So since my blogging has been pretty sparse in the past few years, I'll just start by telling you what I've been up to lately.
I'm taking a step back from bead shows. It's probably not shocking to anybody since bead shows in general seem to be getting a little smaller over the years. I love getting to chat with my customers in person and see their reactions to my work. I get to see what everyone is making and learn so many new things. I get to be with people that "get it." It's rewarding in a way that online interaction never really can be.
At the same time, prepping for a bead show just takes the energy out of me. While it is nice not to have to photograph everything, I still need to price everything and display it and lug it around. I always seem to break something too since at the end of the weekend, I'm too tired to really carefully pack up my stuff.
Over the years bead trends have been changing like they always do and lampwork beads just aren't as popular as they were years ago. I always make enough sales to make a bead show worth it, but it is a lot of work and it does take away from time spent making new work and selling online.
So, I'm sure I will do a few bead shows here and there, but I just don't have the time to devote to bigger shows like Beadfest and Bead and Button since they have such a high overhead.
If you do like to buy my beads in person and are bummed that I am minimizing my bead show offerings, you'll be happy to know that Let's Bead in East Rochester, NY and Bead Breakout in Pittsford, NY carries my work. They are both excellent shops that offer classes and tons of bead selections.
I am starting a new adventure in teaching as well. I am currently assisting with soft glass classes starting this summer at the Rochester Arc and Flame in Gates, NY. It really is a wonderful facility with many class offerings not just in glass. Many of you have been requesting a stringer class from me and that is what I am aiming for. I feel teaching is not something to be rushed. Classes are expensive and it wouldn't be fair to my students for me to just jump in as a teacher with no experience. It is something I am working on though.
Who knows, maybe when I have more teaching under my belt, I will revisit bead shows and start teaching at them. We will see what the future holds.