- NEW DVD Series – Stone Setting with Bezels
- Tube Set Charm by Kim St. Jean
- Prong Basket Pendant by Kim St. Jean
- NEW DVD Series – Stone Setting with Cold Connections
- New DVD Series – Stone Setting with Wire
- NEW DVD Series: Introduction to Stone Setting by Kim St. Jean
- Featured Tool: Bracelet Bending Plier
- NEW Dvd by Eva Sherman
- Fun, Fast Fold Forming DVD Series
- Double Band Ear Cuff from Alex Simkin
Week 3 of the 2013 Gem Shows in Tucson
by Rose Marion, Wire-Sculpture.com
Tucson Show Report for
February 20, 2013
Well, judging from the response to last week’s update, people definitely wanted to see more of Tucson. So I’ve got more pictures of goodies for you.
But there were also a lot of requests for a tip. While I didn’t learn much from my trip – just gazed and gazed til my pockets were empty – I will tell you a trick that comes in handy at these shows, that you can practice at the bead store in your town.
Gemstone beads are cool to the touch (except in direct sunlight, when they’re HOT!). They’re also pretty heavy, typically. Plastic and acrylic beads are more typically room-temperature, and they’re much more lightweight than gemstone beads.
Glass beads typically have small sand along the bead holes, from how the beads were made. They might warm up faster to the touch than gem beads, and you might see air bubbles in the beads, too. If it looks perfect, it’s probably not a gem bead.
Plus, you can practice hearing the difference between gemstone beads clacking together, vs. acrylic vs. glass. When you go to a show where the strands are unmarked and the vendor is busy (or shady!) these tips will give you a good clue as to whether you’ve got gemstone, glass, or acrylic beads. Of course, always be confident enough to ask a dealer about their products. I couldn’t help but stand in awe at one booth as a buyer grilled a vendor on if the beads were dyed, heat treated, and natural stones. Good for her!
Do you have any tricks for telling the “realness” of a cab or bead while you’re out at a show? Let me know in the comments below!
And if you’ve been to Tucson, you know that traffic can be even worse than parking – so I’m really glad I knew about the Shuttles. I took the shuttles from JOGS to the Holidome, Electric Park/Kino, the Holidome, and Best Bead Show. They were so nice, the drivers even had step stools to help us get in and out of the vans.
I even got a free taxi ride from the sweetest cab driver. I’d just missed my shuttle, and she’d been waiting at the Holidome for a fare and got told to move on… so she rounded a few of us up and dropped us off wherever we wanted!
So when I see Jenny’s van next year, I know I’ll be in good hands! She said she’s been driving cab for the Gem Shows for 30 years. I don’t know if I can afford to spend 30 years in Tucson – but it would sure be fun!
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