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This was my first trip to the Tucson Shows. I have gone to the big Denver Gem Shows in the fall, however, I wanted to experience what it was like to go to Tucson because it is the largest in the world. Dan (my husband) & I discussed going to Tucson, not just for the shows but also to see the area and have our first winter vacation in years.

Last October we decided we would go. Several of my friends recommended making reservations early, which we did.

Our plan was go to a given show in either the morning or afternoon. That would give us time for another part of the day to explore Tucson’s sights. This plan worked well for us.

Prior to going, I heard dire warnings about the crowds, that we would have to wait hours to eat at a restaurant, theft of personal belongings was an issue and the dreaded Tucson crud.  In retrospect, I think some things might be urban legend and other tales were slightly exaggerated, because we didn’t experience any of that.

Preparations Before You Go

That being said, I cannot recommend enough that if you go, be prepared:

  • Inform your credit card companies of your travel dates.
  • Be aware of your purse, messenger bag, back pack at all times. NEVER place them on the floor unattended.
  • Consider carrying cash because some vendors only deal in cash. However, I do not like carrying cash so I did miss out on buying some Kordrite Opals from Australia. However, I would add that particular vendor missed out on more than just my purchase too because he was unable to accept credit cards.
  • Carry hand sanitizers and use them liberally. Once I started to touch stones, I avoided touching my eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Take Ester-C at least 10 days before your arrival and continue to take it while there.
  • Pre-register for the wholesale shows you plan to attend. Not only does that streamline the process for getting your badge prior to the show opening, but it helps you to plan which shows you want to attend.
  • Carry multiple copies of your resale license for the wholesale shows. I print them off and they are about the size of dollar bills so they fit easily in my wallet. The vendors appreciate it when you are able to present that license along with your business card at time of purchase.
  • Business cards. Have plenty of them.
  • Pre-printed address labels with your business license number. This is a big time saver during the check out process because no one has to write the information down on your sales ticket. Attach the label to the sales slip and off you go.
  • Sharpie permanent markers, Post-it Notes and plastic zip-loc type bags. Some vendors do not identify the type of stones on your receipt. You can quickly mark bags with a Sharpie or Post-it Notes so you’ll know what the stones are. I only needed to do this in a couple of the tent type sites. Sometimes I would use my iPhone to take a picture when stone boxes were labeled. However, some of the shows do not allow photographs, so be aware and respect the rules.
  • Have at least two pairs of comfortable walking shoes.

The Shows ~ According to the Guide – 45 Shows

There are so many locations that we had no intention of trying to cover all of them. I did purchase a guide from Interweave so I could have a better idea of where the shows were, parking, shuttles, opening dates, hours, city maps with the location numbered & marked, etc.

However, once we got to Tucson, the airport had the E-Z Show Guide, which was indispensable. These little guides are everywhere in town and they are free! If you are planners like Dan & I, you will want to get a legs up on the strategy for your schedule so consider buying a guide from someone like Interweave ahead of time.

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We arrived in Tucson on Sunday morning January 28, a couple of days before the main wholesale shows opened. I was offered a pre-show appointment by Mark Lasater of The Clamshell for that Sunday afternoon. It was nice to be able to have ‘first pick’ options with him. Not everyone can or will do this. It gave me a jump start on my stone shopping and I was able to get some of the prized stones for this year, the Petrified Wood Blue Opal Copper matrix. That’s a mouthful!

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Some of my finds at The Clamshell – Clockwise Variscite, Chalcedony, Petrified Wood Matrix, Sugilite, Azulite/Malachite

If you know Mark or his son Gavin, they are already scheduling appointments for next year’s pre-show at a new location. Give them a shout to set something up if you are planning on Tucson in 2019.

— To Bead To True —

This show was at a new location this year according to what I read. Nice venue. Primarily beads and some tools. I went to meet Melissa Muir in person and seeing her was well worth it. She’s a delight. Watched her demo the Pepe Automatic Rolling Mill, which she sold! It was wonderful to catch up with her. Check out her YouTube channel for great tutorials too.

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GJX was one of the major wholesale shows I wanted to see. No photos were allowed inside this show, so I was only able to capture the scene at the registration center just prior to the doors opening. This was early morning on the opening day.

My first stop was Gary B. Wilson’s booth. I came away with so many perfect little stones that I’m currently using in my Celestial ring series.

