Rocky Mountain Bead Society 2013 Meeting Announcement

January: Caren Johannes

Caren Johannes is a long-time self-confessed beadaholic who first ventured into the world of gemstone beads thanks to her love of rocks and minerals and a 1989 “trial by fire” at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show demonstrating bead-knotting techniques. Caren has been providing instruction in jewelry-makingfor more than 15 years through Desert Gems USA and other venues. Caren holds a degree in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and jointly owns The Amethyst Rose, a custom gem and jewelry business with her spouse, lapidary artist and geologist Bob Johannes.

Gemstone Beads: A Short Tour through the Good, the Bad, and the “What Were They Thinking?”

Bead enthusiasts and artisans worldwide are entranced by the allure and magic of gemstone beads.  Purchasing, owning, and designing with them is often a must for the bead-lover. Caren Johannes will give a short guided tour through the world of these beautiful beads, looking at where they come from, what to look for when in the market for gemstones and tips to make your purchasing experience successful and rewarding. Details on gemstone properties and names, what enhancements are used, the top five faked gemstones, and ways to become a smarter gemstone bead shopper are included.

February:  Bead Challenge

The Bead Challenge is an opportunity for you to showcase your work to other members of the society and possibly win a prize as well.  Although you may win a prize, the focus is really on showing off what you love to do with other enthusiasts and to have fun so don’t be shy!  We have eliminated some categories this year and combined others to make the entries more even in the categories.  We have also added an “All other” category so if you are working with some new medium that doesn’t fit the other categories, we still have a place for you!  Please get started with your entries knowing that there will be a category for you to display your work.  We will be posting the categories very soon.  We ask that you keep your entries to work you have completed in the last 18 months and that you do not resubmit an item you submitted last year.

March:  Skill Builder Month

Instead of a speaker this month, we plan on offering skill building classes.  These classes will be kept relatively small and will focus on teaching a skill rather than completing a project.  For example, we may offer a class on Right angle weave or peyote and wire wrapping and making your own clasps or even using a dapper tool to create metal pieces for your jewelry.  We will be posting more information on this soon.

April:  Melody MacDuffee is a well known jewelry artist, teacher and author of jewelry books.

She is now the executive director of Soul of Somanya, a small fair-trade non-profit that offers employment at a living wage in the field of beadwork to young adults in the Krobo region of Ghana, West Africa. You may have seen write-ups on this in Bead&Button magazine over the last few years.  Their beads are wonderful and completely unique. They are made of recycled glass, using traditional, labor-intensive methods. The bead makers even make their own kilns and molds out of the clay harvested from termite mounds! While they make several styles of beads, including some that resemble sea glass, the ones they are best known for are hand-painted in an endless variety of colorful designs.   Melody will share with us her experiences living and teaching jewelry making to the people in the Krobo region of Ghana.  She will also have their beads with her for display and purchase.  Read more about this group and view their jewelry at:

May:  Fellow RMBS member Jan Stein will speak to us about amber and its use in beading.

June:  Sharilyn Miller is a well known wire jewelry artist, book author and teacher of jewelry making with wire.  You can see her work at:

She will be speaking to us about the creative process in jewelry making and how she makes original jewelry designs using classic techniques such as coil-wrapped and spiraled wire, etc.

Sharilyn will also be offering workshops for us while she is here so check out her work at

July:  Bead Sampler

We don’t have a meeting in July and instead will be hosting our annual Bead Sampler classes.  This event is a weekend of classes highlighting different jewelry projects.  The classes are taught by our members and society members may take up to three classes for free on a space available basis.

August:  This meeting will be a social event similar to the Bead and Share we did this year in October.  We may have a sale, show and tell, beading and a donation event.  This date is a work in progress but we plan to have as much fun as we had at the Bead and Share this year!

September: This will be our annual State of the society meeting where we talk about the events held though out the year, financial status and goals for the coming year.  It is also the kickoff for nominations for the board for 2014.

October:  Our speaker will be Paulette Baron, a well known beadwork artist, teacher and illustrator.  You may be familiar with her book “Beading Across America”.  She has been a frequent teacher at Bead&Button.  We will also be voting for new officers this month.

Paulette will also be teaching classes for us while she is here so check out her website at:

November:   We have our annual RMBS Banquet  and volunteer recognition in November in lieu of a meeting.

December:  We do not have a meeting in December.  Everyone is enjoying the holidays and their families.

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