As I forked out more money for another stone at the gem show last week, I looked at Wubbers U instructor, Linda Lurcott, and admitted for the first time, “I am a sick, sick woman.” I can remember when I would hesitate to come home from the gem show, because I felt I had spent too much money, but I have fabulously recovered from that feeling! I now justify it by saying it’s a piece for a Wubbers tutorial or for Lapidary Journal….so now I have enough stones for the next five hundred projects, at least. But I rationalize…I don’t really have any other expensive collecting habits, except, of course, tools, and metal, and buying jewelry from my friends, and well, never mind the cowboy boots, but gorgeous cabs have me by the throat.
The Denver show is so much more manageable than the Tucson show, and at least for me, my favorite stone cutters are all at this show. Truthfully, after two weeks of shopping, parties, dinners, and seeing all my friends in Tucson, I’m a basket case! I’ve loved every minute of it, but it has really been nonstop shop til you drop! So if you are looking for a great show, with all the cabs and beads you could possibly want, come with me next year. It’s an open invitation to each one of you.
The most excitement this year was at The Clamshell booth, where Greg Genovese, who cuts all those luscious druzies, was introducing the new Midnight Black Druzy. Now, not all people like an “enhanced” stone, but if you like elegance and drama, (and I think most of us do) this is the stone for you. There is no colorful rainbow effect, or anything bright and glitzy…It just glistens blue and black sparkles. I’m working on a piece right now, and it will be featured in an upcoming Lapidary Journal article.
I’m so in love with it . . . it’s my favorite of the moment . . . uh . . . unless it’s the chrysocolla druzy. The color is so luscious. Though it looks fragile, it’s really very sturdy, and you can’t beat that color! And as I choose my stones, I look for shapes that will test my skills, shapes that make me step outside my comfort zone and experiment. If you never experiment, you don’t grow as an artist. After all, how did Patti think of all those great Wubbers pliers without experimenting?
And talk about pushing your comfort zone….I have to share with you my very strange purchases, which happened while perusing Gary Wilson’s booth. I call it my Neolithic Tribal Necklace, and its got “Bubble Gem Agate” beads, which I would swear Gary made up that name, a walrus tooth, copper fire brick, copper beads, some free form pieces of copper and ammonite pieces. It’s so archaeological and I love it. It wins my “Really Weird Stuff I Can Put Together for Something Cool” prize.
Sorry for the bad quality photo on top of a plastic bag, but I have it all laid out for when I string it. Not being a beading person, I will need to ask for assistance on what size stringing wire, and if I need spacers, or what will actually look good in what sequence. I’ve never strung a large piece of copper like this copper firebrick, and it’s throwing me off. I’m open for suggestions, so please post your ideas on our Facebook page, we’d love to hear from you!
So if you have dreamed of going to Tucson, but want to try a smaller, though growing show, with all the cobweb-encrusted grizzled old miners and the sleek Big 4 (diamond, emerald, sapphire and ruby) dealers, come with me to the Denver show next September. I promise you will find things to make your heart skip and spur your creativity. After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Lexi Erickson, President of Wubbers University, is an internationally-known artist and teacher based in Denver, CO.