Allegory Gallery Blog

Allegory Gallery Interviews: Diane Hawkey

Ceramic Dog Bead by Diane Hawkey
Did you know that we recently launched a podcast?  We wanted to tell more of the stories behind the things that you find in the shop and introduce you to their makers.  We call the podcasts, "Allegory Gallery Interviews".  We started the series off with Gina Chalfant of White Swan Illuminations.  CLICK HERE to check out Gina's interview.  For our second podcast, we interviewed the amazing Diane Hawkey.  We were fortunate to take a few moments during BeadFest back in August to talk with Diane and learn more about her and her process.  In conjunction with the podcast, we also have a selection of her ceramic components available in the online store.  CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast with Diane and CLICK HERE to check out her pieces online.  We also have a Facebook page where you can receive all the latest information about the podcasts.  CLICK HERE to visit our special Allegory Gallery Interviews Facebook page.

You can find (and subscribe to) the podcasts in all these different places:
Google Play:

Ancient Kingdom Challenge

Your heart races as you climb through the boulders and toppled down trees.  Night is coming quick and you want to make it to the top of the ridge before it becomes too dangerous to navigate.  Not far now.  Closer.  Closer. Closer.  Finally!  You exhale deeply as you reach the summit and take in the painterly vista.  The sun has set and the sky is a blaze with fiery reds.  Rusty red light bathes the ruins of a forgotten civilization and long purple shadows stretch out from the crumbling stone structures.  Amidst the carved stones being swallowed up by thick woody vines, you make out glints of burnished bronze and flame-kissed copper.  There is treasure here - treasure that hasn’t been seen by human eyes for millennia in this ancient kingdom. This was the inspiration for our latest kit!  It’s made up of ruddy reds, warm purples, and earthy browns with touches of antique bronze and copper.

So... here's the deal: Participants of the challenge will purchase a kit. The kit is made up of a strand of amethyst, vintage plastic, ceramic, vintage glass, amethyst, vintage seed beads, waxed linen, and a luxury bead blend! The kit will also include a mystery component! No one knows what it is until it arrives at your door. Challengers will have a few weeks to make something with the kit. They can use as much or as little of the kit as they like and supplement the kit with beads from their own stash if they so desire.

And then... on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 we'll share all the creations in our Facebook group. CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group just for our design challenges.

Shipping of the Design Kits can take anywhere from one business day to ten. For international orders, it may take longer! If you know it takes a long time to reach your destination (from Southwestern Pennsylvania) please place your orders early! We will do our best to get your kit out as early as possible, but unfortunately we can't be held responsible if it arrives late due to the postal service. NOTE: Chosing Priority Shipping at checkout will provide for a tracking number, insurance, and faster shipping than First Class Service.

All sales of the Design Kits are final and there are no returns or exchanges.

CLICK HERE to go directly to our NEW online store to get your very own Coral Coast Challenge kit!


Bead and Craft Bloggers

Another week brings another lineup of blog posts from the ever-creative group of bead and craft bloggers.

Cyndi shows how to make a stunning spiral rope necklace with opulent purple pearls.

Ann creates a lovely new necklace using beads from Darn Good Yarn and an old African bead from her collection.

The seasons are changing and autumn inspiration has struck Terry Jeanette!  Her new line of jewelry incorporates a beachy vibe with a fall color palette.

Sarajo creates an assortment of pod related jewelry for the July Art Elements monthly challenge, as well as shares some of the headpins from the Adornments Retreat.  Sarajo also made a mold for future pod components.

Drawing on Andrew's experiences from being both an artist and a gallery owner, he shares some of his small business guidance gleaned over the years.

Allegory Gallery launches their NEW series of podcasts called, Allegory Gallery Interviews.  In the first interview, William sits down with ceramic artist, Gina Chalfant of White Swan Illuminations.

Allegory Gallery Interviews—Our New Podcast!

Here at Allegory Gallery, we're always trying to find new ways to connect people with the wonderful beads, art, and jewelry that we have in store. We've learned that everything we sell has a story to tell, but, unfortunately, those stories don't always cross the lines from their source of being to those who ultimately possess them. We named our store Allegory Gallery because we felt it was our mission to tell those stories.

Allegory—a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning. We want our supporters to tell their stories. That's why we host classes twice a week; we want to give you the tools and techniques to get your story out there. That's why we host our Design Challenge Group and our Inspired by Reading Book Club; we want to push the boundaries of your stories so that you may take them to the next level. And now, we've begun Allegory Gallery Interviews—our branded podcast.

Allegory Gallery Interviews is about telling the stories of the beads and art that surround us, directly from the makers themselves. Each episode of Allegory Gallery Interviews features a maker who will tell their story—how they began, why they are passionate about what they do, who and what their inspirations are, and what advice or words of wisdom they have for those listening. And, because we want you to see a direct lineage of maker to art, we will feature works by the maker in our store and online coinciding with the debut of each podcast episode.