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Treasures from Gary B Wilson

While there I enjoyed finding some new vendors too. Thankfully the number of people in attendance the first day was quite reasonable. We easily walked the show and were able to see the display cases without lining up behind people.

After a lunch break in downtown Tucson, we decided that we had enough energy to walk over to the AGTA show and explore that in the afternoon.

— AGTA —

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AGTA was the second major wholesale show I attended on its opening day. I was delighted to find some new suppliers like Rare Earth Mining and Out of Our Mines. There were lots of quality vendors there, including Mark Lasater of The Clamshell. Since I had seen Mark earlier in the week, I did cruise by his offerings but elected to explore what others had.

Again, this show was not super crowded and we easily saw things. It’s big too so lots of walking, but that felt great after lunch.

— JOGS —

Another large show, lots of specimens and a bit difficult to navigate due to the layout of the booths/tables. My impression of this show was I really needed to be careful if I bought anything because what I saw didn’t look like the best quality. I had pre-registered for this show and had my badge, however, I was still required to check in. There was a bit of confusion between the security guards and the registration desk about my badge; should it have another sticker, shouldn’t it? I found the process odd and inefficient. Suffice it to say, this isn’t a show I would go back to again.

— 22nd Street Show —

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This was the last show we attended. It really met my expectations of what I envisioned with fossils, rocks, a few gems and nice lapidary work. I found a number of things at great prices and quality. This was the eclectic mix of vendors. Large and small fossils of all varieties. Crystals, rocks, geodes and more.

One of the vendors that came from Australia had some super nice Koroit opals but he was not set up to take credit cards. This was the only supplier I encountered that needed cash, so my plan to not carry cash actually worked out well with this one exception.

Parking at the various show locations

Maybe the stars were perfectly aligned for us, but parking was never an issue. On the day of the two big wholesale shows (GJX & AGTA) opening, we got downtown around 9:00 AM an found plenty of parking in one of the city’s parking garages. If we had parked at the Tucson Convention Center parking garage where the AGTA was located, the cost would have been $20. However, we were just a few blocks away from both shows and only paid $8 to park for the day.

Tucson does have a great shuttle system set up for these shows. We had planned on taking the shuttles, however, parking access for each of the shows we attended was very simple and not costly either.

The Scenery ~ Exploring Tucson

Monday morning, we visited the Eastern Saguaro National Park. Let me tell you, there are cactus EVERYWHERE in Tucson. The National Parks (both East and West) do them justice, of course. I was amazed by seeing so many cactus.

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I found this warning sign amusing and spot on accurate. People were cycling through the park and you have to pay attention or you could really hurt yourself.

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We explored the Botanical Gardens. That was one of the highlights of the trip for me. They had a nice Origami exhibit throughout the gardens. And yes they had more than just cactus!

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Their butterfly and orchid pavilion was very special.

Our last day we visited a Mission, The Patronato San Xavier, dating back to the 1600’s. Our tour guide was great and his love of history apparent. They are restoring this facility and it is a active Catholic church on the reservation today. Incredible work; truly inspiring.

The Restaurants

There certainly weren’t any shortages for good places to eat. For some reason our go to app, Yelp, didn’t perform well in Tucson. However, Google searches and Trip Advisor provided a wealth of information.

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We liked the Union Public House so much, we went there twice!

We found  this delightful pizza / pub just off campus. It’s name is 1702 Craft Beer and Pizza. It did not disappoint with the beer selection and yummy pizza.

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I will say it was hard to find a good coffee place downtown. I think with all the renovation, the one we tried to find was well hidden. Whenever we travel, we try to experience local so that is why we by-passed Starbucks, of which, there were plenty.

Barrio Brewing was a great find. Loved the atmosphere. The food and beer was awesome.

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We celebrated my birthday at Brother John’s. Great barbecue. It was Whiskey Wednesday so I opted to enjoy a Basil Hayden based on our waitress’ recommendation. It was good advice and I definitely enjoyed this whiskey.

Thunder Canyon is downtown and was another place with great food and beer.

I think as most of these photos show, nothing was terribly crowded. We always got a table as soon as we arrived. It might be that if you are trying to eat at an actual show location, that’s where you run into the long waits. Overall, we found spots that were close and convenient to what we were doing. Loved exploring the local cuisine and I know we barely sampled all that we could have.

