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Tucson 2005

I have just arrived home from my Tucson Trek. Long drive and I am
too tired to comment much at the moment. what I do want to note, a
parcel of materials I ordered from Rio on the very last day of the
Catalog in Motion show, arrived here before i did!!!

Rio, that is a first class job, thank you for the outstanding

I will add my thoughts of Orchid, Tucson, and the most wonderful
people one could want to know.

Thank you Hanuman and Ton.

OK, a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast, donated blood, and now
can think more clearly.

I have not read much of what has been written to this point, so may
be repeating a bit. No, not a senior moment.

Overview of Tucson. I have in the past spent some days at the
Mineral and Fossil shows, they were in the past rather clustered in
a few downtown motels. I drove to the Drachman, Oracle, Stone street
areas and found close to a ghost town. Several of the previously
used motels were very quiet.

I parked at the Best Western and went in for a beer and a look see.
Nothing was familiar, the Lobby was over cluttered and the usual
vendors were not there. The bar is just off of the Ballroom and was
a pass through to vendors. The Ballroom doors were tightly shut.
When I asked why, I was told “no one is in there.” I had my beer and

Later I learned there was a very poorly thought out move by the part
of the management of Best Western and most dealers changed to the
Smuggler’s and Clarion. I suspect this is a permanent move. Dealers
were much happier at these venues and most likely things will pick
up next year.

My reason for spending a few days at these shows is my desire to
find unusual stones for incorporation into my fabrication. I do not
care for “calibrated” anything.

Now off to the Jewelry area. I have a deep loyalty to vendors that
participate in Orchid and patronize them first. Rio, enough cannot
be said about their support of Orchid and “us.” Yes of course it is
a business for Rio, but we benefit greatly. A definite win/win

The very first two people I met at Rio were two fellow classmates
from our UCSD Jewelry Studio. They spent the better part of three
days attending the free demonstrations generously offered. We
attended a luncheon and at our table most of us were from that class
and San Diego area.

Questions were asked of Rio and well responded too. My inquiry
regarding spooling of wire, adequately answered me, and although I
prefer coiled rather than spooled, I do not feel ignored.

There is nothing anywhere to compare with the ability to meet
product developers and discuss directly the why’s and where fore’s
of an item. Lee Marshall of Boony Doone, Cindy Litchfield of Cloud
Dome, Bill Fretz of Fretz Miniature Stakes, etc. I missed Ray
Grossman of Jump Ringer, he was not well enough to attend but his
product was well represented. Blaine Lewis of new Approach School,
Dana Singer of SNAG, Brad Simon of Bench, Karen Christians of
MetalWerx were just a few I remember off the top of my head. All
there sharing, a great feeling.

Andrea Hill, CEO of Rio, and all division and product managers, were
in attendance and available at all times. For me personally, it
could not have been better.

Next stop, the Holidome, sticking with my credo of supporting those
who support Orchid, I stopped at the booth of Kenneth Singh, 46th
Street Jewelers Supplies. Kenneth is an unsung avid supporter of
Orchid members. His posts and responses never say “buy from me.” He
responds to inquiries without saying he sells that specific product.
A very ethical and honest business man. It is a pleasure to buy from
him. In actuality, I am an impulse shopper, and once the product is
in the house, I wonder why did I ever buy that. Kenneth has steered
me away from unnecessary purchases, or unwise ones. He carries most
name brand products and at excellent prices. If you are in New York
City, give him a look see, if not in the area, check out his site
and new e-bay store.

There was much to see at the Holidome, millions of Pearls strung out
across many vendors. Never thought there were so many Oysters in the
Seas. I love the natural colors and find some of the dyed colors
garish. Yes of course I purchased a few bunches.

Art Clay offered free classes at their booth, and this year I
decided to take one. They generously give a 5 gm package to everyone
taking the class and then lead you through the entire process to
complete a piece of jewelry.

Paula Radke a glass bead artist had contributed to Art Clay a bag of
Dichroic beads, and they were also given to each student. Art Clay
and Dichroic Beads in hand, I used the wonderful tools available
free at the table and designed myself a pair of earrings. They came
out so well, I have received compliments each time I wear them out
and around the shows. My thanks to Art Clay and Paula Radke for
their generosity.

Art Clay had a booth full of products, but respecting their
distributor’s, they did not sell at their booth. customers were sent
to another booth for purchases, and in exchange for the receipt
showing Art Clay purchases, upon return to Art Clay booth received
10gr of Art Clay Silver. A very generous offer.

