I have been rolling around the southwestern states, like a tumbleweed, in search of beautiful gemstones, inspired designs, jewelry trends, and raw material resources. This was no ordinary business trip. It was a business adventure! I met many wonderful folks who shared comments, opinions, experiences, and technical knowledge about jewelry. Also, there were margaritas.
One of my stops was at THE TUCSON GEM & MINERAL SHOW. You may be wondering to yourself, “Why all the bold, capital letters?” Simply, to fully convey its kick-ass-ed-ness. THE TUCSON GEM & MINERAL SHOW is the motherlode, the alpha dog, the rodeo queen of gem shows. It is the place to find all kinds of sparkly, brilliant gemstones. And boy, did I! I am excited to get back into the studio and start working these stones into my jewelry designs. My favorite purchase was London Blue Topaz. It is the most beautiful inky-midnight-blue with a slightly greenish tone when viewed from certain angles. It reminds me of the Mediterranean Sea. Now you may be wondering, “What about these inspired designs and jewelry trends you speak of?” I saw lots of lengthy, multi-strand, metal chain necklaces. The longer, the better, it seemed, allowing for many options: one long single strand with or without dangly charms, doubled-up as a choker, or knotted at the neck for a vintage look. There were also many large, bold statement rings and dramatic necklaces. As far as color trends, I saw a lot of peach-pink and orange stones. Also, quite a bit of combined mixed-metal, gold-silver jewelry. Again, allowing for more options when accessorizing since one can wear with it their existing gold or silver jewelry. I suspect the soaring price of gold and the current economic environment are contributing to these jewelry trends. Anyway, this kept me busy for a couple days, and by the end of it all my feet hurt. Did I mention the margaritas?
Another significant stop on the trip was Halstead Bead, a jewelry makers dream when it comes to resources for jewelry supplies. You might remember them from here. If not, you should go here. And if you are a new jewelry entrepreneur, you should go here. Regardless, it is a fantastic, family-owned and -operated business and I am grateful for our relationship.
There were many other stops, none of which involved sitting on a cactus, thank God, which is exactly what our dog did the last time we went to Tucson. I can’t travel around the southwest, though, without acknowledging Edward Abbey, a literary outlaw and one of my favorite authors. He loved the area and wrote about it with an undeniable passion and humor. When I am there, I try to see the desert as I imagine he might have, and I am reminded of his words: “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”