Monday, December 27, 2010

Missing Rio Grande's Catalog In Motion!

Probably the saddest change to my Tucson Gem Show Schedule this year is the loss of the Catalog In Motion Show from Rio Grande!

One of the things I do to get ready for the upcoming trek to the desert, is to organize photos from the previous year and set up albums for the coming year. While organizing I came across these photos.

I have many happy memories of the Catalog In Motion Show and the classes I took from the fabulous professionals that Rio gathers to teach...see my write up of the 2008 Hydraulic Press workshop here.

During my organizing I found these shots of the amazing Kate Wolf at the bench at the 2010 Catalog In Motion Show.

From Rio In Motion:
Kate Wolf—Kate has been carving wax and making jewelry for 31 years. She has been teaching for 21 years and has a school in Portland, Maine. Kate won MJSA's Innovation Award for her Wolf™ Tools and Wolf Wax™ by Ferris. Kate is a former Director of Production and master modelmaker for the Franklin Mint and holds a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from Tyler School of Art. and

For those that may not be familiar with the Catalog In Motion Show - it was exactly what the name implies...the Rio Grande Catalog - in person - in a room where you can try out the tools and equipment and most importantly discuss their use with the clever people that invented or manufacture them.  GENIUS!!!

Last year I started working more with wax carving so one of the things I wanted to look at was the Wolf Wax Tools Kit...what I got was beyond my wildest dreams.

Kate Wolf herself sat down with me and with wax in hand went through what she designed each tool to do. It was a memory I will treasure forever...and do you think I made the purchase?  Of Course!

So I am one of the ones hoping that Catalog In Motion will one day return - even in a smaller version or as part of another show.   

For those of you who are missing the Rio Grande Workshop Schedule - great news!  Stop in and take a class on your way to Tucson!

 Rio In Motion is their new program and the inaugural session is January 26th - 31st in Albuquerque, NM.
  • About Rio In Motion

  • Rio In Motion is a part of our continued commitment to put the very best of products, service and know-how directly into your hands. It’s a unique opportunity for you to peek behind the scenes at Rio, to discover the latest innovations in products and equipment, and to get hands-on instruction from some of our favorite experts. Rio Grande is always in motion. Come along for the ride!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

USFG Announces 2011 Seminar Schedule

Presenters for Tucson 2011
Monday, 31 January:
John Bailey: buying rough at shows: tools & techniques

Tuesday, 01 February:
L. Bruce Jones: discussion of gemology for faceters

Wednesday, 02 Feb:
Wayne Emery: professional dopping techniques

Thursday, 03 Feb:
Dalan Hargrave: concave faceting and other innovated techniques

Friday, 04 Feb:
Stephen Kotlowski: performing faceting work for the trade; making the transition from hobby to income producing

Seminars begin promptly at 9:00am and will take place in the north-east end of the tent section of the Electric Park Complex. Elayne Luer, GG of AboutLapidary has been gracious enough to offer a section of her tent space so that the seminars have a home. Each seminar should last one hour, and there will be ample time to answer your individual questions. There will be supplied seating for 36. And, coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

Please know that the presenters have all volunteered their time and expertise. And have borne the expense of being at Tucson. The USFG is deeply indebted tothem for their service and contributions to the faceting community.

If you are a current member of the United States Faceters Guild, there is no charge for you to participate in any of the presentations. If you are not a member, we'd love to have you join us at Tucson, however there will be a nominal charge of $10 per session. (Or, maybe you should just join the USFG; an annual membership is only $18.) Membership is open to all, and you do not have to be a US citizen.

Photo Credit - Dalan Hargrave's 2010 Cutting Edge Award Winning Sunstone - Photo: Robert Weldon

Monday, November 22, 2010

Your First Tucson Gem Show? Lessons From My First....

Every year about this time I like to go backwards...this is from the first Tucson Gem Show I attended never forget your first! The enthusiasm is palpable - there is nothing like the first time!

2007 Tucson Gem Show :

I want to put this info down on paper...first for me because I want to remember every minute of this amazing trip, and second because I think that it may inspired some people who are sitting on the fence when it comes to making the decision to take the trip!

