Celebrating 20 Years of Bead Fest | Beading

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Bead Fest is back! After a pandemic hiatus, the largest East Coast bead and jewelry event is returning August 17-20, 2022, at the Lancaster County Convention Center. Bead Fest will feature the educational workshops and unique shopping you’ve come to expect, along with entertaining new events.

Shown above: Lampwork glass beads at Bead Fest 

It’s going to be a great place for the beading and jewelry community to gather together and celebrate.  

The line to get into Bead Fest
Attendees waiting to enter Bead Fest.

Past to Present 

At the first Bead Fest event, there were seven teachers offering 14 classes and vendors filling 100 booths in the marketplace. Interweave Director of Content Tamara Honaman remembers standing at the doors in hopeful anticipation that people would come. A half hour before the very first Bead Fest opened, people were lined up to get inside, and a worth-the-wait tradition was born.

Tamara says, “It’s amazing to see how it’s grown. It really speaks to the passion of beaders and jewelry makers and all of our instructors and vendors who make it all possible.”   

This year, more than 30 instructors will teach 100+ classes on bead weaving, metalsmithing, kumihimo, metal clay, polymer, and more. You’ve seen many of the instructors’ projects in the pages of Beadwork and Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and these classes are a fun opportunity to spend time with them and learn alongside them. All students who purchase a workshop ticket automatically receive free entry to the Marketplace and a special goodie bag (limit one per person).  

Mokume Gane jewelry by Julie Sanford
Master Mokume Gane with Julie Sanford. 

Master Your Craft 

New this year, there will be four master classes that include a dinner with the instructor, breakfast each day, and other special perks. Metalsmith Julie Sanford will present two 2-day workshops, including one covering Mokume Gane. Beader Edgar Lopez will offer two 2-day workshops to advance your beadwork.

Scroll the workshop offerings or download the PDF to see all the classes.  

The Dakota Stones Bead Fest booth
Bring your shopping list or browse for inspiration.

Shopportunities 

In the Marketplace, you can shop, meet the artisans and exhibitors, and also connect with people who love the art and craft of beading and making jewelry. Many vendors provide demonstrations of their products, such as new tools, or ideas for using their inventions in creative ways. You’ll find everything from handmade one-of-a-kind beads and components to jewelry supplies to expand your stash.

Artisan’s Alley 

Many attendees make their first Marketplace stop in Artisan’s Alley, because this special area of the show features independent instructors and makers. Ceramic bead maker Diane Hawkey admits this is her favorite part of the show. She says, “There’s so much creativity in one place. It’s also where I meet my best friends who are bead artists. It feels like a bead party down the aisle.”

You can look forward to meeting the makers and shopping for handmade beads and components at the show.  

Beads of Courage
Beads of Courage provides arts-in-medicine to children undergoing treatment for long term illness.

Special Events 

On Thursday evening, Bead Fest will present Designing with the Stars, a benefit for Beads of Courage. Seven rockstar jewelry instructors will lead participants through seven pieces of jewelry; Beads of Courage founder Jean Gribbon will be on site to share the story. This fast-paced jewelry-making party always sells out when it’s held at the Beads of Courage headquarters in Tucson, Arizona. We’re so excited to share the experience at Bead Fest. All proceeds will help restock the Beads of Courage Bead Pharmacy.  


We can’t wait to see you at Bead Fest! Have you reserved your workshop seats?


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