The Bead Society of Greater New York

Beadcap Newsletter

Bead Society of Greater New York
September 2013 Update

by Marie Michal

Perry BooksteinBSGNY kicked off our new membership year with an enlightening discussion on the bead industry presented by our guest speaker, Perry Bookstein, owner of York Novelty Imports based in our beloved bead district in NYC. Perry is the third generation to carry on this 100 year old family business. His introduction into the world of beads and baubles began when his grandfather worked in several New York's bead stores. In 1924, his father, Sol Bookstein, founded York Imports and became one of the prime importers of glass beads from Czechoslovakia. In 1937, Sol joined forces with Novelty Import, owned by Boris Weisman, and York Novelty Imports, Inc. was born. Since there we no imports during World War II, York Novelty opened a sequin factory in New York. Upon the end of the war, York went back to Czechoslovakia and was established by the Czech government as one of the prime importers of Czech glass beads.

Meeting at FITPerry started out working in the store when he was about 8 years old helping out with the packaging of the beads. In 1987, he went with his mother on his first trip to the Czech Republic to select beads for the store. Now, it is Perry's job to meet with the factory owners in Czechoslovakia to see what their latest innovations are and what he can contribute to new designs – such as shapes, coatings, linings, etc. for these wonderful little gems. His ideas have contributed to the exciting mixed tone glass beads and gemstone fire-polished spacer shapes. He recently introduced the new 'spike' beads inspired by the stone spikes that famous bead artist Laura McCabe was using in her fabulous pieces. Along with the 'spikes' came the delicious looking gumdrops. We can check out all these and many more designs at York Novelty Imports right in the heart of New York City at 10 West 37th Street. You can also sign up for their newsletter at their website, On top of learning about this interesting bit of bead history, we were treated to a mini-sale of beads from York. Next month we'll be looking forward to seeing some of the creations inspired from our purchases!


BeadFest PhiladelphiaOnce again, the two-hour bus trip to BeadFest Philadelphia on Saturday, August 24, 2013 was worth every minute. Two bus-loads of eager beaders came ready to shop 'til they drop! This year, we extended our time at the Show an additional hour. Even with the extra time, I, myself, never made it through all the aisles! The selection of beads, findings and all manner of related paraphernalia was mind-boggling. There seemed to be more and bigger sales and demos at many of the vendors, in particular, those with semi-precious stones and pearls. Of course, the "kid in the candy store" feeling came over more than a few of us and we probably bought more than we needed. But in the end, we came away happy and eager to show all our treasures to each other on the bus ride home. Also on exhibit at the Show were the 30 winning pieces from the 2013 Bead Star competition, the annual jewelry competition sponsored by Grand Prize WinnerInterweave that draws talented artists from all over the globe. It was thrilling and inspiring to actually see these jaw-dropping pieces up close and personal. Another highlight was getting to meet members of the Bead Society of Eastern Pennsylvania and the Main Line Bead Society - and seeing their amazing beadwork displays. A show like this helps to keep everyone up-to-date on what might be new and innovative and gives us a chance to renew our creative juices. Nothing beats seeing those little gems in person to get our color combinations just right, and to connect with so many creative beaders from all over the world! Here's hoping you will join us next August on our annual pilgrimage to bead heaven!!

BSGNY would like to thank our volunteers Elaine Harrison and Esther Esses for coordinating this trip; and a huge thank you to Interweave for once again giving BSGNY the VIP treatment with a personal greeting at the Show and free admission for our members.

Please be sure to scroll down to view some wonderful pictures
from this meeting!


On September 25, 2013, BSGNY President, Cynthia Stern, opened our first meeting of our 2013-14 membership year with the following announcements:


As you have all noticed, our meetings have been relocated to alternate rooms at FIT due to ongoing construction and renovations at the school. Please note that our October 30th meeting will be held in yet another new location! So, please be sure to read your October Meeting announcement carefully so you'll know where to show up. We are hoping that by November, we'll be back in our regular space. Until then, thank you for your patience and understanding.


September 1, 2013 marked the beginning of BSGNY's 2013-14 membership year. If you have not already renewed your membership, NOW is the time to act! Membership can be renewed at meetings or by mail. To avoid long lines at our meetings, we encourage you to mail in your membership renewal, but the choice is yours. We hope to see everyone back for a new and exciting year with BSGNY!


The 3rd Annual BSGNY Handmade Holiday Craft Fair is right around the corner!


Due to personal family issues, Milly Valentin is taking a temporary leave of absence from her position as BSGNY's Volunteer Coordinator. We thank Milly for her many years of dedicated service to BSGNY and look forward to having her back on active duty soon. In the meantime, WE ARE NOW REACHING OUT TO OUR MEMBERS TO FILL THE POSITION OF VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR. If you are interested in finding out more and/or wish to volunteer, please contact us via e-mail ( or or by phone (212-591-1127).



Catherine MuseleWe recently received another lovely letter from Catherine Musele, the Kenyan student BSGNY sponsors through Beads For Education. Catherine has proudly informed us that she has graduated to Tembea Girls Academy (high school) and is learning about food preservation, animal migration and skills of caring for and teaching young children (ages 4-6). Currently, she is mentoring a young girl named Nyambura, teaching her the alphabet, how to count and write numbers. Catherine worked very hard this past year resulting in improved scores on her exams. She is looking forward to attending college one day, but in the meantime she is enjoying being a "teacher" to Nyambura.

Debby Rooney, co-founder of Beads for Education, informed us that no one to her knowledge, in the Beads for Education program, has been directly affected by the recent Kenyan Mall siege. Investigations are still underway and their thoughts and prayers go out to their Kenyan neighbors and friends who have suffered loss or injury in this devastating event.


As most of you know, Carole Horn is BSGNY's Workshop Director for too many years to count. She quietly does this overwhelming, time-consuming task voluntarily and single-handedly with stellar results. Yet somehow, she still finds the time to create an amazing portfolio of incredible beadwork that has made her the world-renowned bead artist that she is. We are so fortunate and beyond grateful to have Carole at the helm of our Workshop Program. It is the talent and recognition of members like Carole that keep our Society in such high regard all over the world! Below are Carole's recently published works – Congratulations to Carole for this continued recognition of her talent and creativity:

Reminder to all members: Please be sure to let us know whenever you have some exciting news in regard to your beading efforts so we may include it in future newsletters.

Carol Horn's Workshop
The first picture is "Tatania's Garland of leaves"; the second is "Chameleon Lariat" (the magazine changed the name to "Falling Leaves Lariat"). Carole taught these projects in workshops for BSGNY and wanted to share these photos with people who took her classes who might be interested in seeing them in print.


Merle BerelowitzThe Bead Society of Greater New York is very sad to announce the sudden passing of our member, Merle Berelowitz. Merle was a talented member of our Society and known for her unique and beautiful hand painted flowers. Her work appears in numerous publications, won multiple awards and exhibited in several "World of Beads" events at the Museum of Art & Design and at FIT, and in the 2003 Takashimaya-Nihonbashi Exhibit in Tokyo, Japan. The world has lost a beautiful person and the beading community has lost a great talent. May it be comforting to those that knew and loved her that Merle will continue to bloom and live on in all the pieces that come to life with her beautiful flower creations. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to Merle's family and friends. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

We look forward to seeing everyone at our
October 30, 2013 Meeting!