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Phoenix &Tucson Jewelry Attractions

Hello all you wondrous people,

I would be grateful for your recommendations for people, galleries,
suppliers, concerned with jewelry and fine metalwork generally in
Phoenix and Tucson where my wife and I will be visiting in April.
She’ll be busy at painting school. I’ve got a week or two to just
poke around.

I am not usually excited by terribly precious things like gold,
diamonds, platinum conventional jewelry. (Though I admire good
craftsmanship in any form) Nor very excited by bronze cowboy and
indian sculpture, But I do love (forgive me) “art” metalwork and
jewelry, silver, copper, brass, iron, natural textures and objects

  • imaginative and inspiring examples thereof. Jewelry, sculpture,
    functional objects, any scale acceptable. I hope that is a vague
    enough description of my tastes to produce a wide range of

I guess another way of putting it is - What can I see there which
I’d be sorry to learn that I had missed if you didn’t tell me about
it? Any exciting open working studios or metal work schools?
Museums, galleries, folks who like to kibbitz?

And while we’re at this - any good friendly B & B’ s in Tucson? $
or even $$ OK, but definitely not $$$$!

Thanks Thanks Thanks
Marty in Victoria, usually but not always.

Hi Marty,

In Tucson check out Obsidian Gallery. They have a good collection of
objects-- jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, glass, etc. Shameless self
promotion: I’m having a show of new work there as I write this. I
think that the show is up through 4/23.

Tucson is a great town. When you’re not into galleries, go for a hike
in San Sabino Canyon or go to the Desert Museum-- its a lot of fun
and very interesting. Ken’s Tools sometimes has some good deals on
used and new tools, from jewelry tools to outboard motors. It’s fun
to poke around there. There’s also a great swap meet-- flea market on
weekends. I’m headed off from Seattle bright and early Friday
morning to teach a workshop. Hope I have time for the swap meet.

Take care, Andy Cooperman


The Sonoran Desert is just bursting with gorgeous flowers right now,
and the cactus start up in April. You’ll be agog!

For your stated viewing pleasures, I would recommend getting on down
to Tubac (south of Tucson, on I-19 on the way to Nogales, Mexico).
Lots of really accessible, great galleries and studios - including
interesting metalworking artists. If you email me offlist with your
address I’ll mail you the Tubac Villager publication - lots of good
suggestions. Don’t miss the Renee Taylor Gallery on Plaza Road!
(insert: shameless self-promotion here)

In Tucson Starr Gems is THE best supply/info place for metalsmiths
and lapidaries. They have really really nice turquoise and other
native rock cabs, and the staff is super nice and knowledgeable. Be
sure to introduce yourself to Orchid members Marybeth and Shawna.

In Tucson folks always recommend Obsidian Gallery in St Phillips
Plaza (Campbell Ave and River Road) for wearable art jewelry. I go in
for inspiration and when I feel like being abused by snotty
salespeople. Honestly, I don’t know how they’ve gotten their
reputation, but it’s horrible - it’s not like I don’t clean up well,
but unless you drive a Lexus SUV and carry Handbags with Labels that
Match Your Shoes I guess they don’t care to speak to you (maybe it’s
that my cowboy boots always match my belt but not my handbag?)

Head on out to the Mark Sublette Gallery on Tanque Verde Road at
Sabino Canyon Rd - fantastic Native American jewelry well worth
seeing, including old old old stuff and inspiring new stuff. But the
metal sculpture is fabulous (Mark Rossi has magic hands), and the
paintings are - to die for. Tucson dealer for Paul Nisbet’s paintings

  • OMG - you have to see them. In the tradition of Thomas Moran.