I next went to the TEP, aka Tucson Electric Park. Well I love that
place because so many of the dealers I have come to know and love
are there for a full two weeks. Diamond Pacific, Alpha Supply and
Kent’s tools. Yes many sell the same things, they also respect one
another. I make sure I buy from each and every one of them. That is
my way of thanking the wonderful three generation family that is
Diamond Pacific, Tom, of Alpha Supply and Kent of Kent’s Tools.

I cannot be a major purchaser of any of the above, I have always
been treated kindly and fairly despite my tight budget, and this is
my way of publicly thanking all of them.

There are others, Daniel Grandi of Racecar Jewelry, far and away a
very well respected caster, and a deep supporter of Orchid, giving
freely of his expertise whenever needed, and like Kenneth Singh,
never taking advantage of Orchid by advertising his business, so I
will do it for him.

A personal recognition of the deep friendships that develop among
Orchid members, I so appreciate seeing Judy Willingham, Pam Chott &
Joe, Barbara Atkinson, Kate Wolff, Loren Damewood, Cynthia Eid, Dave
Arens, Sam Patania, Pat & Terry Glover among many others I cannot
think of at the moment. This is a once a year event, but treasured
throughout the year and the next year already anticipated.

A special thanks to Helen Edwards, a new friend who opened her home
to me. She did not like the idea of my sleeping in my car, and told
me so in no uncertain terms. The new friendship will flourish as
most Orchid friendships do.

I do believe opening our homes to one another can be further
developed. I know the cost of traveling to another city to take a
workshop greatly increases the cost of attending, then a hotel on
top of that can be the reason to not participate. So, I am here in
Oceanside, California, San Diego County. I do have a guest room as
well as a few couches and lots of floor space for sleeping bags. I
invite any Orchid member coming to this area to be my house guest.
Workshop or just a vacation.

To Hanuman and Ton, you both know you are deep in my heart, I thank
you for the wonderful friendships I have made simply because you two
are who you are.

In deep appreciation,


We have just now gotten half way organized after the Tucson Show.
Our show was slow this year. Not slow in people. Slow in sales.

One interesting experience happened that I was not expecting. One of
my goals this year was to buy some sterling silver with stones made
in Asia or Brazil. I looked at a few vendors then decided against the
purchase. Why? All the pieces I looked at lacked the touch of a
designer. After seeing pieces made by Judy Hoch and Roseann Hanson I
just could not see myself selling this jewelry.

Artful design has had a big impact on me. I am now looking at ways to
incorporate much more artful design in my finished pieces. If Judy
or Roseann are interested in further discussion, I am open to ideas.

Gerry Galarneau

 One of my goals this year was to buy some sterling silver with
stones made in Asia or Brazil. I looked at a few vendors then
decided against the purchase. Why? All the pieces I looked at
lacked the touch of a designer. After seeing pieces made by Judy
Hoch and Roseann Hanson I just could not see myself selling this
jewelry. Artful design has had a big impact on me. I am now looking
at ways to incorporate much more artful design in my finished
pieces.  If Judy or Roseann are interested in further discussion, I
am open to ideas. 

Wow, Gerry - THANK YOU! My goodness, blush, blush, toe-curl and all

BUT I really have to say, for me, the design starts with the stones.
And your stones are utterly gorgeous and make the design so easy.
Really - I’m not kidding. As a stone-cutter I know how hard it is.
Your stones dance about in my creative-brain-hours (who knows when
THAT is - driving, sleeping, walking with the dog, even during
insomniatic bouts!) and emerge as ideas I just have to create.

There are people who look at rocks and say “It’s a rock.” And there
are those who look at rocks and say, “There’s a piece of art in
there” and they find it and are gracious enough to present it to the
rest of us.

Thank you!
Roseann Hanson

Desert Rose Design Studio
Tucson, Arizona

Greetings all,

I finally returned from Tucson and am getting back to the
workshop/computer. This year was my first with a booth of my own,
and I learned that I don’t like being tied to a booth during Tucson.
Tucson for me is time to meet people, make contacts, purchase
materials, check out suppliers, and show my work. Hard to do from
behind a table.

I was very disappointed to miss the Orchid dinner, and a chance to
see and meet so many of you. It turns out that the person I was
sub-letting from decided Saturday morning that she did not like the
accommodations and that I needed to move to a new location Saturday
evening. Oh Tucson, the adventures never end.

The show was slow for me. Attendance was up 20% over last year at
The Manning House Show, but as I was more marketing my custom
carving service than offering items for sale, it was loss fiscally.
Overall a grand experience that I expect will pay off over the
course of the year.

My friends in GJX all had very good years. It will be interesting to
see what will happen in the next few years when GJX moves to the
Raddison and the new Civic Plaza is built where the tent has been.

Well, I hope to see many more next year,

Epaul Fischer
Gryphon Song Creations
Signet rings and custom gem carvings