Tuesday, February 12, 2019
My pleasant habit of attending the Gem Show each February started somewhere in the mid-2000s, when I and my husband fell so in love with Florida canoeing that we didn't want to spend Christmas vacation anywhere else. Not even with family! A bit of a puzzler because I still loved my parents dearly and still wanted to be with them over the holidays. He solved everything by offering to fly me to AZ any other time. I had known, since the 1980s, that the Gem Show happened in February. I think my first visit was in the mid-1990s, when my tackshop was heating up and looking for supplies. Over the years I acquired the Hill Tribes Silver beads used in Fancy's Hackamore, precious and semi-precious stones, great tools like the Precista wire brush (used in prepping Brasenose: Prepping 2018) and was exposed to technologies such as silver engraving and Argentium. There is no doubt about it: Jewelry-making is one strong strand of the art of making model horse tack. Or should I say facet...
Something Different) and it was easy to transition over to being a hunter-gatherer-dealer for her. Each year she would ask for one or two things, and each year I'd thus have the excuse to focus down on just them -- a godsend with so much distraction!! Only those who have attended BreyerFest (or other gem shows) can imagine the chaos and glory of it all... truly an overwhelming experience.
2019 is the Year of the Pig. These larger carvings are twice the size of the little ones above (and below).
You can guess my sister asked for blue earrings. These originally had lengths of chain hanging from them; I took them off.
The last thing my sister asked for was a suncatcher, "like from the 1970s." Abysmally, I could not find one at the two venues I visited (Kino and Pueblo Gem & Mineral). I looked everywhere. I even asked. No luck. Instead, being in a mineral area, I found a lot of crystals. To give you an idea of prices, the lower left was $12 and everything else altogether was $10. The dealer gave me the broken pieces free (upper row), and I glued one back together (upper right).
The greatest and only rule in collecting, for both BreyerFest and the Gem Show, is to get what you like. Don't be afraid to like common glass or cheap crystals. No one else need dictate what you love. Buy what you really want and can afford (and enjoy the rest). Let your heart be your guide. If you are true to it, your choices will last a long time and give you great pleasure.