Today, R.JXP and I went to the International Gem and Jewelry Show which comes to the San Mateo Event Center a couple of times a year. I only have experience at two types of gems shows — International Gem and Jewelry and one put on by the Gem and Mineral Society of San Francisco.
The experience at the shows put on by International Gem and Jewelry varies greatly from the more dignified Gem and Mineral Society. In my experience, International is a mix of shopping mall jewelry; loose gemstones (dyed and natural); total shysters who sell complete crap; miles and miles of beads; and a smattering of tools and supplies interesting to someone like me.
The crowd at International is largely composed of people trolling for good buys on expensive pieces. For the most part, the jewelry that I see people purchasing isn’t even on my radar. Nevertheless, having just started making jewelry and having had the experience of struggling, for example, to get a stone to stay in its setting, I’m in awe of work that goes into all jewelry — even jewelry which I don’t feel expresses much.
I attend shows such as these to find inexpensive stones to put into my amateur jewelry; supplies; and tools. Today, I am happy to announce that I finally brought a flexshaft drill to add to my home studio — I am less happy to announce that it is not a Foredom, which I have been led to believe is the best. Anyway, the drill was a good price and it will fit the bill for now.