04/10/2012

GBUK AGM

This past weekend I went to my first Glass Beadmakers UK AGM which this year was in Enderby just outside of Leicester. I have been a member of the GBUK for about 3 years  now, renewing membership as part of my Flame Off visit each April and submitting a picture each year for the Members Journal (which is fabulous and a real privilege to be part of).

I really didn't know what to expect of the day, I was invited to attend as a suppler as well as a member bringing with me a selection of handmade canes, shards and murrini. As you can imagine my bespoke glasswork is created for a very specific crafting audience and the chance to show my wares in a face to face selling environment where 100% of the people there really "get" what it is that I do was an amazing opportunity.

There was also free to enter "Best of British" a themed competition which attracted loads of brilliant entries from the members who attended the AGM. We all got to vote on the day and the winner was Angie Snelling with her stunning gold medal bead with Sarah Downton and her amazing portrait of The Queen taking the runner up prize. You can see all of the Best of British competition entries here.

The AGM itself was very interesting, and for the first time I think I have really begun to understand the GBUK's aims of educational opportunities in the field of glass bead making and the sharing of information through networking and just how much work goes on behind the scenes to that end.

After the meeting there were several opportunities to shop for glassy supplies and to get involved with a free for members PMC class with Leigh Armstrong and also attend a talk with ace photographer Richard Downton which was full of very helpful advice on taking good clear photographs under studio lighting. Richard also gave one to one tuition on how to find and set white balance and exposure on our own cameras. It was such a fun and worthwhile day, learning something new and meeting up with like minded people that I find myself already looking forward to next years AGM.

The GBUK is a lovely society, open to all with an interest in glass beadmaking and other lampwork disciplines including marble making and sculptural work. If you would like to find out more please visit the GBUK website or Facebook page.

Jolene x

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