The Beadworkers Guild

The Beadworkers Guild (The BWG) held its inaugural meeting and launched its magazine, The BWG Journal, in May of 1999 at The Great British Bead Show. From an initial group of a dozen or so U.K. bead enthusiasts convened by Jill Devon, who was the driving force and who served as the guild’s 1st chair, The BWG now has a global membership, with new members joining monthly.

Happy Necklace
Happy Necklace by Akke Jonkhof

Billing itself as “a vibrant community brought together by shared passion for beading,” The BWG’s volunteers – it is a registered charity – preserve and build an amazing resource for novice beaders and showcase the talents of accomplished bead designers in its  quarterly, “The Beadworkers Guild Journal,” a members only publication.

As bead magazines dwindle, those of us who love flipping through physical pages time after time are grateful that The BWG has forged a path to publishing with success!

Peace by Marcia DeCoster

The BWG faces the future with innovation. It has now added a YouTube channel that hosts online lessons, offers free distance learning, and has compiled its “Introduction to Beadwork” book series. You can learn more about what The BWG does at their YouTube channel, here.

The BWG’s in-person events are resuming and include local “bead-Ins,” themed beading festivals, and the annual bead competition, International Beading Week (IBW). It also curates collections of historical beaded items and shares its collections via travelling exhibits – The BWG is thriving!

The photos shared in this blog give you but a glimpse of the immense variety, talent, and expertise that is so thoughtfully captured by all that The BWG undertakes… what The BWG offers is a beader’s dream!

Do check out the links below:

  • To explore membership, which comes with an exclusive subscription to the Journal, click here.
  • To view the many free patterns, a resource launched in 2015, have a peek here.
  • And you might want to peruse lessons and subscribe to the Guild’s YouTube channel, here.

Dream on, bead on, Cathy

Designs, credited below, are donated to the annual IBW as organised by The BWG:

1) Happy Necklace by Akke Jonkhof

2.) PEACE by Marcia DeCoster

3.) Millefiori by Nela Kabelova

4.) Teeny Tiny Vessel by River Rose

5.) Pride Flowers by Cath Thomas

(Originally published November 1, 2022)

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published