On our last night we stopped at a tap room close to our hotel called 1912 Brewing.

NLIV9876Very pleasant atmosphere. Excellent beer.

Back Home

We had a lovely time. Would we go back for the main wholesale shows? Probably. Only next time the trip would be much shorter with more precision for which shows I would want to attend. Dan & I think we would fly in the day before the main shows open, stay  two days tops and then come home.

Did we come down with the Tucson crud? Dan might have, although it seemed more like a bad case of allergies. I managed to escape unscathed. No matter, Ester-C and hand sanitizers are your BFFs for this type of event.

New works from show purchases

The Celestial Rings. I love making these and each one is from one of the stones I bought while in Tucson. More are on my bench waiting for me to finish them.

Thoughts on the Experience

I would say, if you have never gone to Tucson for these shows, yes make it a plan to do so. We did go with the intention to do more than just the shows. For us that was a smart decision. I have a feeling some go for a couple of weeks and try to take in all 45 shows. I just could not do that, nor would I want to.

It certainly helped that I have gone to the Denver Gem and Mineral Shows, which take place in the fall here in Colorado. I think that helped me to prepare for this and not feel overwhelmed.

Another thing to consider is know what you want, have a budget and rest when fatigue sets it. There’s lots to do and see outside of the shows. Enjoy!

Until next time, I aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

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There are times when I feel compelled to write about a certain topic.  Today I would like to share the story of my Treescape series.

On September 15, 2011 while I was at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, Treescapes was born.

I purchase a number of my stones from Mark Lasater of The Clamshell.  On that particular Thursday in September, as we greeted each other, he was very excited about a new batch of Dendritic opals he had.  Mark knew this was (and still is) one of my favorite stones.  He said to me,  “You won’t believe what these look like”.  Each one had a beautifully shaped tree, formed by the black dendrites in perfect contrast to the white in these stones.  It was remarkable and this was the first of those stones he showed me.

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Dendritic Opal

The minute I saw this, I knew exactly what my design would be.  That was a first for me.  What I didn’t know at the time was I was about to find my artistic voice.

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The Inspiration

Treescapes has grown (yes a bit of a pun here) and evolved since then.  Initially I was just focused on the Dendritic Opals that had tree shapes in them.   The response to those designs was wonderful and I started to think I could use other stones whether they had any tree elements to them or not.

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Variscite with Orange Garnet tube set 

It’s in my nature to try to understand the ‘why‘ about things.  I wanted to understand why this series was becoming so important to me.

I love trees and that is the foundation of Treescapes.  My work has always been very organic.  While I find symmetry beautiful, you will rarely see that in my pieces, because I am drawn to the uniqueness of leaves, flowers, trees; those elements in nature where nothing is identical.  I explain to people that just as no two snow flakes or leaves are exactly alike, neither is any of my work.  Each pieces is designed and made by hand, my hands.  The goal with my art is to reflect that uniqueness found in nature.

In addition to that, my father was a landscaper, as was his father.  However, as I look back on the work they did, they were true artists.  There were many times I went with dad as he worked his magic with a landscape.  His father taught him how to create beautiful lattice work accents (bridges, decorative elements for buildings, etc.).  I watched, observing the care my father had for the trees and plants he tended.  I believe that is where my deep appreciation and respect for nature started.  This is the ‘why‘ behind Treescapes; my dad, his father, it’s in my blood.

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This is one of the last remaining works of my grandfather in the park of my home town.

As I create the pieces in the Treescape series, things just flow for me.  The ideas, designs come easily and it feels almost effortless.  Each piece is unique like my fingerprint.

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I am so grateful that this work still calls to people.  I will continue to make these pieces because they are my heart, my voice, my essence, my soul.  My dad’s birthday was this past Friday, January 23.  While he left this world in 2005, never seeing his influence on my art, I have this sense that my dad is happy with these works and smiles knowing his influence is there.  I have my ‘why‘.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Solitary Companion
Treescapes
Photo by: Daniel Krucoff

Interesting title? I like the contradiction of the words. Once again, I see this little isolated tree in a sea of white. Lonely? Perhaps. Yet I have this sense that the little tree can be a companion for the wearer of the piece. Hence, Solitary Companion; another from my Treescapes series.

