The Tucson Gem Show

February 19, 2009

airportview  I was lucky enough to teach at the J.O.G.S. Show, a wholesale show, and at Manning House, a retail show (though they’ll do wholesale, too) for the Tucson Gem Show this year (just look at this view from the airport!). 

  This was my first time to Tucson though it has been on my list forever to go.  Amazingly, I didn’t have time to do any shopping!  NEXT year will be a different story…

    We have a nice group of teachers at the J.O.G.S. Show: Lana May, Dale Cougar Armstrong, Kathy St. Martin, Albina Manning,  Olena Bugrimenko and Tatiana Van Iten, among others.  These are very talented people!  It was such a pleasure to work with these fine instructors and get to see their designs up close. 

  Lana May is the coordinator for the classes at the JOGS Show but she is also an extraordinary jewelry artist.  Her designs are jaw dropping, by the way. If you get a chance to see her work up close, I would encourage you to do so.  I have been a beader for a long time but I have not seen such exquisite work with such attention to detail as this. She is a multi-talented woman and a whirlwind in her focus, but also Lana is a very dear person.  I knew the first time I met her that I liked her but I didn’t realize just how precious a friend she would become to me.  I have a deep respect for her that I know is going to be lifelong.  See more about her at:

  I finally got to meet Dale Armstrong!  We have taught at the same

Dale Cougar Armstrong working with a student.

Dale Cougar Armstrong working with a student.

venues for years now doing the Interweave shows (BeadFest, Bead Expo) around the country but have never met.  This was a real treat for me.  I’ve admired her work for quite some time and who knew that we would get on so well?  She’s hilarious, quick minded and brilliant not to mention that her daughter, Sky, was great to get to know and I consider them both part of my family now!  Check out Dale’s website:

  Kathy St. Martin is a brilliant  metal clay artist.  She has figured out things

(kathystmartin2This is the lovely Kathy St. Martin hamming it up in class!)

in metal clay that no one has even begun to catch on to.  Her enthusiasm is contagious and her students have such a good time! I am so glad I got to witness her teaching style, awesome energy and see what she’s doing.  Plus what a treat to just get to know her.  See more about Kathy at:

  Albina Manning is hilarious and also another one of those jaw dropping bead artists!  I love that she or Lana  gave me an orange for breakfast every day that came from Lana’s garden in Phoenix.  Fresh, real fruit at show is hard to come by so this was like being given gold, especially for me, the weird health food eater who’s allergic to wheat.

See Albina’s website at:

  On that note, while I have been on the road before with this kooky allergy, I didn’t realize just how difficult it was going to be in Tucson.  If I had a car and the time I probably could have fared better but I ended up losing 5 lbs. in two weeks on top of losing about 4 lbs. before I left for Tucson.   Obviously I will have things better thought out next year!

  What a great experience for a Tucson Gem show virgin.  I made some really great friends, my students were amazing and many helped me out by going to the store for me or with offers to take me to Trader Joe’s, etc.   Thank you all so much!   I can’t wait for next year.

Other places to find out more about the teachers at JOGS:


One of the monster geodes at the entry to the J.O.G.S. Show

One of the monster geodes at the entry to the J.O.G.S. Show


One Response to “The Tucson Gem Show”

  1. Mike said

    Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

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