Let me dispel some of the misconceptions I had...
1. The Tucson Gem Show is this giant show with tons of booths...not quite...the Tucson Gem Show is actually 46 separate shows and each individual show can house 50 to 500 vendors.

2. After reading the Show Guide and seeing where the shows were located, I figured I would need a car...don't do it...I probably spent a total of $150 on taxis (you would eliminate this cost totally if you stayed at a hotel near one of the venues). Tucson is undergoing a 5 year freeway renovation project and the traffic is a pain, aside from the fact that finding parking near most of the venues is very tough. The city of Tucson provided (FREE) a system of shuttles that went to the various shows, so if your hotel was near one of the shows - you had free transportation from 8am to 7pm every day.

3. You have to have a business license and re-sale number (one show actually required letters of reference from companies you've purchased from in the past) to get into (and buy) at most of the a student this was a huge fear for me as I no longer have a business. Most of the shows will admit Students without question, some want a student ID. The majority of the venues offered "Visitor" passes and you can buy from most of the vendors.
The vendors that are "Wholesale Only" or required a "Minimum Purchase", display that info prominently.

4. You can get amazing prices that will beat the LBS and your Bulk Buying Groups...True and False! If you are going to Tucson as a designer of one-of-a-kind pieces, while prices will definitely beat your LBS, you aren't likely to get any great deals. If you have a beading supply business and can afford to purchase multiples, most vendors will offer deals by the gram, kilogram, or pound. You need to do your homework - most of the vendors deal in millimeters, centimeters, grams or kilograms, know your weights and measures, nothing says amateur like messing up a weight. One way to get your bearings is say an item is priced per carat...get the vendor to weigh out and price a medium size of the stone you are looking at so you will have an idea what you can find in your price range. At the bead vendors watch them weigh out a kilogram of beads for someone (most will let you mix and match and one vendor gave a $100 in free beads to anyone with business ID) will give you an idea of whether this is a deal or not.

5. Looks Matter - you know, the more I dressed down the easier it was to talk to some of the vendors...there are shows that I feel that "business attire" is necessary(the AGTA, GJX & GLDA Shows in particular). But the bottom line on the dress code is "business casual" - if you are like me, you are going to do alot more walking than you have done in a while (and it is continuous day after day), so the most important piece of wardrobe is your shoes!!!
I think the easiest way to do this is by, come on everyone here we go!

AGTA at the Tucson Convention Center:

This is probably the most high-end and popular will truly leave you breathless. Most of the people I talked to didn't go into this show because they felt it was just faceted stones and diamonds...while that is a big portion of the show it also included beads and pearls (a shape I didn't find anywhere else) and due to the larger market presence and budget of the companies represented, this show is key to learning trends and directions in fashion. When you go into the main Gem Hall and see a strand of emerald beads you have an example of what AAA Grade Emerald Beads should look like. While they may be way out of our price range it gives you an ideal for shopping at some of the other venues.

Trends I noticed at AGTA:

Cuprian Tourmaline: no matter how controversial this stone is, it is beautiful and it is everywhere! In the "Paraiba" color and a range of new colors (I am especially fond of the strong, almost neon quality of the violet) from Africa.

Micro-Beads: these tiny (most are 3-5mm) little smooth or faceted rondelles are HUGE...most vendors are carrying them...but buyer beware the quality varies from vendor to vendor and from strand to strand. These are being shown in Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, Mixed Corundum (Ruby, with Blue and Yellow Sapphire), Emerald with Mixed Corundum and Diamonds (all colors, blue, champagne, yellow, cognac, milky white and clear white).

Diamonds: not only in the micro-beads but also really cool looks using natural rough diamond crystals. These came in a variety of styles and looks from 1ct crystals caged in 18kt gold to nugget beads chained together - Rosary style!

