The Tucson Gem Show is an annual event that brings people together, from all over the world, who are passionate about gems and jewelry. For us it represents a time of high creativity because of the huge visual stimulation from all the beautiful raw materials we see and buy; it is a chance to see old friends and make new friends, to share their fabulous designs; to see our lovely landlady and her family; a chance to see customers, and mentors; and of course our chance to receive accolades as well. Sorry for the delay it has been three weeks since I blogged, Santa Barbara had to wait!
This year we exhibited in Somewhere In The Rainbow and AGTA's the Modern Gem and Jewelry Collection, held at the University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum. There was a very nice reception at the museum honoring the jewelry designers and gem cutters, the incredible gem collection, and to hear an important announcement. The University will be offering the only degrees in the USA for Masters and PhD in Gemology.
Gregore also won Manufacturing Honors, Business/Day Wear for the 2017 AGTA Spectrum awards. We attended a lovely dinner dance honoring all the 2017 winners in their numerous categories.
We have a routine when we go there, sometimes I go sometimes Gregore does depending on who stays back to watch the fort. We always like to go to the Hotel Tucson first. We make our first stop to the upstairs lobby to visit Darryl Alexander's incredible stone cutting, his son Nick's and his brother Tony's work. Upstairs we also visit the interesting minerals and bead work. Downstairs are shells, more minerals, and fossils.
our next stop is Pueblo Inn where we like to see our stone cutting teacher Lew Wackler. In the same complex, we like to see all the raw gems we can use for our designs, jades, and much more. There are interesting jewelry designers, and useful tools also.
Our third stop is AGTA at the Tucson Convention Center and GJX which is across the street. Here we find most of the vendors, who may also have second booths in the other shows in the city. You do need badges to get into these shows but to do so is not that difficult and well worth while. At AGTA we see all the Spectrum Awards displayed for viewing, and all the gems you could ever want. Friends who won this year are Naomi Sarna, Zoltan David, Erica Courtney, Eddie Sakamoto, Ricardo Basta, Llyn Strelau, Peter Schmid, Ruben Bindra, Adam Nealy and Susan Helmich. Interestingly many members of our AJDC group either won awards or acted as judges. GJX is a lot of fun because the different rooms are broken down by countries.
The rest of the days we may go back to these shows or visit new ones. The city is overrun by all sorts of unusual artifacts old and new. Part of the Tucson gem show experience is getting together with friends for lunch, dinner, or to walk around the shows together. The time is intense, a little tiring but not to be missed. a good stress release are the runs in the park.
This year we brought home to Santa Barbara a Pachycereus pringlei, a Cardon cactus. Our local garden Lotus Land has many of them growing successfully, so we are sure to succeed with ours. It will remind us of the Tucson Gem Show and to stay inspired to make jewelry.
Bringing back a lot of inspiration to our engagement rings and custom jewelry in Santa Barbara by Gregore and Jennifer-Rabe.