I think trades and exchanges are a blast. I have a necklace to which I've been haphazardly been adding red, green and white beads over the years, which I wear during the christmas (winter holiday) season; and I thought a bead exchange featuring small beads, that any one could make, even with inexpensive equipment, would be fun. The parameters were to make seven beads 10-13mm hole to hole in any combination of red, green and/or white, opaque or transparent glasses, the participants wished. Thus, I could make a matching red, green and white bracelet.
I wasn't quite certain how many people would sign up with such short notice, and in the end I twisted the arms, er, persuaded various fellow current and former board members to join my exchange. (It'd be pretty embarressing to have an exchange in which no-one participated.) However, since I had to set the number of spaces without knowing exactly how many people would participate, I ended up taking three of them; hence I made three different designs, but I also got plenty of beads to make this charm bracelet. I'm very happy with the way it came out, even though I put so many dangles on it that it's difficult to get on.
One approach that went over very well was that since I handed beads out at a guild meeting, I brought memory wire and some seed beads so participants could immediately string their beads if they so wished. Anne Sheppard and I contributed hollow beads; Anne Sheppard and Margaret Sutherland elected to make similar, rather than identical designs; Denise Billups-Walker, who did the most literal interpretation, provided very subtle changes from bead to bead—in this case, one set of berries is transparent glass and one is opaque. Everyone loved Candy's triangle beads on the glassact forum so she graciously not only made more, but, since her beads were just a tad smaller, made pairs. They were definitely the biggest hit, so I suppose a triangle exchange is in the future. Here's a link that show's who made what.
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