This beautiful Dendritic Opal came from my shopping finds with Mark Lasater of The Clamshell. Set in sterling silver, with more of the colorful oxidation that has a light coat of Renaissance Wax to help preserve the color.  The piercing in the upper right corner of the piece is my replication of the solitary tree I see in this stone.  I added some texture to represent the ‘leaves’ that those little dendrites form around the tree in the stone too.

I’m having great fun with these new pieces.  While Treescapes was originally inspired by the Dendritic Opals, other stones will be finding their way into this collection.  More to follow…..

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Snowy Butte
Treescapes
Photo by: Daniel Krucoff

Another from my Treescapes series, inspired by the imagery in the Dendritic Opal stone. There are a number of interesting butte formations close to us. I actually found one called Chalk Butte that looks a great deal like the formation in this stone.  Yet with all the white, this one just reminded me of how things look after a fresh snow fall, so I call this Snowy Butte.

This stone is another I bought from Mark Lasater of The Clamshell.  The oxidation provided an even more colorful backdrop for the sterling silver setting.  I love the bluish tint in the upper left hand corner; a bit of an extension of the ‘sky’.  I carried the shrubs into the top of the setting with some piercings for the branches and texture.  Continuing to experiment with the look and feel of these, I added a small silver ball to the frame too.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


The Inspiration
Treescapes
Photo by: Daniel Krucoff

In September 2011, I attended The Gem & Mineral Show in Denver, CO. Lexi & I spend a day together at the show and visit our favorite lapidary artists. I purchased this Dendritic Opal from Mark Lasater of The Clamshell. The minute I saw this stone, I could envision what I would make.  It became The Inspiration for my Treescapes series.

Mark and his wife, Christa, always greet us with warm smiles and enthusiasm. They know Lexi’s favorite stones and mine. This year Mark said, let me show you these little Dendritic Opals. Smaller sizes and each one had these very interesting tree shapes in them. They were gorgeous. I bought a number of them. My first selection was the stone in this setting, because, it had the most prominent and striking tree.

The first in my Treescapes series was Evening Moon, which is an Amethyst Sage that Mark gave me at the end of that shopping spree. Now the series has ‘come to life‘ and I have completed several more with the Dendritic Opals that were the impetus for the series. I will write a brief post on each of them in the coming weeks.

Each piece has an Oriental theme; most are framed with square wire and have piercings of the tree shapes replicated as part of the background in the setting. Each has been set in Sterling silver and oxidized.  Some of my recent Treescapes have a bit more color from the oxidation process. I’ve used a light coating of Renaissance Wax to help preserve the brighter colors created by this oxidation.

I am curious to know your experiences when you have seen something and it immediately generates an idea for your art work?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

A couple weeks ago I did a post on Discovery.  One of the things I wanted to convey is how important I think it is for all artists to be open to Creativity.  It can come to us at the most unusual times and places.  Sometimes imagery comes to me in a dream.  Another time I wrote about the images coming to me in my optometrist’s office!

The common denominator for me, in all of these situations, is letting my mind be open to receive that creative energy, force, or guidance.  Just doing the familiar in ones studio helps.  The flood of ideas can be overwhelming.  Overpowering too.  There are times when I cannot put my pen and sketch book down because I know I am in the zone and the energy flows from my mind to my hand.  I must capture those images in my sketchbook as quickly as I can.  I can feel, literally feel, that creative energy flowing in me.

I hope that all of you have experienced this feeling.  If not, seek out those places where you can calm and center your mind.  Breath, slowly.  Listen to music.  Find a quiet place where you can still all those distracting voices in your head and just breath.  Looking at the mountains, the trees, our sunrises and sunsets, the patterns clouds create…..those help me to find my creativity.  Even swimming laps or cycling hushes the distracting thoughts that can impair my creativity.  I must admit it’s difficult to capture anything as I would like when I’m swimming or cycling, yet I’ve been able to retain those thoughts until I can find my sketchbook.  Whew.

These techniques are not something that I have perfected, they have become a starting point for me and with practice, allow me to tap into a creative channel.

Today I would like to share the first in a new series.  The design inspiration came from those beautiful Dendritic Opal stones I discussed in my Discovery post.  Ironically, I have yet to use one of those stones in this series.  Yet this first one, Evening Moon, is very special.  It is an Amethyst Sage that Mark Lasater of The Clamshell gave me.  When someone gives me a stone, whatever I make will become mine, so Evening Moon will remain with me.  It is very special.

