Allegory Gallery: Find bead stores when you travel

Recently, my husband surprised me by saying, “If we don’t make a point of going out and seeing things, we’ll never get around to it.” He was right. So we got out the calendar, made some plans, and set off. I had really enjoyed the beauty of western Pennsylvania when I drove to Synergy last year so we headed that direction with the goal of seeing Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic masterpiece. (Did you know that it’s fairly small, built it 1936-37 and is actually a vacation home for the owners of a department store that eventually became Macy’s?) I highly recommend touring the site and if you love architecture, don’t miss the nearby sites of Polymath Park and Kentuck Knob. Anyway, while in the area, I also wanted to visit a bead store and art gallery, Allegory Gallery, that I’d been hearing about for quite a while.

A selection of unique artisan and trade beads at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

I always love checking out the bead stores when I travel to a new area (and supporting awesome local ones)

William Jones, Ginger Davis Allman, and Andrew Thornton.
Selfies with William Jones and Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery. (Photo by William, used with permission.)

Not only do I find unique treasures and unusual beads, I learn about the area by talking to the people in the shops. True to form, Andrew Thornton and William Jones, the guys behind the shop, were eager to tell me about their delightful community of Ligonier, Pennsylvania. If you’re ever in the area, don’t miss it!

Andrew Thornton and William Jones, the masterminds and artists behind Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Andrew Thornton and William Jones, the masterminds and artists behind Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

Ceramic and Polymer Clay Beads at Allegory Gallery

Allegory Gallery is active in purchasing from the artisan bead community at therefore had some incredibly unique artisan beads made from ceramic and polymer clay.

Glass enamel beads from Golem Studio at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Glazed porcelain beads from Golem Studio
Handmade beads and connectors by Jenny Davies-Reazor at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Handmade beads and connectors by Jenny Davies-Reazor
Polymer clay beads by Heather Powers of Humblebeads at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Polymer clay beads by Heather Powers of Humblebeads
Ceramic beads by Marsha Neal Studio at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Ceramic beads by Marsha Neal Studio

Tribal and Trade Beads

When you’re a polymer clay artist who makes your own focal beads, what you often need to complete your creation are unique supporting beads that give a touch of exotic elegance. I was impressed with the array of tribal or ethnic beads imported from places like Nepal, Indonesia, and India. There were beads, charms, and more made from brass, glass, stone, and wood.

Brass Buddha head beads at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Brass Buddha head beads
Brass and trade beads and charms at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Brass and trade beads and charms
Enamel beads from Nepal at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Inlaid coral and turquoise pendants from Nepal

Classes, Supplies, and Support

Allegory Gallery also has regular beads, too. Plus supplies and stringing materials. Andrew said they often have classes and even have a Facebook group where you can join in challenges using selected bead mixtures. They often sponsor world-class teachers such as Christi Friesen to teach at Allegory Gallery.

Beads and supplies at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Beads and supplies. They give workshops and teach classes here, too.
Glass beads at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Glass beads at Allegory Gallery
Silk cord at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Pretty silk cord
Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, PA

Allegory Gallery Online

Allegory Gallery also has a good online presence. You can buy their beads online from their website and also from their Etsy shop. Follow along on their Facebook page. And don’t miss their active Facebook group Allegory Gallery Design Challenges. And brand new in their lineup of community and customer education is their podcast where they interview leading jewelry and bead artists. You can learn more about them here.

For a limited time, Andrew and William are offering a special discount for my readers. You’ll get a 15% discount on everything in their online store and also on the Etsy shop. Just use the code THEBLUEBOTTLETREE. It’s good through November 18, 2018.

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