Wednesday 24 August 2011

Home from Hamburg!

Do you remember me telling you that I was going to Germany to teach my Popper Flower project?  Well, after over a year of planning and preparation it is all over but what a fantastic time we all had!  Teachers and exhibitors travelled from all over the world to attend the Bead Art Fair in Hamburg and although now it seems to have gone in the blink of an eye, when I close my eyes I can see a slideshow of beaming beader's faces, breathtaking beadwork and an incredible array of unusual beads and supplies for sale.

My two classes went very well and although everyone knew at the outset that the project would not be finished in class, everyone went away with a couple of perfect leaves and petals, confident in the knowledge that they would be able to finish their Popper Flowers at home.  I am ashamed to admit that I do not speak German (although I did manage to do a little bit of counting in German in class!) but I had two wonderful translators working with me and helping me whenever there was a problem - thank you Nicole and Barbara!

When I wasn't teaching, I was either at my stand or else I left it in the capable hands of my husband Simon while I wandered around the hall putting faces to names and chatting with old friends (such as the beautiful and talented Olga Vinnere Pettersson) and meeting new ones.

And even when the fair was over, the lessons didn't stop! The next picture shows my good friend Zoya Gutina showing myself and Anja Schlotmann how to add Soutache to beadwork, after breakfast at our hotel.

The evenings meant even more socializing and it was wonderful to be welcomed into the 'family' of people who regularly travel all over the world attending bead shows.  Everyone was so friendly and it was great to be able to soak up the atmosphere and learn from their experiences.

We stayed on for an extra day so that we could explore a little of Hamburg and we spent the afternoon sitting in the sunshine at a riverside cafe, drinking tea and eating Apfelkuchen and reflecting on what an amazing experience this turned out to be.

If you ever get the opportunity to attend the Bead Art Fair in Hamburg, my advice would be to grab it with both hands!