The World is Your Playground

Get ready, because the picture overload is coming!

There were just too many beauties in Tucson to pass by and not share. I just love the creativity that overtakes my brain when rummaging through the plethora of shiny and colorful playgrounds at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. I also love to read the articles and see all of the posts about the show due to the fact it is literally impossible for one person to cover the entire event. Everyone’s eye and mind is different. Enjoy this opportunity to see it through another view…

One of our favorite playgrounds is Potter USA’s Open House.

We love to see the huge selection of dies and stamps, live sand-casting demonstrations, our friends, and eat food. Much to our surprise, Laura and Patti found a father/son team in the back room of Potter’s this year.

Ron Alexander and his son had a huge selection of Hubei turquoise. Of course Patti and Laura couldn’t walk away empty handed! We not only found some amazing pieces, but we were able to make new friends as well. Meeting new friends is always a bonus to this job, and we love to see other families who enjoy this industry together.

Just for kicks, here is a closeup of the Hubei turquoise. It’s gorgeous!

I would like to say the Hubei were the only cabochons I purchased while in Tucson.

However, that would be a lie. I will spare you pictures of every last one, but I will share my favorites. How could I say no to these rose cuts or rubies and sapphires?   

It wasn’t a trip entirely full of shopping though.  

Demoing our tools is one of our favorite ways to meet you all and learn exactly what each of you enjoy making. In fact, this year one sweet girl and her friend caught on so quickly to the Ring and Hoops Press, they offered to give Laura a break and do the demoing themselves! They were such a joy and agreed to let me share this picture. To find out more about the Wubbers Ring and Hoops Press you can visit us at

Patti decided she couldn’t miss all of the fun though, and on the last day in Tucson, was able to join Laura at Kent’s Jewelry and Lapidary Tools. We were able to meet several of you and see your most recent designs while sharing ours with you as well. Thank you to all who came out and said hello!

And, we can’t leave you without a little Tucson eye candy!

I found myself being drawn to the geometric designs and sharp lines this year. One of my favorite purchases is this cubed sterling silver bracelet made by Glynn Powell of CHUMÏL Studio. Glynn was a pleasure to chat with and very talented. This bracelet has a kinetic movement that is captivating.

At Jogs I couldn’t help but be pulled into one of the Polish amber booths. I am convinced someone was calling my name from that booth…who knew necklaces could speak? Wouldn’t you know, I walked away with these two gorgeous friends.

“Speaking” of necklaces, I also managed to purchase this one from Jeff Fulkerson while at Potter’s House. Like I mentioned earlier, I was really drawn to the sharp lines this year.

Then there were the rings.

Oh my goodness the rings. I do not think it is possible for me to pass Bora’s booth at the Holidome and not buy a ring. His ability to tension set stones is mesmerizing. His booth is always packed and can’t be much larger than an 8×8 with three people working the crowd to ensure no one steals something. Bora’s ring is the one on the far right of this picture. I have always had an admiration for him know he started selling his jewelry with his brothers on the streets of Brooklyn.

While I was paying for my Bora ring (with none other than the man himself completing the transaction), I was wearing this simple little necklace I had made. He started to tell me about his early days of jewelry making on the streets of New York while working with copper. He then told me he liked my necklace and asked if I made it. Wait, what?  Did Bora himself just compliment some piddly necklace I made? I stood there, mouth gaping and managed to utter out a “thanks.”

He proceeded to tell me more about his early days and told me if I just set a stone at the bottom, my pendant would be perfect. It has been a week since then and I am still stunned. I have debated taking his advice to set a stone in it and possibly melt the whole piece, or just leaving it as is as a remembrance of this magical moment.

We all need those giants who believe in us.

No matter if your giant is a parent, a friend, or a respected mentor…we are all seeking some form of validation. Let this be an encouragement to you all to not give up. You never know when or where the validation will come from!

Finding joy in the journey,


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Posted in jewelry making, Tools, Tucson

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