Pearls: I must say that pearls were in abundance with strands of every color, shape (crosses, biwa, mabe', keshi, coin, potato, rice, button, even faceted) and size (micro 3mm to 12-16mm). Several vendors are showing the keshi pearls in new shapes...some have the ruffled lettuce-edge, some shaped more like leaves, side-drilled, center-drilled...I guess I'm saying if you like keshi - it is still big. I really felt I had probably seen every shape when I saw something that was really unique. One vendor (I didn't see them anywhere else and I am kicking my self for not picking up a strand) had really beautiful champagne pearls that were a nice round pearl (approx. 9-10mm) with just a little of that "keshi" lettuce edge coming off one side, they really were beautiful...ah well!

OK let's do a quick tour of the AGTA Show at the Convention Center:

After checking in (which BTW I would suggest you do before going to Tucson - most shows allow you to pre-register) you walk down a hall filled with photographic displays and individual booths manned by all of the various trade organizations that support the Jewelry Industry (both in the US and Internationally) and all the major schools and testing laboratories are also represented.

The first major Hall was the "Designer Pavilion" housing work by people you have only seen in the pages of glossy fashion & society magazines along with the 2007 AGTA Spectrum Award Winners (AGTA Spectrum Awards is an annual natural colored gemstone & cultured pearl jewelry design competition.). You can see the winners here:

Next you visit the Main Gem Hall - literally aisle after aisle (17 rows back to back) of some of the most spectacular gems I have ever seen...most humans will never in their lives see gems of this quality! There was also a small display of some of the museum-grade gems that have been donated to GIA's private collection and small grouping of items from the traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution.

Gem Hall II housed the new "Colored Diamond" area and very interesting and surprisingly affordable "Estate Jewelry" area all along side several rows of Metals, Findings and Tools vendors. Tucked in the corner of this room was a surprise that I wasn't aware of MJSA was offering a series of seminars called "At The Bench..." each subject was different but in total gave a great representation of the industry. For a list of seminars see:

"At The Bench..." Seminars:
I don't know about you, but when I go to hear someone speak to me about a topic I research the speakers background so that I am sure that they know the topic they are speaking on. So I thought I would provide that info for you. The two sessions I was able to fit in follow:

Tips and Tricks for Working with a Flex-shaft
GemHall II, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Karen Christians, Metalwerx.
Discover how to get the most out of your flex-shaft, from selecting the right system to using the latest accessories and attachments. Based on the "Orchid in Print" book, Making the Most of your Flex-Shaft, published by MJSA Press.

About The Speaker (excerpt from her website): Karen Christians earned her BFA in Metals at the Massachusetts College of Art in 1997. In 1998 she started Metalwerx with her friend, Jennifer Bowie. In 2002, she began to run Metalwerx solo, while her partner began the contemporary craft gallery, Picklepot Studio in Salem, MA. Currently, Karen is the Executive Director of Metalwerx.

Karen teaches workshops throughout the US, is very active in, and recently has authored the book, "Making the Most of Your Flex-shaft".

The Presentation: Karen's presentation had a major problem in that her demo materials never made it to Tucson. I have included part of her post to the Orchid Forum.

"I would also like to thank MJSA for hosting my talk at AGTA on the Flex-shaft. Although my demo materials decided to take a little holiday in Wilmington, CT., I was forched "wing" my talk, relying on a Power Point presentation which included slides I shot for an upcoming article. It was the best talk I have ever given, finding my voice and passion and connecting to a standing room only audience. I remembered at that time, why I love to do what I do, and how I can relay my passion of teaching to others. I think the success from that lecture set the tone for the days to come."

Excerpt from [ORCHID] 2007 Tucson Report by Karen Christians - Metalwerx -

This was indeed a "standing room only" presentation. First there where handouts...a really well written article abput working with your Flex-Shaft. Karen did a short presentation and presented several new 3M polishing products and the best way to use them (in her words they all like to come to the party - stack your polishing wheels for a better polish). She also introduced a new nasal filtration product she worked on called Better Breathers see:

Then she opened the floor for questions and discussion...and there were lots. She announced her Demos at the Rio Grande Catalog In Motion and invited everyone to come over to get an autographed copy of her book.