Evening Moon
Tree-Scapes
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

The design came from what I could see in those other stones and also in this one. Trees. I carried some of the trees from this stone and added the texture to ‘create’ the leaves.  The technique that I used to create the tree trunks and branches is called ‘piercing’.  The bottom tree trunk is a replica of the one I see in this stone that is right in front of the white moon.

The shape of the setting does not follow the stone.  This is a shape I have been drawing in my sketch books almost from the beginning of my metalsmithing work.  I love this shape.  To have the stone offset from the center of the sterling silver was important to me.  I wanted the area in the lower left for the accent of the trees.  I kept the oxidation light as I wanted some of the silver to be light and emphasize the beauty of this stone.

I feel that I have been open to this aspect of being creative.  A new direction.  It is a continuation of what I have experienced throughout my life; growth, change, finding myself.  For some, things appear to happen quickly.  For others, like me, it takes time.  I am enjoying the journey.

I hope that some of you will share your thoughts and experiences on being open to creativity.  What are your challenges?  What techniques do you employ to bring your creativity to the forefront?

Please remember how important it is to be open to tapping into the creative channel.  It is out there, just waiting for you.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


The Beginning of Something Wonderful

The photo at the top of this post are a few of the treasures I purchased last week while at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show.  Some are from Gary B Wilson.  Some are from Mark & Christa Lassater of The Clamshell.  I wish that Ken of Rogue Gems would have been there this year as I would love to meet him…I know his work will be a part of my future works too.

Last week, I spent a day at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show with Lexi.  One of those special times I share with Lexi where our respective creative juices are flowing.  Shouts across the booths to each other, come look at this, here is a stone in your color scheme, what do you think of this?, this one is you, you have to get this one…..  I think you get the idea.  We help each other.  We know what each one likes and as we search, we find things that the other may love to incorporate.  And then there are a few twists and turns, along with the surprises.  It’s a real joy to share the day with Lexi at this show.

I knew what I wanted to shop for this year, more so than ever before.  I did my best to avoid the distractions.  Overall I think I did well.  The top photo shows Porcelain Jasper, Dendritic Opals, Sonoran Sunrise, Ocean Jasper and Variscite.  I have a new series in mind thanks to one of these; I’ll start work on it after the Jewelry at the Gardens show.

I was on the hunt for hearts. I think I raided Gary B’s supply. There were some lovelies and I wanted to go for the smaller ones based on client’s requests. These are a few of the new ones and I already have designs completed for them; some petrified palm wood, picasso stone and mystery stones.  What fun!

This weekend will be spent in the studio, working on the hearts that are part of  the Veracity series, along with some new additions to Mountainesque.  I’m excited, energized to be working with new stones on current series that will be ready for Jewelry at the Gardens.

Isn’t that part of what art is all about?  The thrill of creating new things?  As artists, I think we are always looking for something new & different.  I know I am.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Emergence
Soul Searching Series
Photograph Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Another piece from my Soul Searching Series, I call this one Emergence.  The stone is an Amethyst Sage with Dendrites that I purchased from The Clam Shell, while attending the Denver Gem and Mineral Show in September.  I think this is my favorite piece to date.  It evolved as my work tends to do.  I find the stone captivating.

The reason I called this one Emergence is because I see a beautiful white cloud emerging from the stormy surface of a planet….as if a creative spirit has been freed from its bindings and released from the surface that has deep purple and rich rusts that comprise its surface.  It was a very freeing experience for me as I worked on this piece.  Why?  Well, it became more than the original design as I show in this next photo.

Working with metal has opened so many doors for me.  I really do work on my designs for the stones and I don’t just start something without a plan anymore.  I tended to not have specific designs in mind with the wire wrapped glass pieces I made.  Those wire wrapped pieces did turn out rather free form, which worked.  But now that I work with metal and stone, I can’t take that kind of cavalier approach anymore.

As you may have noticed, there are three textured sections in the final piece, not just two.  When the metal was ready for soldering, I looked at it with the stone and realized it wasn’t balanced.  The famous/infamous threes in art!  Keep the balance.  This was part of the fun for me in this piece.  I drew what I felt was the appropriate accent on the right side of the piece to draw attention to the shape of the stone and balance this pendant.  I found it worked.  And it made me very happy to realize that I could still capture some of that free ‘spirit-ness’ that made my wire wrap so unique.  I like carrying that into my metal work too!

