About us

Hello and welcome to The Beadworkers Guild

We are a vibrant community of people from all over the world, brought together by our shared passion for beading.

A registered charity, we operate with a small board of trustees, all of whom are volunteers. Our membership includes many highly skilled and talented designers from all over the world, but we all love a beginner to share our knowledge with. We welcome everyone interested in beading.

The process of beading has a rhythm to it which is calming, therapeutic and creative – the perfect recipe for your wellbeing!

Please view our video What we do to see some of the beautiful work our members produce and the variety of activities and opportunities that The Beadworkers Guild have to offer.

History/timeline

The inaugural meeting of The Beadworkers Guild was held on Saturday 8th May 1999 at The Great British Bead Show in Coventry and since then there have been many landmark moments in the Guild's history.

Our History

2021
March 16

New bespoke website launched

2020
August 1

Mini people bead-along

July 1

Keep Busy Beading, free Peyote Ribbons patterns.

June 1

BWG on You Tube. The Guild produced a promotional video along with several step-by-step video tutorials.

May 1

Online Workshops, tutored projects

April 1

Meet, Mingle & Make, a programme of themed events

March 1

Drop-in – Monthly, two 2hr sessions held morning and early evening to accommodate our worldwide membership, purely for socialising.

February 1

The Guild embraced technology and we held our first online Beading festival event. Due to the international pandemic, we were prevented from holding a gathering. Going online proved extremely popular under the circumstances and we embarked on lots of online gatherings to help those feeling isolated and it allowed us to connect with members and non- members from around the world.

January 1

Online beading

2019
April 1

First Meet, Mingle & Make – Milton Keynes in November.

March 1

Live TV. Trustee Sylvia Fairhurst made her first appearance on live t.v. to demonstrate beadwork and promote The Beadworkers Guild

February 1

Exhibition ‘Art Deco’ exhibition at Spellbound Bead Co, Lichfield.

January 1

New book launch – ‘Wonderful World of Beadwork’. A compilation of beadwork, from historic Journals was published, in celebration of 20 years of the BWG.

2018
February 1

Launch of Gifts Galore booklet.

January 1

‘NBW’ rebranded to International Beading Week (IBW).

2017
January 1

Launch of All I Want for Christmas booklet.

2016
January 1

New book launch – ‘Mini People’. ‘Sugar Plum Fairy & Friends’, a book of mini characters made popular by designer Ann Mockford who kindly donated the patterns to The Beadworkers Guild for publication.

2015
June 1

Introduction of Members challenge Mentor Scheme.

May 1

Launch of group bunting

April 1

Design a Tie for Gordon Competition

March 1

Launch of National Beading week (NBW)

February 1

BWG badges went on sale

January 1

Swarovski Crystal competition – BWG 15th Anniversary -Jess Hayman winner

2012
January 1

Exhibition ‘The Magic of Mackintosh in Beads’. Beadwork inspired by the art of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald went on display at 72 Derngate, Northampton, the interior of which was designed by Mackintosh.

2011
January 1

First Members community project Spring and Autumn quilts

2010
January 1

‘Study day’ held in Milton Keynes, an opportunity to study items from the Guild’s collection up close and personal

2009
March 1

New book launch – ‘Celebrating Beadwork’. A collection of photographs of many of the Challenge entries over the years to date.

February 1

Exhibition In celebration of the Guild’s first ten years, over 150 items of beadwork were displayed at the Northampton Museum & Art Gallery.

January 1

BWG 10th Anniversary

2008
January 1

First study day held

2007
February 1

Exhibition at Warners Textile Gallery, Braintree

January 1

BWG became a registered charity

2006
March 1

The BWG Collection is acquired from Valerie Campbell-Harding

February 1

First Cascade day for Cedar Beaders in Maudsley, Lancs

January 1

Launch of BWG website

2005
February 1

BWG workshops in Sleaford, Lincs, Cumbria, Blackpool, London, Kent & Suffolk

January 1

BWG appoints a new editor for the Journal.

2004
March 1

Workshop programme in London and York

February 1

First Stitch Workbook launched

January 1

New book launch – ‘Necklaces’ published completing the ‘Introduction to Beadwork’ series.

2003
February 1

Workshop programme in London and York

January 1

Shows Administrator appointed

2002
January 1

Workshop programme in London and Manchester

2001
April 1

First employee – Membership Administrator appointed

March 1

New Book launch – ’Earrings, Brooches, Fringes & Tassels’, was published

February 1

Launch of BWG workshop programme in London based on stitch techniques

January 1

BWG took on the responsibility of organising The Great British Bead Show (GBBS)

2000
April 1

First book – ‘Bracelets’ published, from the ‘Introduction to Beadwork’ series

March 1

First ‘Challenge’ competition – ‘The Elements’ exhibited at The Bead Festival, Southampton.

March 1

First exhibition ‘Beadwork 2000’ was held at the Knitting and Stitching Show in London and Harrogate.

February 1

First Beading Festival in Southampton

January 1

First members’ directory published

1999
February 2

Journal no 1 published

January 1

First members’ directory published

The inaugural meeting of The Beadworkers Guild was held on Saturday 8th May 1999

Bead Festivals

2020 - Online via Zoom - Egypt

2018 - Daventry - Art Deco

2016 - Daventry - The 60’s

2014 - Daventry - Africa

2012 - Daventry - Charles Rennie Macintosh & Margaret MacDonald

2010 - Cumbernauld - Tassels & Trims

2008 - Surrey - Victorian & Edwardian Era

2002 - Bramhall - Cheshire - Spirals

2006 - Durham - Inspiration from India

2004 - Bristol - Frills, Flounces & Fringes

Cascade Days

(These events are replica Bead Festivals, which we took to bead groups and now known as Bead-ins)

2007 Southampton, Hampshire
Knebworth, Hertfordshire
Ashford, Kent
Weymouth, Dorset
Barton Under Needwood, Staffordshire

2006 Mawdesley, Lancashire
Long Melford, Suffolk
Glasgow, Scotland
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Members/Community Projects

2019/20   Flowers

2016/17   Summer & Winter

2013/14   Bugs & Butterflies

2012/13   Postcards Sea & Sand

2011 /12  Spring & Autumn quilts