How to Price Your Work
GemHall II, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Michael David Sturlin, Designer.
Pricing is a key factor in ensuring you can profit from your work. Michael will present an in-depth examination of pricing strategies and how to develop a formula tailored to fit your own specific situation.

About the Speaker (excerpt from the Revere Academy website): Michael David Sturlin is an award-winning designer, goldsmith, and master marketer. His aggressive public relations strategy resulted in Michael’s work appearing in many magazines including AJM, JCK, Lapidary Journal, Modern Jeweler and Professional Jeweler. Michael teaches Marketing. For more info and to see Mr. Sturlin's work, visit or

The Presentation: Mr. Sturlin gave an extremely detailed program on pricing your work, this is just a small portion of a 6 hour seminar he teaches at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, CA.

Two things really stuck with me from this program. First, was his take on determining your wages. To paraphrase he basically said that you should look at what it would cost to have any trained or certified trade (ie. plumber, electrician) provide services to you...your salary should be large enough that you can afford to hire a plumber without it threatening to break you!

The second thing was his suggestion for keeping track of the time it takes to complete a project. By using a stop watch on your workbench you can punch it to start your project and then as things come up in your day (someone at the door, a customer, the kids) you stop the clock, restarting it when you return and pickup where you left off. This gives you a more realistic idea of the time it takes for a specific project.

He gave detailed info on which parts of your business should go under which headings and the means to simplify the headers into an equation that works for each individual artist.

For those who might be interested I have enclosed info on the class Mr. Sturlin teaches for The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts:

Marketing Designer Jewelry - 6 hours 9 am - 5 pm $165 + $15 kit This class offers priceless information for jewelry designers, craftspeople, artists, manufacturers and entrepreneurs as well as those entering the field. Topics include product development, image, pricing, advertising, press releases, copyrights, trade shows, sales reps, consignment, credit, competitions, crafts fairs, photography, display, security, catalogues and more. Bring examples of your work and promotional materials for discussion. Instructor: Alan Revere or Michael David Sturlin

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"MUST SEE" TUCSON 2011! Dyber Optic Dish!

Tucson 2011- BACK FROM EUROPEAN TOUR 2009-2011,
in the 40th German Award for Jewelry & Precious Stones Idar-Oberstein 2009.

It will be on display at BOOTH 106, AGTA TUCSON GEM FAIR 2011, Feb. 1-6,
Tucson Convention Center.

The 113. 24 ct. Brazilian Aquamarine was cut by Michael M. Dyber, utilizing his signature
lapidary techniques: “Dyber Optic Dish” ™ and now his newest technique the “Photon Phacet” ™.

The Aquamarine was designed and cut so that it reflects optical illusions in three dimensions.

Mr. Dyber is the only American to take the 1st PRIZE twice in the 40 years of the International gem designing competition.

He became the first American to win 1st PRIZE in 1994, and he has also won 2nd, 3rd and honorable mention twice.

Known for his optical effects and creativity, Mr. Dyber has created facets within the gemstone.
“I grind away the gemstone, creating free form facets within, that are then brought to an optical polish,” says Dyber.
“It’s a very time-consuming technique, but the result is a true original piece of art.”

For more information 603 744-2161 or

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kids: the #1 reason to stay for the TGMS Show!

I was going through my Tucson Gem Show photos and found some that I haven't posted! This is from the great day I spent with the FAB Jeweler, Maureen Brusa Zappellini (BZap), of Cosmo's Moon, and her charming son Cosmo.

The scene - the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show - this is the show produced by the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society and the show that started it all!!! It started as a public show and has remained a public show...however the vendors will accept wholesale orders from eligible buyers.

This is what makes the "public" shows a "must do" for find the nicest vendors...they truly inspire the next generation of gem and mineral collectors...

This woman spent quite a while talking to Cosmo and answering his questions about beads and gems! ...can I get a collective - AWWWWWW!

...and then there is the hallway of schools and organizations - this was a display from the US Forestry Dept. - kids could do rubbings of fossils!