You can subscribe to Allegory Gallery Interviews on any of these services thus far (with more, hopefully, coming soon):

Google Play:

And, if you'd like to follow along more closely on Facebook, we've built a Facebook Page dedicated to Allegory Gallery Interviews:

We are in the early stages, but we hope that you'll find this experience enriching, and we will continuously be adding new content and ways for you to connect with those who are assisting in your stories. We hope that you'll follow along and enjoy the stories of these artists. 
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Open To All

We have always built our business on the idea that it's a safe space. Allegory Gallery was started by an LGBTQ couple, and we're proud of who we are. And, we know what the world can be like out there. This is why Allegory Gallery will always remain a safe space. No one should have to worry about whether they will be denied service or face hostilities as they go about their daily lives simply because of who they are. And, we're happy to see that this movement—one that we've always believed in—is spreading. This is why we took the pledge to be #OpenToAll and our business is listed on Yelp as an "Open To All" Business! And, we hope that you'll join us! CLICK HERE to find out more about what it means to be Open To All.

Lost Wax Casting with Green Girl Studios

While we were in Asheville visiting our family at Green Girl Studios, Greg Ogden took us on a tour of the studio where most of the cast components are created.  We filmed a short video of Greg explaining the lost wax casting technique, giving a step by step rundown on how the sterling silver, shibuichi, and bronze pieces are made.  This metalsmithing technique goes back thousands of years and connects to a rich jewelry-making tradition.  CLICK HERE to visit our YouTube channel and watch the short video.
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Allegory Gallery in the Ligonier Echo

We are so fortunate to be featured in our local newspaper, the Ligonier Echo!  The article titled, "Allegory Gallery receives national recognition as American Small Business Champion" appears in the Thursday, August 2nd issue of the paper.  It's a wonderful write-up of Allegory Gallery's experience with SCORE and being named one of the 2018 American Small Business Champions.  We appreciate all of our friends and supporters who have made this possible!  If you get a chance and are local, please pick up a copy of the paper and show your support for this valuable local resource.

Road Trip with Candie Cooper and Green Girl Studios

Every year, we head down to North Carolina to see our family at Green Girl Studios and shop the gem shows in Franklin, NC.  It just so happened that our trip aligned with a visit from Candie Cooper!  You might know Candie from one of her many books like, "Metalworking 101 for Beaders", "Necklaceology", "Earringology", or "Felted Jewelry".  Candie also does some hugely popular Facebook Live sessions.  CLICK HERE to visit her Facebook page.

Over the course of the weekend, we had several Facebook Live sessions giving a sneak peek into the inner workings of Green Girl Studios.  One of them was about Cynthia and her process carving and shaping wax.  Another featured Greg and how he casts the pewter beads.  In one of them, I demonstrated how to wire-wrap bead caps onto a glass bauble.  Candie offered a lot of custom, special listings in her Etsy shop and throughout the experience, Candie shared her positive energy and gracious camaraderie.

It was a fantastic weekend!  Not only did we have a great time interacting with customers, shopping the gem shows, and sharing stories, but we also got a chance to spend time with each other.  We empowered one another with our experiences and expertise, motivated one another, and bonded over friendship and beads.  It was a great weekend, indeed!

Bead and Craft Bloggers

What a wonderful line-up of links from our Bead and Craft Bloggers group!  There's so much talent on display this week!

Awareness can be beautiful.  In this post, TappingflamingoBling shares her beach style with these autism awareness bracelets!  The cherry on top is that a portion of the sales will benefit a nonprofit that supports autism awareness.

Summer is a busy time!  Keeping up with your crafts can be tricky.  In this post, Cyndi shows how she side-stepped packing and planning for a dozen different projects and focused on one technique: the Russian Spiral rope that she learned from Carol Ohl's article in Beadwork magazine.

Tammy, the Crafty Princess extraordinaire, let's us take a look at a tiny Blythe Doll dress she made and talks about the importance of adding details, especially when working on a small scale.

Allegory Gallery has a monthly design kit challenge.  July's challenge was, "Wild Jungle".  See what Ann made with the kit!

Brenda Schweder, Jess Lincoln, Heather Powers, and Erin Prais-Hintz teamed up this year to headline the Adornments Retreat in Galena, Illinois!  In this blog, Sarajo shares what it was like to attend this amazing experience!

Each month, this book club reads a new selection.  Unlike a lot of other book clubs, after they finish reading, members are encouraged to make something inspired by what they read!  See what Andrew created with Rainbow Rowell's book, "Eleanor & Park" as inspiration!

The store is constantly evolving!  Each day new items are added to the showroom floor.  Check out what's new at this local bead store!

Rainbow Rowell-Inspired Mixed Tape Necklace for Charity

We recently had our meet-up for the Inspired by Reading Book Club.  Andrew made a pair of earrings inspired by "Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell.  CLICK HERE to read about them and our book club.  When Andrew posted his earrings, he shared his creation with the author and she responded back!  How awesome is that?  Pretty dang awesome!!!

Andrew was so excited that Rainbow Rowell checked out his blog and retweeted his post that he decided to pay the good energy forward.  He decided to make a few pieces using the Mixed Tape component he designed (inspired by her book) with profits going to the nonprofit of her choice.  Rainbow Rowell picked Everytown for Gun Safety.

We have six necklaces up for grabs in our online shop.  Each necklace features a laser-engraved acrylic pendant designed by Andrew Thornton on an 18 inch sterling silver 1.2mm stringing cable chain with a spring ring clasp.  Each necklace is $20, plus shipping.  All of the proceeds from the sales of these necklaces will go directly to her chosen charity.  If the necklaces are popular and sell out, we'll do another run.  CLICK HERE to check out our online shop and get a necklace.

Many thanks to Rainbow Rowell for her kind words and for her inspirational talent as a writer.  We appreciate the time she took to brighten our day and share our book club and small business with others.  THANK YOU!
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