A handful of editors from AllFreeJewelryMaking.com and other Prime Publishing websites attended the Bead&Button Show on Friday, July 10 in Milwaukee, WI. If you’ve never heard of this fabulous event, it’s a 200+ vendor, three-day celebration of all things jewelry.
With classes to attend, hundreds of booths to browse and even jewelry making competitions to view, it’s perfect for casual jewelry makers and professionals alike. But the best part of all was learning about 2016 jewelry making trends! Hint: One of your favorite TV shows is inspiring the industry. Keep reading to find out which one! Plus, find out how you can win bead samples from the show.
Metal is Coming – A Game of Thrones Inspired Trend!
Julia Gerlach, editor of Bead & Button magazine, said that although the Bead&Button show is all about beads and buttons, it’s actually wire and metalwork that’s rising in popularity.
“People are dabbling with metal and wire as those materials become more available and information is easier to find,” Gerlach said. With so many classes offered at the show, jewelry makers can try techniques that they couldn’t try at home, including working with more challenging metal materials. “For example, I don’t have access to a work bench or saw, but the instructors bring everything you need to try something new,” she said.
Where’s this trend of more industrial, clean designs coming from? Television.
“Metal is very modern and hip. It’s not exactly steampunk inspired anymore, but moving more toward Game of Thrones and Hunger Games. There are flowing lines, but it’s edgy. There’s more of an urban, timeless feel.” – Gerlach
First-time vendors Reactive Metals Studio, Inc. reflected those trends. They brought with them an anodizer, a machine which allows jewelry makers to manipulate titanium and niobium into any color of the rainbow by coating metal electrolytically with a protective or decorative oxide.
Michele Waters, owner of the Arizona-based metal studio, said “We are used to the community of metalsmiths rather than beaders, so we’re here educating a lot of people. We figured it would be a different crowd for us.” Waters said the top trend she sees in metal jewelry is customized wedding rings.
Into the metal trend? Learn all about chainmaille!
A Dreamy Jewelry Wonderland
One of the coolest things we saw at the show was BeadDreams, an exhibit of stunning jewelry made by artists from around the world. The exhibit also recognized the designers with a competition judged by a Bead&Button panel.
Designer Tatiana Van Iten was extremely inspired by Game of Thrones dragon imagery, and created this first-place winning set, ‘The Winds of Winter,’ that speaks for itself.
Van Iten said “The colors of this piece are the colors of The Wall – that of melting ice.” This set, which includes a necklace, earrings and a bracelet, uses labrodorite cabochons and chips, black obsidian, lampwork glass, Czech and Japanese seed beads, silver and pewter beads, glass beads, charms, pendants and more.
- 3 Times the Metal Necklace
- DIY Steampunk Hardware Necklace
- Gladiator Necklace (Daenerys would totally wear this on Game of Thrones!)
- Thrifty DIY Patriotic Jewelry
We also loved these summery, colorful pieces in the BeadDreams showcase.
Get even more inspired with Jewelry You Can Learn to Make in 2016!
We’re giving away bead samples from the show to one lucky winner!
How to Enter:
Leave a comment below answering the following question:
Where do you find jewelry making inspiration?
- There is a maximum of one entry per person. The entry will be based upon a comment left on this blog post. Duplicate comments will be deleted and are not tallied.
- The winner will be selected at random from the comments on this blog post.
- Winner will be announced here on the blog as well as contacted by the email address provided.
- You have until Friday. June 24, at 11:59pm EST to leave your comment on this blog post. Comments posted after that will not be counted.
- Contest open to anyone 18+ in US.