Friday, February 12, 2016

Tucson 2016

I'm back and (mostly!) recovered from the annual Tucson Gem Show visit. And it was wild and wooly like it is every year. Though this year was maybe a little less crazier than normal. ;)

I traveled later in the show's duration than I normally due, because of a conflict during the first week of the show. And I didn't like that one bit. I felt like I'd missed out on a lot of things that I was looking for; several of my regular gem sellers didn't have much - "much" being a relative term, of course - for my discerning eye. Next year I'll be back on the opening weekend to grab all the lovely goodies I can manage. ;)

But I didn't come home empty, by any means. I've already shared several photos of my finds on Instagram and on Facebook, but I've got some more / better shots now that I'm home, and here you get to really see some of the marvelous things I found:

"More druzy" was definitely on my list. I'd started working with some last year, and small pendants like the one below were well received. I didn't find any more of the blue druzy, but I did get a lot of silvery (titanium) druzy.

I bought some bigger sizes - probably the most often-asked question of 2015 was, "Do you have any BIGGER druzy?" - and I think some of these will work quite well in my specialty neckpieces, like this one:

I'm enjoying creating these larger statement necklaces and druzy is a great way to get some sparke into the designs without using faceted gems. :)

And then I bought some REALLY big druzies. These will be interesting to design with and more of a challenge to set, but they are really, really grand gems and I can't wait to play with them.

And then there were *these* druzies. Love the effect of the druzy intermixing with the host rock! The top one almost looks like a crystallized lava flow, and the bottom one reminds me of going caving and seeing the stalactites / stalagmintes below the earth. What fun!

But it wasn't *all* crystal-y goodness this year. In fact, you might say I went the opposite direction on some of my purchases. These are lodolite quartz, sometimes known as "garden quartz" because of the lush plant-like inclusions) and they are cut to be very "in depth" to bring out the colorful inclusions within the stone with an almost 3-D effect. I'm slowly building a small collection of these, and was pleased to find some stunners at the gem show:

And of course I did manage to buy some blue / green gems. I have so many of these in lovely, rich color patterns. My soul adores bold colors! So even though I was not "supposed to" buy any more...I found just a few that I couldn't resist.

This is one of those that just HAD to come home with me. Azurite chrysocolla. which up close, looks like the waters on a Capri vacation (not that I've ever been, but it looks like what I *imagine* it would be...the sea, the spa, the cliffs....which may be even better than the reality). :)

And of course some labradorite. I LOVE labradorite. And I HATE buying it. Because you have to hold each one up and see where and how it flashes. Some labradorite is great from a horizontal perspective (like if you're looking down onto a ring or bracelet) and some is great from a vertical perspective. So a stone that can look marvelous for a pendant, will look gray and dead if you try to put it in a ring. It takes me a long time to pick out labradorite. But then I am exceptionally happy once they've been selected and are at home with me. :) The color is off in this shot on the teardrop at bottom right because of the angle, but I promise it's going to make a great pendant!

I also bought a few - just a few - rougher, non-cabochon items. I want to incorporate more texture into my work with the gems, and while I love the smooth cabochons, sometimes a little variation is good. These are aquamarine nuggets. Aquamarine happens to be one of the gems I think has a lot more personality in a rough cut than all smooth and polished.

Also a little "rough around the edges" - a couple of amethyst stalactites. These are from actual stalactites that form on cave ceilings. They're lovely and unusual. I took home just two. :)

And now, it's time to get working in the studio again. I'm off to Miami next week for my second art festival of the year, so it'll be down to the wire to get more designs made before I leave. Hope you enjoyed the eye candy today though! I'll share some more as time permits. :)