Having just had the largest Trollbeads event to date early this month I am still finding myself continuously going over the event's happenings. With the many "new" collectors and the many "experienced" Fest attendees I spoke to or worked with over the course of the event there is so much to recollect and process. I've been trying to accomplish a great blog about the fest and share it with you but it's just too hard, so just let me ramble, OK?
What was originally designed to be a 2 day affair has actually turned into 5 days. Collectors are arriving at Rogers Gallery a few days early and are staying a couple of days later each year. This is a huge compliment to all of us that are apart of the Fest's creation. Fall in New England is a reason alone to come but I think our ever growing enthusiasm for all things Trollbeads draws attendees from all over and it makes for a festive, fun filled and sometimes emotional event. The photo above is Trudy and Lex Borger attending their 3rd Trollbeads Fest! from the Netherlands! They have traveled to attend every year!
Each year we have Trolbeads "people" join us to add personality and of course to add their knowledge of the creation of Trollbeads and for the closeness it gives us to the beads and the people that make the beads. Soren Nielsen, Trollbeads premier silver/gold bead designer for over 30 years came to us from Copenhagen this year. It was Soren's second visit to Rogers Gallery in Mattapoisett and it was just as magical as the first. From my visit to his studio in Denmark, sharing Glog with him at Tivoli and seeing him at other events I have come to know Soren and I'll share a secret with you. I've only seen it myself a few times but if you look closely at Soren's left shoulder you'll see that Soren sometimes has a small shadow lurking there. Never stare right at it because it will hide from you but it's something that resembles a small trollish like imp sitting on his shoulder. I'm thinking this imp plays tricks on those it doesn't know and by the mischievous look you'll see in Soren's eyes, Soren knows all about it, in fact they mirror each other in a curious way. This little troll even switches beads on bracelets when no one is looking! But as naughty as Trolls are apt to be I'll bet anything he's been Soren's creative muse through the years. Think of the massive quantities of ideas and creations that just roll off Soren's fingers and form into miniature red wax sculptures destined to be Trollbeads. I've heard Lise Aagaard, Soren's sister discuss how prolific an artist Soren has always been and ever with her talent and energy she was expressing just how productive his talent is. How can any one man achieve what he has without the help of a muse? Many of you have seen Soren as he takes your wish and creates a mold from it making your wish reality ... now if that isn't magic I don't know what is.
Maria Af Rolen, winning People's Bead designer is shown here with Soren as he gives her some inside tips for creating a wax mold. Maria was also a guest designer at the Fest and she signed Trollbeads Coffee Table Books and bead cards for her "Stay Positive" bead. Her bead has been a best seller at Rogers Gallery and at Trollbeads Gallery. We special ordered her Stay Postive in 18K gold for the event and it is stunning! On a side note we donated one to our charity raffle along with 4 other beads and we raised almost $1500 for the inner city children of New Bedford, our host city's are museum for afternoon art classes!
Sarah Johnston, a staff glass bead artist from TrollbeadsUS and demonstrator came to Trollbeads Fest for a second time and once more gave such great inspiration with her "on site" glass bead making. Each time I have seen Sarah I have seen her beads are getting more and more intricate and more glorious. So many people sat and just watched her as she stared at her glass and flame while rotating her mandrel with such ease. There is something so meditative about flame work and someone like Sarah can make it look easy but it is not!
This year was Michael Belleveau's first Fest and he added so much with his professional air. It's difficult for me to remain professional with all the emotions and madness around so I'm glad he added it! He gave a talk in the afternoon on the brand and on it's exciting future (as much as he could divulge anyway!) and he helped with the selling of the unique beads! I don't think that part was in his job description but he was a natural. Thank you Michael! Michael also helped judge the Trollbeads Fest bracelet contest along with Soren and my son Alex Rogers who was with us from Colorado where he sells Trollbeads at Starfish in Boulder. Claudine Swan won the award and her winning bracelet is below along with her description of it's many meanings. Fellow Trollbeads Gallery Forum member Frede Wellons came up with this Fest challenge to design a bracelet incorporating the Joyful bead.
If you are a collector of anything you know the immense thirst you have to learn and absorb anything you can about that which you collect and when you add the collective emotion that occurs with a gathering of "like minded' collectors you can just imagine the outcome! At Trollbeads Fest! 3 we tried to give everything we could to further the thrill of the quest and the satiation of fulfilling that quest. The unique Trollbeads we were supplied with were out of this world. Mind you we did have our issues with the length of time and of the line to see the thousands of unique beads but it seems no matter how we plan it there's always a line! The Trollbeads Museum helped with some of the waiting but in hindsight I always wish I had done this or that but then I wonder...how would we all feel if there wasn't a line? Trollbeads collectors are a serious bunch and with the quality of the beads Trollbeads supplied us with I know everyone left very happy and that's what it's all about.
Everyone at Rogers Gallery and Trollbeads Gallery are so grateful for everyone who took the time from their busy lives to attend our event and want to say we missed those of you who were unable to attend (and wanted to so badly) and thought of you all often. We had a few that due to family illness could not make it and hope all is well with you and yours. We also want to extend a HUGE thanks to Trollbeads Denmark for sharing Soren and for providing the chance to offer the very special stone bead we received to provide in the gift bags. The biggest thanks goes to TrollbeadsUS and for everyone there that supported us and even attended Trollbeads Fest! Thank you also to Colin from Texas and Kim Murray who both worked so hard and thanks to all of my staff and our star rep Kim and her reps Judy and Liz for their help.
The Winning Bracelet
Claudine Swan, winner wrote the following about her design.
"Thanks everyone…I tried to show what Trollbeads Fest means to me.
Joyful was the focal bead…thrilled to be there.
Treasures, Stay positive and Ice Bear to salute the designers I met at the Fest.
Lighthouse and Water to remind me of the Harbor Tour I took last year.
The Crab because we always eat at Turk’s Seafood.
The Heart unique Trollbead as Trollbeads helps us meet new friends.
The dice is for luck to find great beads at Trollbeads Fest.
The amber and other beads reminds me of the beach at Mattapoisett.
Finally the Swan lock because I always drool over the retired Swan in Louise’s museum…and NOW I have a wax swan Soren carved for me."
If you haven't seen the Award Ceremony where we won the Hero Award in Las Vegas here it is and is shows Michael Bellevue speaking of Trollbeads Gallery and about Trollbeads Fest!
Click on link: Trollbeads Hero Awards
Clink in link: Images from Trollbeads Fest! 2012