Think, for a moment, about how many beads, stones, and findings there are out there. Go ahead, I can wait...
OK, since this could take a spell, let's just summarize by saying that there are a TON of beads, stones, and findings out there. If you've ever been to any kind of bead show, you'll know what I mean. Now take those hundreds of tables filled with strands and baskets and multiply that by hundreds of thousands. Similarly, one of the beauties of the internet is that each of us in our own little corners of the world can shop for beads and stones from all over the globe. Our taste for supplies is limited only by the girth of our wallet.
All this to say: it can get overwhelming. So many good beads, cool beads, rare beads, stimulating exciting never-before-been-seen beads - how to focus?!
I experienced this shellshocked feeling the first time I went to the Tucson Gem & Mineral show with my dear friend Kimberly Rogers of NuminosityBeads fame. The sheer quantity of product, the teeming masses of people, the sky-high tents, the dollars changing hands hot and fast. Mercy.
That was two years ago. This year I didn't get quite so overwhelmed. I was a highly attuned hunter, knowing the type of thing I wanted and drilling down on it. I purchased with abandon, letting my creative "what if" juices flow. I walked up to booths and already had finished pieces designed in my head before even paying the vendor.
The very best example of this involves a treasure trove of petrified wood slabs that I found. They were matched pairs, about 1" across, had a polished face yet a natural grained edge, and came in all the earth-toned colors of the rainbow: rust, salmon, fawn, cocoa, sable, charcoal, dove, ivory, and cream. I saw them and immediately melted. The crunchy semi-feral wicked earth goddess in me envisioned an edgy metalworked bracelet featuring a handful of these slabs. I knew in my head that it would be a lot of work. But if executed right, it would be worth it. So I bought 15 or so pairs.
Flash forward about four months and the idea had finally marinated enough - it was time for fruition. I sat down a couple weeks ago and created a whole line of petrified wood pieces, all set in gnarly sterling silver pronged open-back bezels. That includes this pair of earrings. Deceptively simple, humble, yet soulful. These slices use to be alive - think about that! I've been smitten and fighting the urge to jealously hoard the rest of them to myself.
So, all of this extended rambling to say, every now and then while swimming through the vast sea of components out there, you will find a special something that speaks volumes. It may only speak to you; it may speak to many. But when you find those special somethings, they can be more precious than gold.
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