Mala Shop

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trip to Tucson Gem Shows

Landscape between Gila Bend and Ajo, Arizona

I just got back from a bead-buying trip/pilgrimage to Tucson, Arizona this weekend. Arizona's one of my favorite places. Talk about big sky! I wasn't sure what I needed, but I couldn't miss one of the largest bead and gem shows (they're all over town for a couple of weeks) in the U.S. Add to that the fact that I wanted to meet up with my good friend Lynn and meet my online Etsy friend Brian of QuietMind and BeadinAroundtheBlock, and I had a lot of good reasons to go.

As we drove the almost 8 hours to Tucson, I thought about how you can get from one whole country in Europe through one or two others in the same amount of time. The U.S. is so vast. On the way back we took the long, scenic drive from Tucson through the old Papago, now Tohono O'odham, reservation and Ajo, an old mining and railroad town that was quite picturesque.

My dad came with me and we stayed with his geologist friend. I got to pick his brain about mining and minerals. Here's a specimen of Garnierite he showed me. It's a nickel-rich mineral related to Serpentine, which I use a lot of in the shop. ** At the gem shows I found rhyolite, garnet, pyrite, lovely carved black onyx, kyanite, and citrine among other things.

One last thought—we fixate on rocks and beads, but looking around at the desert buttes and washes, I realized again that the sculpture of the natural earth is so beautiful. The earth shows off so much in the Southwest. Please visit the four corners region sometime!



Mare said...

Oh you lucky duck! I have always wanted to get to that show someday. I think they would have to carry me out of there from an overdose of gemstone vibrations!hahaha

Laura said...

Mare, I had to go to bed at 8:30 the day I saw the gem shows. I was wiped out. I don't know if it was the dry air, all the walking, or the gem vibrations. Probably all of that.

Meet me there next year!