You might be interested in the theme for the TGMS Show for 2011 - Minerals of California! See you there:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: Archy's Rock Shop

Archy of Archy's Rock Shop has to be one of the most personable guys you will ever want to meet - he is willing to answer source questions - cuts his own rocks and is a real delight to work with.

This was one of the days that I got to hang out with the lovely and talented Maureen Brusa Zapellini of CosmosMoon,which was a treat in itself (girl's only - we took Cosmo to a different show).

You could literally get lost in the number of gorgeous cabs in almost every variety you could be looking for...Maureen peruses the beauty.

Lets's get a little closer...this is a family operated business that Archy runs with his sons.

For those of you that are into re-purposing...Archy's has Fordite, Boatite, and Bowling Ball Cabs...

This is one of the reasons I really love the Tucson Gem Shows - you get to meet the person behind the out Archy's Rock Shop next time you are looking for something different.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

No Catalog In Motion From Rio In Tucson 2011!

Those of you who have been attendees at Rio Grande's Catalog In Motion in Tucson received a letter this week from CEO Alan Bell.

"As you are a prior attendee at Catalog In Motion, I wanted you to be among the first to know that after 23 consecutive years, we won't be taking Catalog In Motion back to Tucson in 2011.

Our first Catalog In Motion® back in 1988 created a whole new way for you to see, touch and learn about jewelry-making products. The show has been hugely successful because of you and all the others who joined us in Tucson each year. We are grateful for your past attendance and hope you got as much out of Catalog In Motion® in Tucson as we did.

While we’ll no longer be taking Catalog In Motion® to Tucson, we’ll be bringing Catalog In Motion® to you every day of the year, any time of day.

As new technology continues to stride forward, we find ourselves in an ideal position to extend our availability to our customers worldwide. We can allocate the very same resources which made Catalog In Motion® so successful—expertise, passion and commitment to education—in a way that will ignite your collaborative spirit and nourish our industry like never before.

Our plans include the continued growth of our educational library, including instructional videos and creative projects that you can access whenever the need arises. We’ll produce webinars and visual training demonstrations that will be available to you any time the creative spark hits. Internet-based user groups for our high-tech equipment and specialized lines will invite and encourage collaboration and innovation. You will be able to gain a wealth of knowledge, network with colleagues and try new processes in the comfort of your own studio—you could be watching Phil Poirier’s Bonny Doon hydraulic press demonstration over your morning coffee while a fellow jeweler across the globe watches at the end of his day.

We’ll continue to offer the support and educational opportunities you’ve come to rely on. Get hands-on training at any one of our jewelry-making classes or events, or drop in anytime right here at our Albuquerque facility; we’ll be featuring the best experts available. Just a few weeks ago, Argentium® Silver expert, Ronda Coryell, joined us in Albuquerque to teach fusing and granulation! And of course, you can get live support for the tougher challenges by calling our expert Technical Support Team that boasts more than 15 decades of combined experience. And while we won’t be in Tucson, we’ll still offer special-pricing promotions on select items during the Tucson Gem & Mineral show.

We thank you for your prior participation in Catalog In Motion®. We’re excited to move forward with you, to be a growing part of the creative spirit that draws us all together and continues to move our industry forward.

Whether you come visit us here in Albuquerque or on the web, we’ll be here for you with products, service and know-how every day of the year."

What Rio Grande plans is to take advantage of the new technology available to produce instructional videos, webinars and visual training demonstrations as well as Internet based user groups and a continuation of live workshops in their Albuquerque workshops.

I have to say that this makes me very sad - I understand the costs of putting on a show the size of the Catalog In Motion is tremendous - but I personally was a convert to Rio following the 2008 CIM - I was able to get hands on time with the larger equipment as well as the opportunity to talk first hand with the people who create and invent the tools.

The one-on-one between you and the tool or the demonstrator - the relationship building...this is something that a video can't do.

So while I am sad today - I expect to see a change in these plans in 2012...this is such a unique concept and the results should be measurable...while I am wishing you the best Rio - I will miss your show immensely!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Andesine - The Final Chapter

Probably the most significant presentation at the 2010 Tucson Gem Show was from Robert James of the International School Of Gemology.

