The last booth I wanted to mention from the Gem Faire was a business owned by Karen DeSousa who creates jewelry using kumihimo braiding. While I didn't buy any of her items - kumihimo supplies - I was intrigued with the process. Her booth was small but well organized and she was weaving a kumihimo strap while helping customers. I thought this was a great idea - demonstrating the method to promote the item. She also had examples of kumihimo necklaces in a display case, which were very beautiful. She has a website where you can purchase the supplies and also view her gallery. I've included the link to her website in the title above.
I've seen Kumihimo woven very intricately, for example take a look at the sophisticated process Richard Sutherland uses. I've also seen it woven with beads and a variety of threads as an accent for beadwork. A beautiful example of this is Giovanna Imperia's work. (Be sure to click on the "more" at the bottom of the page!). Diane Fitzgerald has written about this process and her article "Beaded Braided Boa" appeared in Beadwork magazine's October 2004 issue.
Kumihimo braiding is a traditional Japanese Art and can be used for a variety of projects. It's a great alternative to using satin cord or braided cording and it's a great way to create a matching neckpiece for a one of a kind beaded item. If you're interested in this process, Karen sells kits to get your started ($39.95).
Overall I would say the Gem Faire was quite a success from a customer's point of view. If you're interested in attending one of these faires, check out their online schedule. If you're interested in exhibiting at one of these shows, I would suggest contacting one of the exhibitor's to see what they thought about it. I hope you've enjoyed this mini-review and have a great Wednesday!