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[Tucson 2008] General information


#1

hi there,

i will be teaching a workshop on marriage of metals for the tucson
metals guild feb 1-3. (i am giving a lecture, i believe, on friday
night…i am not sure if it is open to the public or not, but if you
are interested in coming, contact me offline.) then i have monday
the 4th to go to the gem show. i fly out on tuesday morning early.

i just looked at the online guide and have no idea where to go! i
want a wholesale show…one with some basics such as faceted
sapphires, aquamarine, garnet, etc…and some interesting stone
beads and cabs. but nothing too fancy or $$. i guess i want to be
able to look at a variety of things, hopefully to find some new and
interesting stones!

i also would like to see some small scale welders in real life.
where are they??

can anyone help me out by telling me which show to go to? i have
limited time, so i want to make the most of it.

thanks in advance,
joanna gollberg


#2

Joanna,

Admittedly I have an ulterior interest (I’m organizing the Learning
Center - electricparklearningcenter.com - at the Electric Park show)
but from what I’ve seen over the past five years or so I really
would recommend the Electric Park show if you are looking for a good
solid, something-for-every-specialty show with free parking right
there and not ten blocks away. It is a very broad based show.
Personally, I like that. I get bored easy. Real easy. The Electric
Park Show has what I call “the National Geographic effect” - if
you’re not so fond of dolphins turn three pages and you find
volcanoes and if that’s not quite your interest turn another few and
there’s something on underwater archaeology. Plus it’s quite big -
well over three hundred vendors - so there’s no shortage of “stuff”

  • from top rank faceted stones to carved gems to tools and beads and
    rough opals and - well you name it.

Also worth mentioning is this year’s Tucson traffic snarl: the I-10,
down along the downtown strip, is under major construction.
Fortunately the Electric Park is well away from the snarl zone.

Cheers and hope that helps!
Hans Durstling


#3

Hans,

You are absolutely right about the Electric Park. This will be my
12th time in Tucson for the big show. For the newcomer, it can be
overwhelming!

Electric Park has grown from a small venue to a much larger one,
and, yep, there is something fr everybody, from fossils to opal
rough and cut, fantastic colored gems, faceted and carved, TONS of
lapidary rough of all kinds (I bought some exquisitely clean quartz
points, finger sized and larger for $30/lb last year), art of all
kinds, great food, plenty of easy parking, and all without the
traffic snarl, which, this year, WILL be abominable due to most of
the I-10 exits being closed…

Most of the national tool vendors can be found there, from
Crystalite to Foredom, Alpha Supply has a HUGE presence selling
everything you could want. It should not be missed, just wear
comfortable walking shoes and bring some water. Food vendors are
everywhere, but they don’t give away water!

Wayne


#4

Electric Park is just plain funky! And can suck up your time with
all the variety of vendors. Last year I got some gold in quartz cabs
there. Very cool. Alpha Supply is always good - but THIS year I plan
to be there early before they sell out of things.

BTW, for those making their first foray into the wilds of Tucson
shows, take an extra suitcase, which is empty and durable, filled
with bubble wrap. You’ll probably fill it and you can properly pack
it to be checked.

Other discussions have mentioned carrying on your precious stuff or
shipping it to yourself. Last year UPS & Fedex were present at
several shows. A good option.

Judy in Kansas


#5
BTW, for those making their first foray into the wilds of Tucson
shows, take an extra suitcase, which is empty and durable, filled
with bubble wrap. You'll probably fill it and you can properly pack
it to be checked. 

Judy - I’ve not checked anything valuable in my suitcases when I
travel, but my son recently packed his camera in his suitcase that he
checked (from NY to SF) and when he got to SF and picked up his
suitcase, he found that the camera had been removed, it’s case was
still in the suitcase, but camera was not. He locks his suitcases
with the locks that can be opened by the security checkers.
Unfortunately I don’t know what recourse you have if any. It becomes
a matter of your word against theirs. Have you had any experience
with checking bags with jewelry in them? Is there something I need to
know about checking bags with valuables in them?

K


#6

Does anyone have an update on the freeway situation? Last I heard,
the ramps were closed and we’re all going to need to take surface
streets to get from one venue to another. Any tips?


#7

Hi Gang,

Other discussions have mentioned carrying on your precious stuff
or shipping it to yourself. Last year UPS & Fedex were present at
several shows. A good option. 