You may remember that Mr James claimed at the 2009 Tucson Gem Show that the recent flood of Red Andesine was instead treated Feldspar...his report started a rumble in the Industry that has resulted in a trip to the "mine" - lawsuits - the discrediting of an Olympic Games collectible gemstone (did you buy the Chinese Andesine Olympic Gems from DSN as natural?)...and now in 2010 Robert James was back with his latest report "Andesine - The Final Chapter".

This event was attended by a virtual who's who of the gemology field, US feldspar miners, luminaries of the international mining industry and some reporters we haven't seen in quite some time...

I am not going to repeat the information - just give you some of the high points.

Have I peaked your interests? If you are interested in seeing how Robert James and the ISG research team came to these conclusions...complete with emails from the Mongolian Mining Office, see below.

A DVD of the presentation is available from the ISG (proceeds will support future research by ISG). To purchase a copy from the ISG click here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Galatea - the Art of the Pearl!

One of the most amazing and popular booths in the Designer Pavilion at the AGTA GemFair was
Galatea: Jewelry By Artist.

What Chi and his carvers are doing with pearls is elegant and extraordinary! His new line of White and Golden South Seas are nothing short of jaw-dropping gorgeous!

Unfortunately it was impossible to get a free minute to photograph the when I saw this video by the Pearl Outlet I was excited to be able to share the story of Chi and his passion - Galatea!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show at InnSuites - Part 2: The Hall of Fossils

The Hall of Fossils is a big attraction at this show...

These shots are from my friends Suzy and Tom Parrish...that is Suzy examining the Baby Woolly Mammoth...

...there are also large fossil specimens throughout the grounds...

Raelene and Geoff are friends from the Southern Rockhounds a Gem & Mineral Club from Adelaide in Australia.

Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show at InnSuites

This show at the newly named Hotel Tucson City Center is a FULL day - there is a company in almost every room of the hotel and all of the meeting areas are filled in this large 10 acre resort in the heart of Tucson.

I am going to break this into several pieces...lets start with what is outside as you enter the property...

The larger items are outside:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Setting Fancy-Cut Gems: MJSA - At the Bench Live

At the Bench Live
Feb. 4, 11 am-12:30 pm
Lee Krombholz presents
Setting Fancy-Cut Gems:
A Traditional Approach

Feb. 5, 11 am-12:30 pm
Lee Krombholz presents
Setting Fancy-Cut Gems 2:

A CAD/CAM Approach

As I mentioned in an earlier post - the "MJSA - At The Bench" presentations were some of the finest and most professionally presented programs I have ever seen at AGTA.

Having the opportunity to literally look over the shoulder of a Master Goldsmith as they work at the bench is - well as MasterCard says "Priceless".

This particular presentation was a two day event based on an article that Lee did for the MJSA Journal in which he looked at setting a paisley shaped stone. In part one on the first day he did this using traditional methods of building and carving a wax...then on day two he took the same design and created his wax using a CAD/CAM program.

Lee Krombholz is a third generation jewelry artisan with years of experience in designing jewelry for his retail customers in his Cincinnati store.

What I found interesting (as a novice to CAD/CAM) was the difference in the finished product in the photo you can see the finished CAD/CAM wax and pendant setting on the left and the setting built and carved by hand from wax on the right. While the CAD/CAM mounting is crisp and clean...I think I like the traditionally built one better, it has a hand finished feel...just my opinion, what are your thoughts? Click the photo for a larger image - which do you like best?

Listening to Lee was both educational and entertaining, he was really great about audience questions and his explanations were easy to follow. He managed to bring an already well presented magazine article to life...Good Job Lee Krombholz.

In an audience made up of everything from students and new jewelers just starting out to bench jewelers who have been in the field for a number of years...I think that everyone took away useful info and a couple of new techniques from this event.

As a side note: one of the reasons for the success of this idea of watching a Jeweler "At The Bench Live" was the generous donation of tools and equipment from Southeastern Findings.

photo credit: last photo taken from the MJSA: Make It. Sell It. Profit. page on Facebook.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Centurion Show picks Emerging Designers!

