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Melissa Etheridge

How Savage Mill's Bead Soup formed a community around a niche art

How Savage Mill's Bead Soup formed a community around a niche art

A dozen women have assembled in a high-ceilinged corner room with exposed brick in Savage Mill’s New Weave Building. It’s midday on a Wednesday, when enthusiasts come to Bead Soup’s weekly Beading in Circles session.

They sit at long tables strewn with instruction books, ribbon, projects in various states of completion and plastic bins filled with hundreds of thousands of glass beads. The women run threaded needles through the beads, some of them so small you wouldn’t even notice if one were to get into your shoe.

It’s all relative, though. Columbia resident Lisa Symeson points to the little groupings of colored spheres on...

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