Today was to be a day of mainly....shopping! Yes today the 'Commercial and Technical Vendors' were open which meant I got to drool over lots of tools, glass and goodies. Sadly there was not a huge amount of glass to drool over, which is probably just as well as I doubt I would have to able to take that much back with me. Frantz is usually at The Gathering but apparently I was told he was not well and so not able to come this year.
So after my early morning swim and breakfast with Debbie we headed to the Convention Centre.
This is the full list of Vendors
Beads of Courage
Jennifer Fahnestock Glass
Leonardo Lampwork Tools
Metal Me This
Retro Glass Tools
Soft Flex Company
Visions in Stained Glass
I had been told my Debbie and Tory that the first place to head for would be the Double Helix stand, of which there would be a queue for the latest test batches which Double Helix create to make new products.
For those of you that don't know Double Helix is the main supplier for silver rich glasses, these are the glasses that produce the lovely mettallic and pretty shimmering colours in our beads. Unfortunately due to the high silver content they are also very expensive, so this was my opportunity to get some of the glass slightly cheaper as obviously buying it in the UK means it has been imported and has costs involved which makes it more expensive.
I joined the queue and decided which glass I would like to buy by looking at the sample beads that they had of each colour. I soon had a few bundles of glass in my hand which looked pretty plain and innocent but had the promise to do wonderful things when played with in the flame.
Next up I headed over to Arrow Springs. Debbie had been raving about their mandrels as I had been moaning about the quality of some of the big hole mandrels that I had bought in the UK. So Debbie showed me which ones she had been using and they looked great. I picked up a big handful of various sizes. Greg also makes some excellent graphite tools which I had seen being used by JC Herrell and Holly Cooper so I chose a couple of those to buy.
He also had some Bella Donna glass and frit for sale and it's not something that I had seen in the UK before so I looked at it with interest. Hayley Tsang had reccomended Teal-licious so I bought some of that to try.
There was also a gorgeous selection of crackle dichro. I was lucky enough to get dibs on some of this before they opened as I spotted it all layed out when I was doing my glass with Donna and Greg was quite happy for me to take select what I wanted.
CG Beadrollers were also present. It was nice to meet Donna who I had pre-purchased a big hole bead roller from before I left the UK and added a barrell roller whilst I was there.
Ami from Zoozii's was looking lovely with a cute little vintage hat on. Zoozii's mostly make brass presses had I already had one of their shell presses with the horizontal hole but I had a request from customers for ones with a verticle hole so I purchased one of those and a star press. I have a friend who has this press and it looks like a tricky one to use but I thought It would be nice to make star fish to go with my shells.
I bought a few of the great selection of tools from Leonardo Lampwork Tools and it was nice to get to see the selection in person as it is hard to gauge sizes when buying online.
I bought some jewellery supplies from Visions in Stained Glass and some gorgeous findings from Saki Silver.
Beads of Courage had a stand and I was pleased to see that Jolene Wolfe a UK beadmaker had her 'Beep Beep' beads there as she has taken part in creating a collection of tutorials for making beads for Beads of Courage.
At 4.00pm there was a First-time Attendee Orientation. Here was the place to get all the information for 'newbies'. Angie Rainy the president of the ISGB introduced herself and then Kendra Bruno went through the itinerary for the entire Gathering and answered any questions. This went on for an hour and then we were expected to go and meet our regional representatives but I had arranged to meet Debbie and Torri in the lobby to go for dinner at Dinosaur BBQ and then we had a mini workshop at 7.00pm so I didn't have time to stay.
Mini workshop 'Easy Metal Etching, Embossing and Colouring' by Lisa Liddy. coming up next.
Thanks for looking.