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Jwin Jewelry on Location in Tucson 2014

Jill Winston

You know what I really love about coming to the Tucson show??? Is meeting and talking to all the people from all over the world. Those stalactites?? Those are from Uraguay and they barely spoke English. How cool is that!?!?

I have been here a few days now and getting a groove with all the stones. Be sure to check out these pictures of some of the awesome treasures I have bought. I can hardly wait to get them made into jewelry. Designs are running through my head!

Stone setting onto a pendant has about a hundred different stages and processes, or at least seems like it. After two eight hour days making it and four hours polishing it, I could hardly believe I could actually wear it!! The stone I got in the class is a fossilized coral, but I am call the piece Bubbles!!

I designed it and made it.

The close up on the semi-precious stones shows the micro faceting on these amazing gems.  I spent a lot of time talking to the owner of the factory. He gets the rough rock in India and haspeople cut and facet them and then brings them here to Tucson. I feel lucky that I found him. He was really nice and loved talking about the stones and everything about them.

Tomorrow is a new day. I will go to some of the smaller shows where I always find interesting things. So stay tuned!!!!

Reporting live from Tucson……

Choice Selections:

This one is a micro faceted champagne citrine. Very special!

This is blue topaz and is apparently getting to be a rare stone. My dealer/factory owner says there is limited supply and its getting all bought up. I am glad I got these beauties!!

A new fact I learned. I had always thought these were called rutilated quartz, and they are, sometimes. But they are also called tourmalted quartz which is the stone I thought I had never heard of before. Which goes to show you that many stones have many names. Sometimes I think the factory owners come up with new names to help sell them. It worked on me! But I must say I got the best specimens I have seen in a long time.

This is another micro facet cut of the champagne citrine. Each one of those facets are cut BY HAND!

Notes from Tucson 2014

Jill Winston

I got here in the afternoon and dumped my stuff at my hotel (a funky Towne Suites by Marriott - slumming it!) and off to a couple shows that are open. Not many open today. I found these cool slices of stalactite I will make into pendants, very cool. I got some crystal beads, not the ones I am on a mission for but very cool. They are barrel shaped and I really like them. I got some other mounted pendants, peridot, aquamarine, and a super cool tourmalated quartz which I have never seen in my 10 years going to Tucson, a true find! I got some very unique pearls that I have bought before but the place I got them said they don't have any more since I have never seen them at the other big pearl places, of course I bought them!! They are stick looking with the hole going all the way through it. Watch for some really cool jewelry with those.

Opals are huge here this year, but most are from Ethiopia. I talked to a guy from Australia who had both Ethiopian and Australian opals and he said the Ethiopian opals will loose their color if they get wet or are subject to oil on the skin. Well that won't work!! I am glad I didn't buy those, which I almost did. I am still thinking about the Aussie opals. I do have some at home waiting for my attention.

I am taking a class all day today and tomorrow on soldering and general jewelers bench work. I am having so much fun!! I love this class but I am just vibrating with anticipation to get out there and see everything!!

King Kong Glass in San Francisco

Jill Winston

I am writing from high atop the city our hearts reside in --- San Francisco.

It’s all about glass today. It is what separates me from the clear air off the 42 floor of the Four Seasons Hotel building.

Glass is not only functional, it’s beautiful. Everyone loves glass and its one of the most intriguing and popular elements in jewelry today. I love making glass beads and using them as one of many elements in my jewelry.
I am lucky to have 2 glass studios. One is in Santa Cruz and one in Saugatuck Michigan.

Here are a few of the beads I made this summer.


Throughout my website you will see other examples of great glass including pressed Czech glass and African glass. We will delve into those more in future blogs. For now, I think a cup of fantastic San Francisco Coffee
is in order. Cheers!!!