Tucson Gem-Bead-Jewelry-Mineral-Rock-and-More Shows, Here I Come!

Today, I'm enjoying my first day back in the gem-jewelry-rock-bead-mineral-etc. paradise that Tucson becomes every year about this time. I'll be blogging, tweeting, and Facebook-ing all my favorite finds and experiences live from Tucson the rest of the week, so don't miss out!

Each year before the trip I make a list of what I'm looking to buy and plan which shows to attend–because if you haven't heard or been there before, there are dozens of shows and hundreds of places to shop for gems, jewelry, and jewelry-making supplies in Tucson–plus rocks, tools, fossils, mineral specimens, and everything from vintage finds to dinosaur bones. I only have three full days this year, so here's my plan:

going to Tucson for the gem, jewelry, rock and mineral shows

I'll spend one day at the To Bead True Blue show, to get my fix of vintage metal pieces, great lampwork glass, and to see what's new from Nunn Design, A la Carte Clasps/Wire Lace, Parawire, Green Girl Studios, and others. I'll also get to catch up and see what's new from favorite jewelry artist and designer friends like Susan Lenart Kazmer, Gail Crosman More, Eleanor Macnish, Stephanie Dixon, and others–plus look for pearls!

One day will be split between the AGTA and GJX shows, to see all kinds of gems and jewelry, from high-end to everyday to rough and even some gem beads–plus pearls. That's usually where I get most of the pearls for my pearl collection, from American Pearl Company, Daniel Moshi, and Kojima Pearl. I like to check out the unique stones from favorites like Rare Source, Judith Whitehead, Larry Woods, and John Dyer, and then try to wiggle my way into the Gary Wilson booth to see what unique treasures he has, from pool balls and Fordite cabs to actual gems and rocks and all kinds of fun found objects. I'll be lucky if I finish those two shows in one long day.

oddities in Tucson  

That leaves me one last day, which I'm calling my wildcard day this year. It might include a rock and who-knows-what search and other excitement with my Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist mag peeps on The Strip, a couple of stops at some of the smaller bead shows, a visit to the vast JOGS show, a look-see at the new JCK Tucson show–I always love JCK Vegas!–or wherever the desert wind blows me. No matter where I end up, one thing's for sure–there will be pearls! Keep reading to see what I find.

One thing is different about my trip to Tucson this year. With my goals of learning to cut my own cabs and faceted gems, I'm going to be on the lookout for some rough to play with! And since we have a great new video from Ann Cahoon about setting faceted fancy-shaped faceted stones, I'm also on the lookout for large faceted stones to set. Lookout Tucson!

P.S. Don't forget to enjoy Tucson with me on Jewelry Making Daily this week!

faceted gemstones from Larry Woods
Can't wait to get back to see the gorgeous selection of faceted gemstones from LJJA contributor and favorite supplier Larry Woods of Jewels of the Woods. I love his clever organic-looking displays at the top in this photo from last year.

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