The Big Bead I found at the Pasadena Bead Show

The Pasadena Bead Show was the first big bead show I ever attended and while I had an affinity for beads before attending, once I entered that show I was hooked. I was literally dazzled. Seeing so much that glistens and glitters, so many colors and textures in every direction can make a girl dizzy and I wandered from booth to booth in an overwhelmed daze. (This - I would later learn - was nothing compared to being in an overwhelmed daze at the Tucson bead show).

The booths and tables were filled for the most part with gemstones – not my precious Czech glass beads. But little by little I began to learn the names of the different stones and started collecting them as well. I came home with bags full of mostly agate, jasper and hematite, the more affordable stones. I became enchanted with jasper and I have tons of these pretty stone beads. I have yet to put them up for sale here on my website, but I will. One day I will.

There were glass beads at the show as well. Mostly bead made by artisans selling their wares. One of my favorites was Unicorn Beads. I found their beads to be high quality, relatively minimalist, and unique.

I did happen upon a table where a woman was selling very unusual large mostly monochromatic glass beads from mysterious origins. She didn’t make them and I don’t think she wanted anyone to know where she got them so she would keep competition at bay.

I found a very big glass bead that I fell in love with. It was swirls of opaque blue and black glass with a hint of grayish white toward the center. If you were to make a piece of jewelry using this bead it would have to be a leather cord, a clasp, this bead and nothing else because that bead owned the room. She wanted $48.00 dollars for it and - not being much of a haggler – that is what I paid. She said it was one of a kind, but it wasn’t. A few hours later I walked by her table again and there it was laying out for all to see, another huge blue, black and white bead that was the twin of the bead I had purchased. One thing I learned about bead shows is the old adage “buyer beware” should always be kept in mind. I am still happy with the purchase though because in my world that bead IS one of a kind! 

This Summer’s Pasadena Bead Show will begin shortly. It runs from July 28th through July 31st. I will be there all four days buying beads and taking jewelry making classes. Going every summer is my birthday present to myself. I have no such excuse however for attending the same show every January as well. I just go.

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