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by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Hello to all you beaders out there! This past spring, we here at Beadphoria attended 2011 Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Every year we are amazed by the amount of beads, various ways to make beads, and jewelry designs that are on the shopping floor. We wanted to let you in on some of the trends that you might see popping up in your favorite magazines and at your local bead shops.

Jen Cushman demonstrates how to use Ice Resin at the Bead and Button Show 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1. Resin is HOT! Resin demonstrations and classes seemed to be everywhere! The resin now on the market has little to no fumes and is especially made for jewelry making. This is one trend you are going want to try!

2. Colored Metal – Metal is no longer just silver, gold, brass, and copper! By using gilders paste, inka-gold, and various other methods, metal can now be colored almost any color under the rainbow. Color metal to match or contrast the stones you are designing with.

3. The Return of the Artisan – We were very happy to see many new hand made bead vendors. There seemed to be more this year than any other.

4. Messages – Words seemed to also be a popular theme. You could find them stamped on metal, in pottery beads, and inserted into resin components. Your jewelry can truly make a statement with these components.

5. Mixed Media – In jewelry making we are seeing quite a bit of crossover from other crafts. Fibers, found objects, and paper are just a few of the materials that being used. Be on the lookout for items to use in jewelry making outside of the beading aisle.

Crystal Clay, demoed by Stephanie Dixon, is a beutifully blingy new product that lets you use Swarovski Crystals in a whole new way!

6. BLING IS BACK! Crystals seemed to be popping out everywhere. Crystal Clay is a new product hitting the market that will make a big splash. It brings together a two part epoxy clay that is then embellished with Swarovski crystals. With a 24 hour drying time, you sport your sparklingly beautiful crystal clay creation in no time!

Chunky rocks and wooden beads were also being paired with crystals. Organic materials and stones became more sophisticated with an extra touch of shimmering crystals.

As you can tell, we had a lot of fun! What trends are you starting to see in jewelry making? Share your knowledge with your fellow jewelry makers in the comments below.

If you have any questions about beading, or jewelry business marketing tips, please feel free to contact me at 224-305-3321 or Suzann@Beadphoria.com. Always happy to share the joy of beading with you, Suzann Sladcik Wilson of Beadphoria.com and BeadphoriaBoutique.com.

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