her gorgeous work – I’m sure she can even arrange for you to take some of it home with you as your very own.
 
 
 
 
 
Hope to see you in Philly! Until next time….
 

 

 

Francesca Watson

Francesca Watson got bit by the jewelry-making bug in 2008, when she and a few girlfriends took a simple stringing class at a local bead shop. Now, she is co-owner of The Makery, a working and teaching studio and gallery in the Texas Hill Country outside San Antonio where Francesca creates and teaches metals, wire and enameling full time, and indulges an emerging interest in mixed media. She and her husband Nick have been married since 1989 and have one grown daughter.
  1. Reply

    It's just round the corner now. I can hardly wait!

    • Lee
    • July 29, 2015
    Reply

    I do like your ideas for workshops, beautiful earrings, awesome bracelet but my fav is that kooky little house!!! I wish I could be there for that workshop! Here's to a really fun time!

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