I used Sterling Silver for the setting and applied liver of sulfur gel, with a hint of ammonia, to create the rainbow of colors that you see on the metal.  A couple of the textured components were overlaid to create the depth. And I really like adding the diamond shaped pieces of silver at the bottom.  I love the way this one moves too.

This piece truly symbolizes how I feel about my artistic spirit emerging as I grow with metal.  It wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning Lexi Erickson, my teacher/friend/mentor/sister.  She nurtures and nourishes me as a metalsmith, a person, an artist, and a friend.  Thank you Lexi!

I have been absent over the Thanksgiving holiday, but rest assured that I have more pieces in the works.  I look forward to sharing them with you soon.

Until the next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person!

TheBreakThrough
The Break Through
Photo credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

This piece is the reality come to life from my 4 AM break through moment in the early morning hours of September 29th.  This stone was one of those that haunted me, trying to come up with the ‘perfect‘ design.  After Lexi and I had our Gelatos and Mountain Sunset evening of artistic soul searching, many things simmered in my subconscious.  And I believe they are still simmering and bubble to the surface on a fairly regular basis.  This past week Lexi commented that neither of us has seen the full effects on that evening in our lives and our works.  I believe she is correct.

I named this piece The Break Through.  I didn’t feel there could be any other name for it.  It is part of my Soul Searching Series.  The image of what I wanted to do literally woke me up at 4 AM that morning.  And I wondered if I could hold on to it and bring it to life.  After that, 2 other images popped into my mind too.  I wanted to go back to sleep.  I was exhausted from the energy of the evening before.  And I felt I would be able to preserve that image and the others in my sketch book the next morning.  I did.

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The Sketch

I believe you can tell that I was able to capture it and then ultimately create my vision of this piece.  Now, my drawings are not the prettiest ones in the world, but they help me as a pattern and guide me in working with stone and metal to create my art jewelry pieces.

The stone is a White Opal Dendrite that I purchased from The Clamshell while at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show.  I have another stone in this family, but it is completely different from this one and even more unusual.  I don’t have a design for it yet, but I will.

The setting is sterling silver with various textures that I created with one of my Fretz hammers.  I finished this with a variety of patinas to add contrast to the setting.

So, what do you think?  I always value the thoughts and opinions each of you take the time to write and share with me here.

Aspiring to be more as an artist and a person.

AmethystSageClamshell

This is one of my selections from The Clamshell.  It is called Amethyst Sage.  Of course it has my favorite color, a pale shade of purple.  The image created in the center by part of this stone reminds me of a tree.  I love the shadings in the stone too, from the light shade of purple (lilac) to the rich sandy tones.

I found a number of wonderful stones at The Clamshell.  There are a couple I have to research to find out what they are.  Most of the vendors provided information about each stone.  However there were a couple available at The Clamshell that weren’t labeled.  I thought they were beautiful and knew that I would eventually find out what they are.

Here are a couple more of my purchases from The Clamshell……

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These are called Picasso Stones.  I am quite taken by the markings in these.  They remind me of tree outlines.  Plus I really like the unusual shapes of these.  I think they will be great focal points in pendants.

LaceyAgate

This is one of my unidentified treasures.  I think it might be a Lace Agate, but I’m not certain.  I will run this one past Lexi to see if she can help me identify it.  I was drawn to the patterns along with the purple and rust colors.  Part of this stone seems subdued, but I think with the right design it will be quite stunning.

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These are my mystery stones. Mystery Solved! Thanks to the wonderful slides of their work on The Clamshell’s website, I found that these are…..drum roll….. Dendritic Opal, White Base with Black Dendrites.  VERY COOL I was intrigued by the unusual patterns and the stark black & white combinations.  I think they will make interesting and beautiful pendants.

One of the great things I like about having a nice foundation and variety of stones is that I have an opportunity to come up with all kinds of design possibilities.  I am finding that the designs I have on paper tend to evolve as I work on putting them together.  I enjoy that immensely.

Hope you enjoyed these beauties.  I still have more to share and remember, the best is yet to come.

Aspire to be more as an artist and a person!

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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