Henry County Holiday Bazaar

Annual event offers a variety of
hand crafted holiday gifts, decor

Beth and Rodney Beck to display their talents

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

NEW CASTLE, Ky. (November 2006) – For years, Beth Beck had a yearning to craft jewelry. She felt drawn to this craft but never set aside time to get serious about it. That is, until two years ago.

Beth Beck

Photo provided

Beth Beck crafts handmade jewelry
while her husband, Rodney,
photographs nature.

Beck attended Eastern Kentucky University in 1987 and 1988, majoring in art. While there, “jewelry seemed to spark my interest, but I could never get into those classes. They were always full,” said Beck, 37.
She withdrew from college and took a full time job, temporarily pushing aside her desire to craft jewelry. But two years ago, “I decided I needed something besides my regular job and it was time I did something about it,” she said.
Using the Internet as her first tool in researching jewelry making, Beck read as many books as she could on the topic. Ultimately, “I’m self-taught and so glad I finally put the time into it.”
Beck’s handcrafted silver jewelry will be among more than 30 booths displays at this year’s 14th annual Henry County Holiday Bazaar. The Henry County Extension Homemaker Organization will sponsor this event from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the Henry County 4H-Fairgrounds Building on Hwy. 421 in New Castle.
There will be many art and craft items for sale by local craftspeople including music boxes, painted gourds, holiday décor, turned wooden bowls, oil paintings, soy candles and decorated furniture, as well as several handmade jewelry booths. Also represented will be the Smithfield Garden Club, the Henry County Arts and Craft Guild, Senior Citizens, the Henry County Chamber of Commerce and its cookbook, and the Town and County Homemakers with their annual Teddy Bear Tree fundraiser.
The bazaar is a great way to find that special holiday gift item, said Henry County Extension Agent Maryellen Garrison. It is a chance to “purchase some very unique, one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts and miss all of those crowded mall parking lots, while supporting our local agricultural economy.”
This is the third year Beck has participated in this holiday bazaar. She has also attended the Henry County Christmas Bazaar, Buffalo Crossing Arts and Crafts spring show, and shows at Elizabethtown and Keeneland. She has limited her craft show attendance this year somewhat, due to a pregnancy.
Born in Shelby County, Beck grew up in nearby Henry County and returned there after marrying in 1994. Her and husband, Rodney, now live in Lawrenceburg, Ky., where she crafts her jewelry as a part-time job known as BM Studios Silver Treasures.
All of Beck’s jewelry is handcrafted by bending, cutting, annealing or soldering the silver. No molds are used, and she only uses natural gemstones with little or no treatment.
It takes four hours or more to craft each unique piece, particularly those that require soldering. Those pieces are hand bent, shaped and soldered with a torch, then filed with needle files to remove rough edges. The finishing touch consists of polishing them to a high shine with rotary tools.
Her handcrafted silver necklaces, rings and bracelets are handstrung using natural pebbled or beaded gemstones such as jasper, citrine, amethyst and freshwater pearls.
“Silver has gained in popularity, but I’ve always been more fond of silver rather than gold when purchasing jewelry for myself,” said Beck.

Rodney Beck's Wildlife Photo

Photo provided

Rodney Beck’s wildlife photographs
will be on display Nov. 11 at the
Henry County Extension Holiday Bazaar.

As for the gemstone settings, Beck prefers using Kentucky Agate because of the “beautiful banded agate pieces are unlike any other agates.” It can be found in several Kentucky counties and has beautiful bands of color in red, black, orange, gray and white.
Beck doesn’t have to go far in search of agate. She gets it locally from Allen Jewell of Versailles, Ky. He cuts his own cabochons (agates found in geodes in creek beds in Kentucky). So striking is the end result that almost as soon as she crafts a piece of agate jewelry, it is sold.
Just as striking is her husband’s photography, which will also be displayed at the bazaar. Rodney Beck, 36, photographs old bridges, barns, wildlife, waterfalls and nature scenes from Kentucky and abroad.
His goal is to “share the beautiful places and moments in time I capture with those who may not have the opportunity to see such sights.” Always interested in photography, Beck became even more enthralled with it while witnessing the beautiful scenery of the west in 2000.
The hardest technique for Beck to master has been in “capturing the perfect shot, whether waiting for the right light or just the right pose by some unsuspecting wildlife.” He often spoke with other photographers at art shows his wife attended, learning how to perfect his craft.
Beck has his own part time photography business, Kentucky and Beyond, which can be visited online at: www.kyandbeyond.com. Beth Beck’s jewelry can be viewed and ordered from her website at: www.bmstudiosilver.com.

• For more information on the bazaar, contact Maryellen Garrison at (502) 845-2811.

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