Dear Stained Glass Enthusiast,
I recently attended the 11 th Annual Glass Craft & Bead Expo in Las Vegas. It was a case of the sublime (a dazzling array of glass art) meeting the extremely tawdry (the City of Las Vegas.)
I had never been to Las Vegas before and I was quite unimpressed by it. With the exception of an enjoyable time at the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton, I found the “tourist areas” of Las Vegas filled with the tacky, the tawdry, and the addictive. The Strip even has worse traffic than the Bay Area’s Highway 80 (dubbed “the Parking Lot.”)
What a contrast to visit the Glass Craft & Bead Expo!
There were well over 200 classes available lasting anywhere from three hours to all day with almost 30 hot glass classes lasting two and three days. The classes included instruction for beginning hobbyists through experienced artists.
The classes were given by well known and leading experts in their fields, such as Tommy “G” Giambusso, Joe Porcelli, Vicki Payne, Norm and Ruth Dobbins and a host of others. While Las Vegas Management could have done a better job backing up this superb group of instructors (providing adequate class registration assistance on site and necessary power to the classrooms, just to name a couple of problems,) the content of the classes and the instructors’ abilities were exceptional.
Even if you did not participate in the classes (and I would highly recommend that you do,) there were fascinating displays and demonstrations in the booth area with more exhibitors and suppliers than I could count. It was a marvelous opportunity to ask questions and learn from the leading glass and bead craft industry suppliers, as well as experienced artists in many fields.
I met artists and suppliers from as far away as Hawaii and Japan. The booth of the Japanese company, in particular, (TK Stained Glass Design ) had some incredibly beautiful and unique lamp making supplies that I had seen previously on their website. I was very interested, but somewhat reluctant to buy from a foreign company without first seeing the products in person. Their products were beautiful and impeccably crafted! I highly recommend that you visit their website for items with an Asian flare that you won’t find anywhere else. tk-stainedglass.co.jp
I bought a lot of supplies and I also won a great deal of glass in one of my classes. Not to worry, the Expo has DHL shipping services available, so you don’t have to carry everything home with you on the plane. Some of the suppliers will also take your order and ship it to you later.
There was a Gallery of Excellence with magnificent glass art works both beautiful to admire and inspiring to those of us who aspire to improve our hobbyist abilities.
All in all, I found the Glass Craft & Bead Expo to be a highly enjoyable and worthwhile experience. I recommend it highly to professionals, amateurs, fans of glass art, or those considering a hobby in stained glass, hot glass, bead making, etc.
Copyright 2005 by Maria Mee.
Stained Glass Directory.
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