Wow. I just got my toes wet at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
It's one of the biggest shows of it's type in the world and venues are sprinkled all over the city. I can see why people come from all over the world to this event.
It's very easy to get into sensory overload cruising through display tents and huge rooms with tables overflowing with shoals of every color and type of beads, pendents, glass, fiber, wood, metal. Bedazzling walls laden with strings of crystal, glass, silver, etc., aaaaaagh
I went the first day to a relatively small venue in a hotel north of town. Several large rooms were bursting with wares while two wings of the hotel had individual rooms set up for the show--on two floors.
This string of beads really caught my eye. At first I thought they were clay beads and was amazed at the marvelous texture. The vendor told me they were Mexican agates.
They had a good heft about them and a wonderful texture. After spending several hours looking at wares until I was cross-eyed, I had to return to buy them.
Don't know what I'll do with them yet, but the following day at another show, I found some spooled fine silver chain that I think will be great to string them on.
Yes, I am hooked. I've only gone to just the bead and jewelry part of the shows, but I've seen things there I've either been searching for or haven't seen before.
And the great thing is, most of the vendors will bargain!