And finally (maybe more later!) even though you said gold/gems isn’t
quite to your taste, don’t miss the Abbot Taylor Gallery at Wilmot
and Broadway. Abbot is an original Tucson hippy who made it big with
fantastic jewelry. The store is so friendly and accessible - I was
browsing looking at an amazing diamond and pink quartz drusy necklace
when the friendly saleswoman swiftly opened the case, pulled out this
piece and handed it to me and urged me to try it on – all $30,000
worth!! (the polar opposite of Obsidian Gallery where they won’t even
give me the time of day to look at a $200 Thomas Mann production

Well, I DO have to work now. Feel free to contact offline, and my
website has a page for visitors:



We stayed at the Jeremiah Inn (B&B) several years ago - 2001, I think
it was - and it was lovely. It’s in the foothills, and very quiet and
serene. Breakfasts were beautifully done (and tasty!), and the hosts
were quite gracious.

Hi Marty,

April is a GREAT time to visit - as Roseanne said, the desert
wildflowers are gorgeous. We’ve had more than our usual spring rains
and the plant life shows it - the desert is GREEN!

With the exception of some of the snootier places in Scottsdale,
most of us Arizonians will chat with visitors about just about

Galleries of all kinds are in abundance in Scottsdale, especially in
the area near the Art Center or off 5th Avenue in Scottsdale. If you
want to see Southwestern jewelry - Ortega’s in Scottsdale is the

In downtown Phoenix, there is the Heard Museum for Native American
baskets, weaving and jewelry, as well as the Phoenix Art Museum -
both on Central Avenue. There is a Mining and Mineral Museum just a
few blocks from the Capitol. If you are interested in Native American
history, there is Pueblo Grande Museum, which is a museum/working
archaeology dig.

If you are adventurous and want to get further from the Phoenix
metroplex, there is the Mesa Art Center and the Mesa Southwest
Museum. MSM is one of the finest natural history museums in the West

  • specimens of gems and minerals from the area, as well as a "cave"
    with examples of different stalagmite/stalactite formations,
    meteorites, dinosaurs and other “paleo-critters” such as mammoths and
    mastodons, as well as exhibits on the Hohokam and Anasazi Indians who
    were among the earliest inhabitants of the area.

Even further east, you will encounter the small town of Apache
Junction, home of the Superstition Mountains and the legend of the
Lost Dutchman’s Gold. The “ghost town” of Goldfield has tours which
go underground into the old gold workings. There is also a
Superstition Mountain Museum with history of the area.

Going North from the Phoenix metroplex, you will find the art
"colony" of Sedona. Galleries of all kinds to suit any taste. A must
see for most “artsy” people is Tlaquepaque (T-lawk-ie-pawk-ie) -
loads of galleries there, too. If your travels and "poking around"
take you north, you could visit the town of Prescott - at one time
the Territorial Capital of Arizona - home to the famous Earps before
their fateful move to Tombstone. There are a number of galleries
located around town - especially near the courthouse square.

A must see for anyone coming to Arizona is the Grand Canyon! It is
arguably the biggest “work of Art” on the planet! Depending on the
time of day and the day of the year, the lighting changes the colors
and shapes - an everchanging work of Art! I would recommend spending
a couple of days there. There are even a couple of galleries in the
area- though mostly of the touristy kind!

Of course, if you have any extra time, you are always welcome to
visit us at our VERY humble shop in east Mesa. (not an advertisement,
just an offer of a cup of coffee or a cold soda and a little chat).

Contact me or my husband Mike off the list for any further
My addy is @Deb_Weller and Mike’s is

Weller’s Jewelry
Mesa, Arizona

Continue from:

Hi Marty,

If you are going to be in Scottsdale drop by Metals Edge Studio. We
are a jewelry, metal arts and glass school. We are just south of the
Scottsdale arts district. Also French’s Designer Jewelry has very
beautiful things.

Metals Edge Studio
2200 N Scottsdale Rd Ste: V&W
Scottsdale,Az 85257


We’re here in Tucson with some Native American jewelry we’re trying
to move out. If you are looking for great deals on metal/lapidary
machinery and supplies, we are liquidating our shop. Contact us off
line if you are interested and I can give you more details.

Enjoy your visit!