If you asked twenty people in attendance at any of the venues of the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase (BTW - this is the city's official name for the shows) if they have been to the Centurion Show...most will answer that they have never even heard of it.

The Centurion Show is an invitation only show that caters to the Retail Jeweler - spotlighting the finest of the fine jewelry industry and featuring the latest designs and trends from the upper end of the manufacturing segment.

You will see brands like Verragio who were "showcasing the latest engagement ring designs {including a brand new collection to be revealed this spring which is "truly" unlike any other ring} at the Centurion Jewelry Show to a select group of fine jewelry stores."

...and these top name brands BRING IT!

The attendees at the Centurion Show represent their current customers and their opportunity to attract new accounts!

Maybe now you can see why, in my opinion, this is the perfect show to hold the "Emerging Designer Awards".

You may be a fabulous Designer...but...are you sale-able?

This is how it works - Designers send in a set of photos (3) that represent them and their style and that grouping is voted on by the attendees (retail jewelers) of the Centurion Show...and that takes us too...

Centurion is pleased to announce the winners of its second annual
Centurion Emerging Designer Awards.

They are:
“We are very pleased to celebrate our 2010 Emerging Designer winners, and even more pleased to have introduced them to the prestige retailers that attended Centurion this year,” said Centurion President Howard Hauben.

The six designers shared two areas on the Centurion Collection Floor during the recent show in Tucson. Entries for the 2010 Centurion Emerging Designer Awards were voted on in 2009 by the top retail jewelers invited to the show.

“Centurion’s mission to protect the interests of the high-end of the fine jewelry industry goes hand-in-hand with our desire to help the industry develop its future talent,” said Hauben. “The Annual Emerging Designers competition is a key part of this effort.”

A short biography, photo, designs and contact information from each of the winners is a available here (this is a .pdf file and may take a moment to fully load).

So - do you think you have what the Retail Jeweler's customer is looking for?

The 2011 Centurion Emerging Designer Award entry form and rules are available now at:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

#TucsonGemShow: The Best Bead Show

One of my favorite Tucson traditions has been to meet up with Marsha of Amazing Porcelain and Vlad of Golem Design Studio for dinner...this is always a fun time...and it makes me go to at least one bead show!

The Best Bead Show is in my opinion - the "Best" bead show in Tucson. IF you are looking for the unusual, unique and hand made...check out their website - most of the vendors at this show have a live link on the show website! The show is open to the public but houses several Wholesale companies. It is partially outside in large tents as well as smaller vendor tents that lead up to the door of the Sports Complex at the Kino Electric Park.

It features some of the finest Glass Artists in and out of the country...from glass artists like the fun and funky recycled glass pieces of Bronwen Heilman at Ghost Cow to the exquisite glass cuffs and unbelievably refined and elegant hand carved glass bangles of Kevin O'Grady all alongside the most innovative glass suppliers like Gaffer Glass USA.

In another tent the unique - hand cut beads of Africa John - this man finds some of the most unique gems and then personally cut beads from them - you can't get much more ethically sourced than that! I look for Africa John at every show (Tucson & Quartzsite) just to see what new stones he has brought with him...who else would think "hmmm, gorgeous chunk of Ametrine - let's cut a bead!"

In another room I found Avian Oasis an Australian Gemstone Bead Company and boy did they have some stunners...of course I walked up to the most expense strand in the room!

Great findings from the likes of Green Girl Studio, Hand Fast Designs by Kim Fox and Bead Inspirations...focals from the hands of the amazing Holly Gage of Gage Designs.

One really interesting feature at this show is that while you are showing your beads, you can also have your finest and one-of-a-kind beads professionally photographed by one of the biggest names in the world of Glass and Bead Photography...David Orr. Nestled in a room at the end of the hallway I found the master at work - I really enjoyed talking with him...and what a great feature for glass artists at this show!

...ok - I am done wandering through the tents and halls and it's closing time - Hey Vlad - ready to go get dinner?


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