I had the very best intentions of making a sort of photo diary of the beadathon weekend here, a photo every half an hour for a montage blog. As you can see here, that idea was a kind of epic fail, thankfully it was the only fail of the weekend. Heather Kelly and Laney Mead will have to suffer alone in having their picture up on my blog! These two amazing ladies got the project underway at 7.16pm and took the first shift along with Sue Reynolds. These three ladies were so dedicated they worked spilt shifts, Laney and Sue were back in the morning and Heather came back in the afternoon and helped to finish the last block along with the very lovely Kat Newman and myself.
I would like to say a very special thank you to Ness Hearn and Sarah Thompson who worked so hard on the night shift with me, you girls were amazing and without your grit and determination this project would never have been possible.
I also want to give a very special thank you to Marlene Minhas
who arrived pre-dawn through rolling mists on Saturday morning, all smiles with brioche
and hot chocolate in hand at just at the right time to give the night crew a
lift in spirits and thank you to Sue and Laney too for coming back at 6am and sending the night crew off to bed for a well deserved rest.
Next up I would like to thank my mate Michelle Ross
for driving on her own all the way from Kent to give up her weekend to torch for the kiddies. Our youngest bead maker of the day was Rob, aged 12,
supervised by his Mum, Sandy Fulbrook. Rob was just brilliant, he was
determined to make a bead or two for Beads of Courage and he and Sandy
did a great job. Lastly I'd like to thank Kat for propping me up at the end making me laugh a very lot. Above is a picture of my choc-a-block Kilncare Maxine kiln, which we ran for 16 hours. It is a superb kiln, a workhorse and very spacious and just the thing for a project like this.
I was so impressed with how well the Maxine held up to the task that I have been in touch with Lee at Kilncare and he is going to sponsor the next Beadathon by loaning us a second kiln, so no danger of running out of space next time.
Above is Sues Paragon SC2, lent to the studio for the project, which we ran at the start and also at the end of the Beadathon to try to make best use of the annealing space we had. On the right are the very first beads we made, annealed during the night shift and cleaned and ready for show and tell when a photographer from the local paper came to visit us at lunchtime on Saturday (I hold out no hope that I will look ok in the picture in the paper, 17 hours into the Beadathon, wild eyed and drunken on 3 hours sleep, oh well :-D)
I am thrilled to be able to say though that we smashed our just giving page target of £500 and donations are still coming in. Our page will still be open for another week or two so please feel free to add a copper of two to the pot, it is for a great cause.
I would like to take a moment also to thank every single person who
dropped in to see us via the live web feed, you cheered us on, made us
laugh and made the whole experience special because we could share it
I thought I would leave you with a mini gallery of some of the 179 beads we collectively made this weekend. I think they will make a lot of brave kids smile.