Bead Fest 2022: Tons of Fun + Lots of Learning

Bead Fest PA, 2022 was an absolute smash hit! We had so much time shopping, learning, and meeting new and old friends, and we can’t wait to come back next year to do it all again. Now that we’ve finally caught up on sleep after four days of all things beading and jewelry-making, we wanted to give you a little recap of Bead Fest 2022. Whether you were there and want to look back or had to miss this year, we hope you enjoy!

Above: Bead Fest 2022 attendees with their Bead Fest totes

Tons of Fun in Lancaster, PA

This year saw us in a new venue for Bead Fest, the Lancaster County Convention Center at the Marriott at Penn Station. We absolutely loved the new location and had a great time exploring Lancaster. We enjoyed walking to the nearby Lancaster Central Market and discovering new restaurants around town.

It was so convenient to stay on site for Bead Fest, and to be one elevator ride away from shopping, attending a workshop, or beading in the lobby with other attendees.

So Many Workshops!

The thing many of us look forward to at Bead Fest is the workshop lineup. What will this year bring? We are fortunate to have a high caliber of jewelry instructors who travel from all over the world to be with us to share their inspiration and expertise. They always bring their “A” games and their newest designs.

Robyn Cornelius teaching a workshop at Bead Fest 2022
Robyn Cornelius always draws a crowd. Her nearly 20 years of instructing metals workshops have us all lining up to learn from her.
Learning seed beading at Bead Fest 2022
Taking a seed bead class offers you the time and support to be successful in learning a new technique and creating a new design.
Learning torching at Bead Fest 2022
Learning or advancing your skills under the watchful eye of an experienced jewelry instructor gives you the confidence to take on (almost) any challenge.

This Bead Fest was our 20th Bead Fest(!), and it had been a hot minute since our last gathering due to COVID protocols. Here are a few highlights of workshops from this August—we hope this whets your appetite for 2023!

Getting Started Workshops

This year at Bead Fest I was so glad for the opportunity to teach five “Getting Started” sessions. Teaching is one of the things that really makes my heart happy.

Tammy Honaman teaching her Getting Started workshop on wire at Bead Fest 2022
Tammy Honaman teaching her Getting Started workshop on wire at Bead Fest 2022

The premise of these workshops was to offer fundamental information and help for anyone new to a medium or as a place to start your jewelry-making journey. The workshops centered around seed beads; cording and knots; wire; mixed media and resin; and crystals. Thank you to the companies who sponsored the swag each attendee received: Dreamtime Creations, Dakota Stones, Beadalon, Toho Beads, and Ranger. —Tammy Honaman, Director of Content

Around the Bead Fest Marketplace

The Marketplace is the gathering place for Bead Fest. Vendors bring their latest and greatest beading and jewelry making supplies for sale, along with product demonstrations and tips.

Bill Fretz hammering at the Bead Fest 2022 marketplace
Bill Fretz demonstrates his new spinner ring tool at his booth in the Marketplace.
Naomi Smith, Katie Hacker, and Danielle Wickes at Best Fest 2022
Bead Fest Instructor Naomi Smith, Interweave Content Manager Katie Hacker, and Top 20 Honoree Danielle Wickes at Bead Fest.
Vinyl Beads in the Bead Fest 2022 marketplace
It’s fun seeing trendy beads and materials in person—these beads are made from vinyl records.

But the Marketplace isn’t just about stocking up your stash. It’s also the perfect place to meet up with friends, learn something new, and see what’s happening in the Bead Fest community.

JTV on stage at Bead Fest 2022
Jewelry Television takes over the Technique Stage for a day during Bead Fest.

The Marketplace is home to the Technique Stage, where instructors demonstrate jewelry making techniques and people stop by to watch and ask questions. This year, Jewelry Television (JTV) took over the stage for a day. It was fun seeing Jewel School come to life! Hosts Susan Thomas and Robert Thomas broadcast live from the stage, with Susan showing the audience how to make simple, stylish jewelry using JTV semiprecious stone mixes. —Katie Hacker, Content Manager, Bead and Jewelry

Inspiring Evening Events

On Thursday and Friday nights after the Marketplace closed, we hosted two evening events that were really special and provided a great excuse to gather together.

Designing With The Stars: Benefiting Beads of Courage

Our Thursday event honored Beads of Courage, an innovative arts-in-medicine nonprofit that supports children coping with serious illness, as well as their families and healthcare providers. Members receive colorful glass beads during the course of their treatment. At the Designing With The Stars event, attendees created beading and jewelry projects at different stations with star designers and community members, including Beads of Courage founder Jean Gribbon. Instructors included Tammy Honaman, Julianna Avelar, Fernando Dasilva, Sandra Lupo, Danielle Wickes, and Cynthia Thornton. Sponsors provided materials for the projects: Beadalon, Dreamtime Creations, GoodyBeads, Green Girl Studios, John Bead, Leather Cord USA and TierraCast.

Jean Gribbon of Beads of Courage at Bead Fest 2022
Jean Gribbon of Beads of Courage was in attendance at Bead Fest 2022 and our Designing with the Stars event.
Tammy Honaman teaching at the Beads of Courage Event at Bead Fest 2022
Tammy Honaman teaching at the Designing with the Stars event benefiting Beads of Courage.
Danielle Wickes teaching at the Beads of Courage Event at Bead Fest 2022
Cynthia Thornton from Green Girl Studios teaching at the Designing with the Stars event benefiting Beads of Courage.

Interweave Top 20 Awards

For the 20th anniversary of Bead Fest, we celebrated 20 luminaries of the beading and jewelry-making community. We recognized honorees in the following categories: Innovators, Community Leaders, Trendsetters, and Emerging Artists. We were so honored to have several of our honorees attend the awards ceremony at Bead Fest, with many traveling across the country to celebrate with us. It was a truly noteworthy evening, celebrating achievement, friendship, and inspiration.

Recipients of the Top 20 of 2022 Awards at Bead Fest
Honorees of the Interweave Top 20 Awards at Bead Fest 2022 included Kierston Aiello, Julianna Avelar, Danielle Wickes, Sam Siegel, and Wyatt White.

Bead Arts Awards Winners

Also honored at our 20th Anniversary reception were the Bead Arts Awards winners for 2022. The Bead Arts Awards is a competition to celebrate the very best in beading design, from sculpture to wearables and more. We were thrilled to have our Grand Prize Winner Melanie Christie at the ceremony. She brought along her Rhino which won the award. Honorable Mention winner An Cantor was also in the house, wearing her Sole Kiss Boots and her matching jacket. We also had a photo display honoring the other winners and honorable mentions so everyone could browse the gallery.

Winners of the 2022 Bead Arts Awards, presented at Bead Fest 2022
Grand Prize Winner Melanie Christie with her Rhino (left), Honorable Mention Winner An Cantor in her Sole Kiss boots (second from left), and Crystals Category Winner Anita Kozinko (not pictured; her Beaded Embroidery creation is second from right) were all present at the awards ceremony at Bead Fest 2022.

Save the Date

We’re already getting so excited for Bead Fest PA, 2023! We hope you’ll join us next year, August 2-5 back in Lancaster, PA.

What was your favorite moment of Bead Fest 2022? Let us know in the comments!