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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Glass Craft & Bead Expo 2011

In less than a week I'll be heading to Las Vegas for the 2011 Glass Craft & Bead Expo. The expo consists of four full days of hands-on instruction in various glass, bead, and metal techniques and a trade show floor of over 130 vendors.

I'll be hitting the road on Thursday. It's an 8 hour drive from Logan to Vegas, so I should arrive at the hotel in the late afternoon. The weather forecast for the area shows temperatures in the 80s. Given that it snowed overnight here in Logan, the warmth and sunshine of the Las Vegas desert will be a welcome change. With any luck I'll have a chance to unwind from my drive by the hotel pool, reading a book and soaking up some rays. The next few days, however, I'll be soaking up as much information as I can about the wonderful craft of glass.

Friday at 8 AM I'll be heading to Ballroom A8 for a class called "Mixed Metal Bracelet". We'll be using copper and silver metal clay to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. For nearly a year now, I've had a package of silver clay in my supply drawer, but I've been too intimated to pull it out and start creating. The clay is 99% pure silver, and trial-and-error learning can result in some pretty expensive lessons. I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and figuring it all out -- with the help of someone who knows what she's doing!

I've also scheduled a Friday evening class called "Impressions in Glass". The technique taught in this class uses fiber paper to introduce texture and relief into the glass. I'm sure I'll pick up some new ideas for the use of fiber paper.

Saturday's class is called "Two for One -- Mold Making with Kaiser Lee Board". Kaiser Lee Board is a rigid, carvable substance that comes in blocks. It can be used for building three dimensional forms and for making custom molds. The class is called "two for one" since the first half of the day will be used for making a pendant using the KLB and the second half of the day will be used for creating a stand-alone clock, light screen, or sculpture.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the vendors will have their booths set up in the show hall. I'm interested in seeing the latest in fused glass supplies and equipment. I'm also hoping to pick up a show floor "deal" or two.

While Las Vegas itself is one of my least favorite places on the planet, I'm excited to be heading to the Glass Craft & Bead Expo. I'm hoping to learn new techniques, meet new friends, and come home with a head full of new ideas for my artwork. And who knows... I may even get adventurous and pull that silver clay out of the supply drawer!

Regards,

Dana (aka, The Jester)
Pendant, combining the techniques of fused glass, wire wrapping, and Chinese knotting.