There’s no two ways about it: beads are hot! Beading and jewelry making have exploded in recent years as both a hobby and vocation. Keeping on trend, Ellsworth has it’s own Spring bead & jewelry event. The Third Annual Beads & Baubles Downeast Bead & Jewelry Show is taking place at The Ramada Inn on April 8 + 9 this year. The show will feature about 25 vendors showing and selling beads, gems, buttons & beading supplies as well as lovely finished jewelry by local artisans. The most popular types of beads will be well represented: Czech glass, freshwater pearls, Swarovski Crystal, lampwork glass, and gemstone beads.
There will be a large selection of locally created lampwork glass by Sihaya Hopkins of Brooklin, Ray Cooper of Blue Hill, Beverly Lamoureux of Franklin, Kathleen Henderson of Penobscot, and Debrae Bishop of Sargentville. Lampwork glass is a traditional form of glasswork with roots in Murano, Italy. Beads are formed from colorful glass rods that are melted over the open flame of a torch into beads and buttons with sparkling color and texture. Lampwork beads can also be formed into shapes such as animals, and there will be many fine examples of lampwork glass beads in all shapes and colors at the show.
The Bead Show will also feature artisan created polymer clay beads and buttons, created using a millefiori caning technique. The variously colored polymer clay is mixed to create various patterns and sliced to show the cross section of the design. Both Priscilla Wentworth of Searsport and Suzanne Anderson of Yikes! Studio in Lucerne will offer their polymer clay beads, buttons, and jewelry at the show.
Several bead shops will be on hand to offer advice as well as offer a large selection of new and vintage beads and buttons. Bennett’s Gems of Belfast will display an impressive selection of gems and gemstone beads. The Beaded Moose of Bangor, which specializes in Czech glass, will bring a selection of beads for sale. Downeast Sticks 'n Stones of Brewer and Butterfly Beads of Old Town will also be on hand with a large selection of beads from their shops.
For those who prefer to purchase finished jewelry, several local artisans will be on hand with their beaded bracelets, necklaces, earrings and stash beads. Emily Delfin of Holden specializes in pieces created with Swarovski Crystal and gemstone, while Lisa Salsbury of Ellsworth works in precious metal clay (PMC) and a variety of beading techniques. Janelle Delicata of Prospect works in PMC as well. Diane Allen of Blue Hill has won National awards for her intricately beaded pearl and crystal jewelry. Leslie Jones of Tangled Web Designs in Southwest Harbor will display her beaded jewelry featuring cabochons.
This year folks attending the show can also purchase snacks and light meals right at the show. Sassafrass Catering of Bar Harbor will be onsite selling sandwiches, baked goods, coffee, and more to fortify shoppers.
Also at the show: artisan created dichroic glass by Nancy Tang of Glass Orchids, porcelain beads, felt beads, focal beads and pendants and findings. This will be the largest selection of beads and buttons available in the area until the Fall Bead Show returns in October. This will be a fun event and I hope you all can join us.