We’re back from our buying trip to the Tucson Gem Show! We had a great time, and picked up some really fun finds for the Bead World stores. Every show, people ask me what was special at this particular show. It’s always different, you know? Over the last few years there have been fewer vendors (and shoppers), but this show felt more full and exciting. I think the world of beading is experiencing a come back. We had a great time chatting up (and playing with) some of our favorite vendors. Here are the trends, as I see them:
Trend #1: Leather
I know, I know, this one has been going on for awhile. BUT it just keeps getting better and more exciting! The popular leather pieces are getting thicker and more substantial. Keep an eye out this spring for a new leather class that will look something like this:
Note Jennifer’s lovely hand modeling skills, as well as how great this riveted leather bracelet looks with her chain maille and fused bracelets. Gorgeous! We had a private demonstration with the Tierra Cast team to make these bracelets, and we’re totally hooked. You will be, too!
Trend #2: Found Object Jewelry
I guess this is a combination of the ongoing steampunk trend and the more romantic vintage looks shoowing this spring. Everywhere we looked there were amazing pieces cobbled together out of crosses, crystals, bits of broken chain and stamped spoons. (Or whatever else was laying around!) We purchased as many random items as we could find, and plan to create a little design play area to inspire y’all. After all, what could be more fun that this:
Trend #3: Gorgeous Jaspers and Agates
Okay, so I ALWAYS get obsessed with the gemstones at the Tucson Show. I’m famous for it. (Remember the “green rocks” debacle of ’07? Or the infamous “I don’t need any more rubies” adventure of 2010?!) But this show, I was just totally sucked in by the humble, organic beauty of simple jaspers and agates. Beautiful smoky quartz, fanatstic amazonite, luscious chalcendony — I wanted them all! And the price was quite nice, too! It’s always fun when most of the best finds from the show don’t have to be locked in the gem case because they are totally affordable. I think Jennifer agreed with me, as she climbed right into the gems. (She found her happy place!)
Trend #4: Stones of Power:
This trend is a little more esoteric, but it’s really exciting for those of us who are interested in energy work, healing and metaphysics. (Or, as my mother calls it, “juju”.) There are certain stones that are valued for their energetic properties, and they tend to be kind of hard to find and VERY expensive. But not at THIS show! We found several different strands of kunzite (eases depression, balances thyroid activity, heals old emotional woulnds and helps with joint pain), morganite (eases asthma and other lung and heart issues, opens you up to divine love and promotes harmony between the sexes), jet (wards off negativity, eases depression, heals grief and helps with headache pain) and amber (draws illness and pain out of the body, brings joy and promotes creative self-expression). Plus, we found some elusive stabilized larimar beads, angelite (a modified form of the extremely delicate celestite) and wonderful quartz crystal points. It was a great show for me! (I love that stuff!)
Round kunzite beads in their charachteristic pinks and greens.
Yummy mulit-aquamarine — the pink ones are called morganite, and they are wonderful!
So look — I saved you the drive to Tucson! You can stop by either Bead World store and see all of these items and many, many more. We’re so lucky to actually make a living finding amazing beading stuff for y’all.