Another option is using the US Mail. You can get several sizes of
Priority Mail boxes FREE at any post office. If you have access to a
PC & printer, you can sign on to the post office website (USPS.com) &
print out a shipping label with the postage already on it. Payment is
made by credit card. Things like insurance & receipt signature
required can also be included. If your pkg is under 1 lb. the postage
is $4.60 anywhere in the US. If you’ve bought a lot, you can use one
of the the Flat Rate Boxes & the cost is $8.95 for anything you can
fit in the box (11" x 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" or 11 7/8" x 3 3/8" x 13 5/8")
no matter what the weight anywhere in the US.

Dave


#8

Judy; I saw your note on gold in quartz at the electric park. From
what I have been told it is man made. That is why there was suddenly
so much of the material available last year. I don’t know for certain
it’s a fact but just thought I’d pass it along.

Dave Owen


#9
Does anyone have an update on the freeway situation? 

You can take shuttles rather than drive.


#10

The freeway ramps are closed from about Prince to where the 19 goes
off of the 10 in the south. The frontage roads have been turned into
a make-shift freeway. My best recommendation would be to take the
free shuttles offered. Will cause you far less headaches.

Pamela
(Tucson)


#11

Hi Veronica,

Does anyone have an update on the freeway situation? Last I heard,
the ramps were closed and we're all going to need to take surface
streets to get from one venue to another. Any tips? 

drive to the area of largest one you plan on visiting that day. Get
there early & find a parking place. Then ride the FREE shuttles to
any other show. Over the years, I’ve found this to be the most
expeditious method & have met some wonderful folks while waiting or
riding the shuttles.

Dave


#12
Flat Rate Boxes & the cost is $8.95 for anything you can fit in
the box 

Flat Rate Boxes. The greatest thing invented for rock hounds. You
can fit 20 lbs of rock in a flat rater.

My mailman hates me.

Rick Copeland
rockymountainwonders.com


#13

Hi Dave and Orchidland,

Thanks for the hint about the Flat Rate Boxes through the Post
Office. I had not thought about using the internet to print out and
pay for postage! That box could get verrry heavy - rocks do weigh a
lot.

Judy in Kansas


#14

Hello K (Bericho),

You asked : “Have you had any experience with checking bags with
jewelry in them? Is there something I need to know about checking
bags with valuables in them?”

I don’t check bags containing valuables - those I carry on or send
back to myself. I DO check bags with catalogs, miscellaneous tools
and supplies… and those funky purchases that have nothing to do
with jewelry! Cowboy boots, anyone?

Judy in Kansas


#15

Travel in Tucson was actually pretty straight forward this past
weekend, when I visited. The frontage roads parallel the freeway, are
3 lanes wide in each direction, with additional turn lanes at each
major intersection. The main thing was to realize that you don’t want
to get on the freeway if you intend to visit downtown. Signage was
abundant and pretty understandable. A map of the construction work
around can be found at

http://dot.ci.tucson.az.us/hottopics/pdfs/I10Map0107.pdf

For those who have not been to Tucson before, getting around
shouldn’t be a particular problem. For those of us who have been to
Tucson and have an established route, it won’t be too hard, but
definitely different roads will be needed.

Teri Jo Kinnison


#16
I saw your note on gold in quartz at the electric park. From what I
have been told it is man made. That is why there was suddenly so
much of the material available last year. I don't know for certain
it's a fact but just thought I'd pass it along. 

The quartz looks pretty good but I found that if you plan to cut and
polish it takes on a grayish cast. I’ve cut gold in quartz from the
16 to 1 without problem.

KPK


#17

You can also ‘google’ Tucson traffic. A friend who was there last
week said freeway traffic is being diverted to frontage roads around
Congress Street.


#18

Anyone wanting info on the road situation in Tucson go to
http://www.i10tucsondistrict.com click on the bottom I10 Pnince rd
to 22 st I think,it will tell all.

Dave


#19

Hi Dave,

I believe you’re correct - at least so far as this material. The
price was certainly good enough and the cabs cool enough that I
didn’t really care who made it! I just liked the look.

Judy in Kansas


#20

Alas, I cannot be at Tucson this year…but a kind friend has
offered to pick up a few things for me. However, her time there is
limited; If you know any exhibitors who deal in opal rough or fire
agate rough, and can pass on their booth numbers to me, I would be
extremely grateful. (Offline or on, is ok). Thanks very much. And
best wishes for a great Orchid dinner.

Dee