The Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show, the country’s largest professional beauty event geared toward women of color, took place in Atlanta over the weekend. Sponsored by the 68-year-old beauty-product brand Bronner Bros., the show attracts several thousand mostly black and mostly female hairstylists, makeup professionals, and beauty entrepreneurs who pay $20 to $150 to attend each year.
The swirl of seminars and presentations is designed to offer them career development and networking opportunities while tapping into the reported $500 billion buying potential of the black-hair-care industry. “I come every year, twice a year,” says stylist Ashley Anderson. “It helps you stay ahead of the game.” And the contests, which range from wild hair sculptures to intricate nail art, give beauty artists a chance to show off their skills.
The world of cosmetology looks quite different now than it did in 1947, when Nathaniel Bronner Sr. realized that the beauty products in his sister Emma’s shop were selling faster than copies of the newspaper. Nathaniel and his brother Arthur Bronner Sr. started teaching classes at an Atlanta YMCA, and the trade show evolved naturally from there. The first incarnation hosted 300 attendees — no small feat for a pair of African-American men in the Jim Crow South. Today, the biannual shows see upwards of 22,000 visitors from as far away as China, Japan, and Holland.
Nail Sculptures by John Bisbee That Twist Across Floors and Walls
John Bisbee has worked with nails as a sculptural medium since he accidentally toppled a bucket of them years ago and was astonished to see how they remained intact, rusted and fused into a single object. Every since, he’s been hammering nails of varying size into complex patterns, using the smallest woodworking nails up to giant 12-inch spikes. Although nails large and small continue to be the focus of his artistic practice, his sculptures remain diverse in their presentation and composition, twisted works making wildly chaotic patterns against walls and neatly arranged nails snaking along gallery floors.
People often ask me how i get all those “perfect” little round keys on my molds and the answer is really simple. When i build up my clay parting wall i just use the rounded end of a paintbrush to press them into the clay, a careful pouring of degassed silicone will flow into each one of the indentations and form a set of perfect keys.
The last two pics are examples of what I call “hell molds”, once in a while I’ll have to mold something particularly troublesome to vent (usually wigs) and Nails mohawk was a perfect example. When i need to create lots of tiny sprues/vents I use different gauges of armature wire, its not important that they meet up perfectly as that can be fixed by carefully using a blade on the finished silicone mold to open up the connections in the tiny channels.
Sometime early next week ill be announcing a couple of specials in the Steve Store as well as a contest to celebrate the 11th year of being in the business of making dolls ;-)