This is the 13th year that I’m going to Tucson to sell my beads. I’ve been at the same show for all these years and have had offers and opportunities to do other shows in town but I like the laid back vibe and the many artists and vendors that make up the Best Bead Show. It’s like a family reunion each year.
There have been changes. Some people have moved to other shows or dropped out completely and others are just taking a break. It has been tough for me to keep doing shows and in order to still have a major venue for my work I stuck with Tucson. I did Embellishments (later Bead & Button), Recursos (now Bead Fest), various bead society shows and I loved them all but at some point there became so many shows with payment deadlines, hotels, airfares all at the same time that I could not keep up. I scaled everything back to one major show a year and it works just fine for me. It gives me time to explore and play with new ideas and also spend more time on music.
I am so grateful to have Kate as my wonderful hostess, it helps ease the stress of an otherwise intense but fun week and I get to be around a bunch of creative, interested and interesting people. I’m also looking forward to seeing Andrew Thornton, speaking of interesting and interested. This year I’m trying to make some room in the car for the cello and a bit of gear.
I love making this road trip, I never get tired of the desert scenery and as crazy as Arizona may seem, it is a physically beautiful place and I know some excellent people that live there.