Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Von’s Beads

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/08/10

Lest you think that the only treats I bought were those in the Vendors’ Hall, please let me correct that impression. Although I didn’t go on a buying binge “across the street” either, one of the delights of having the PMC Conference held at Purdue is the chance to shop at Von’s.

Now, West Lafayette is a college town, and Von’s is a sort of all-purpose store. Music and books and toys and more. And beads. Four rooms with beads. Four of them! Shown is one of the two smaller ones: stuffed animals up to eye-level part-way down each side, and then beads everywhere else: along the back walls and, everywhere, up to the old, high ceiling. I snapped this one because it’s the only room of a size that I could entirely capture on my phone’s cameral This is only a taste, a sample, an idea of the possibilities!

That’s the fourth room they opened. The third room is a bit longer and a lot wider with a divider across part of it that adds to the wall space available for hanging beads. It also has a huge collection of greeting cards, and a number of lovely art cards, and gifts and candles and more.

The second room is also kind of small, and is the “rock shop.” It has all kinds of goodies: geodes, fossils, and more, all crammed into a series of shelving units that twist around to fill every possible space. With each visit, you may select one free item from their small stock of sample rocks each with its own information card. I chose a sample of unakite (mostly becasue I’d just bought the fireable triangle CZs and this was a triangular stone I’d have to set post-firing, so I liked the idea of the contrasting processes), and then I bought four small pieces of blue moss chalcedony that I figured I’d use in some experinents I’ve been considering for some handmade prong settings. (Debbie had bought some of Holly Gage’s gorgeous titanium; but I really want to _master_ prongs before I go that route.)

And the first room is almost entirely beads. Well, there are a few narrow shelves with some Native American pottery and wooden boxes, and the checkout counter, but the rest is bead, beads, more beads, tables of beads, walls of beads, strands of beads, tubes of beads, bins of beads, selections of findings, groups of tools, and more.

My selections from there included two bead-types that are not typically on my shopping list: some carved resin beads from the “new arrivals” wall, and some goldstone on a strand that included several different sizes & shapes. Having just started to experiment with copper and bronze clays, I thought these might work well with some new creations there.

And while I was at it, I also picked up a few larger stones, drilled down through the center, including these two: seaweed quartz and porcelain jasper. I’ve been making custom headpins in various shapes, and I plan to do something along that line with these. And the matte black Czech glass beads (from the back of the “fourth” room) were just to fill a gap in the bead-stash that I’d noted a few months ago as I was working out some designs. I’ve no specific plan for them, but I like black with silver, so they’ll be used soon enough.

If you’ve ever been to Von’s, please be sure to add a comment. Or, if you’d like to go to Von’s some time, or want to suggest another great bead shop, note that too!

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3 Responses to “Von’s Beads”

  1. Alice Walkowski said

    Hey, been there with you. That’s a lot of beads. Almost too many too make a decision. Great place.

  2. Alice Walkowski said

    Need to correct my spelling. That is too many to make a decision. The fingers type faster than my brain proofreads.

    • C Scheftic said

      Missed having you there this year! Whatever did you do with the beads you bought at Von’s last year? When can I find those on your blog (or did that pass by and I missed it)?

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