Monday, January 12, 2009

Ceramic Bead Artists could use your help!

This is a copy of an email I sent out to the Bead Community. I hope that you will join me/us in an effort to right this wrong!

Dear Friends,

I am reaching out to you to ask for your help for the Ceramic Bead & Button Making Community.

Each year Bead and Button Show has a competition called Bead Dreams. In all the years they have been having this contest a Ceramic Bead Artists have won awards in the handmade bead or button category. Last year Bead and Button Magazine/Show did not want to include Ceramic Bead Artists in this competition, even though in the previous year a Ceramic Bead Artist took home 1st Prize and that same year even I had an honorable mention for my Raku Buttons. Our work was photographed for the magazine and stood as equals to all the other bead work of different mediums. Through emails and posts in the forums we reached out to the people in charge and Thank Goodness had that category changed to include Handmade Beads and/or Buttons in which Ceramic artists could enter their work. Happily another Ceramic Bead Artist Took 3rd place last year.

This year we find that again they have shut us out. I am not really sure why. We are major contributors in the world of Artisan Bead Making and I find this decision very unfair. Personally, as a vendor at Bead and Button Show I am very sad that my work is not taken seriously enough to be able to enter this very special competition.

I am reaching out to you and asking if you could send a small letter of protest in regards to this situation to the people in charge at Bead and Button Magazine. The email address is: but if you have someone else you are familiar with by all means please bring this to their attention. The person in charge of the Bead and Button Show is Joel Wingelman The Events Marketing Specialist and we (Ceramic Bead Artisans) have opened a forum post over at Bead and Button Magazines Show Forum on their webiste. So, you have your options to choose from if you would like to help us right this wrong.
I find that the categories for Bead Dreams is narrowing. Fiber, Ceramic and Mixed Media - All shut out, unless they are used in finished projects. Well, sometimes the beauty of a bead is just that.. The beauty of the bead in itself. In the magazines I subscribe to Cloth, Paper and Scissors, Quilting Arts, Artful Blogging, etc.. Mixed Media is everywhere. It seems as though all Bead and Button wants to show is Lampwork and Bead Weaving.
I am a BIG Supporter of both Lampwork and Bead Weaving. I am a proud member of a group called Bead Art Originals which accepted me into their group because of their interest in my work and our collaborations have been amazing. I have nothing, but the deepest respect for artists working in glass regardless of what form it takes. But for a magazine, to competely shut it self off from the rest of the artisan bead making world and to still carry a name like Bead and Button is completely beyond my comprehension.
So, if you feel the same way about this that I do and you would like to see Ceramic Artists given the same chance as everyone else in the Bead Dreams Competition please contact them using any of the venues mentioned above in this blog.
Thanks everyone for listening
Sometimes I need to vent!


Mellisa said...

All I can say is: grrr, argh! Thanks for trying to get things overturned, I'm so sad that they didn't reconsider again this year.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I happened upon your blog today. I will definitely send a message to someone at Bead & Button. I make polymer clay beads and buttons and it seems that only a few polymer clay beadmakers are represented in this magazine, and the same ones over and over. I think there is room for more media when it comes to beads, not just lampwork.

GraceBeading said...

Shut out? Incredible. I'll certainly make my opinion known! Thanks for bringing attention to the issue.

Lisa Peters Russ said...

thanks everyone for your support on this issue! I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,

Please allow me to respond directly. Bead&Button did not shut out or exclude anyone deliberately. Each year we look at all the categories and determine what to do based on the entries from the previous year and years. There are many different pieces to the puzzle and many questions to address. It's a compilation of factors.

Quite simply, we try our very best to accommodate the most people we can, based on the information at hand. No decision is ever made to exclude anyone. In fact, we work hard at inclusion. There is a great deal of variety of pieces to consider and we discuss the best way to group them for the participants. I have blogged about the process at

All we can do is try to please; there are many considerations. Please rest assured that we have made no deliberate exclusion, and certainly not one based on the quality or value of the work we receive. Of course ceramic beads and other ceramic pieces are beautiful!! There is no evidence to the contrary.

Most sincerely,
Ann Dee Allen
Editor, Bead&Button

Lisa Peters Russ said...

As much as I appreciate the direct response from bead and buttons, Ann Dee Allen, and I really do. I am now a little more confused. Joel W.'s post on the B & B forum said ceramic was not included because of the difficulty judging different mediums together and then reading this post that says - we base our decisions on previous years entries. The answers are different-but there is nothing that can be done, the issue is over.
I felt my protest was done professionally and this was the answer which we have to accept.
Which it has been accepted.

In all fairness, the category should be open to all mediums and that is my opinion regardless but thank you for taking the time out to comment on my blog.

Jewels-Unique said...

Hi Lisa:

Sent a message to Bead&Button, good luck...I truly admire any artist that has the skill to make raku beads. I design and make jewelry and I have received more compliments on my raku designs than any other...
Good Luck
Barb Walters