acanthusleaf: (Default)
So a message comes across the facebook this morning that merchants will not be allowed to set up on the field at June Crown. Yeah, I've sent a polite message asking what's up and pointing out that my husband, a knight of the West, would be fighting out of our pavilion.

Even my rage is tired of this shit. I fight this battle every couple of years, and I still can't get to the bottom of what the goddamn problem is. Is it really so fucking horrible to see a table of jewelry on the field? My friends and customers seem to like it. The guest fighters and their consorts seem ok with it. Nobody has had the balls to tell me to my face what the problem is.

This close to Pennsic, if they really won't let me do this, I just won't go to Crown. Plus the Royalty I'm in fealty to will get a letter about it. This shit is hard enough without added bullshit. I'm frequently tempted to toss it in and get a real job (if I could get hired after so many years out of the field). I just about lost my shit at March Crown when Zanobia tried to pull this crap with some line about making sure there was enough space for fighters. Now, that honks me off on several levels, but at the time, I was trying to set up a pavilion by myself before the rain started, and this bullshit cost me half an hour delay and weeks of fuming. I still haven't had the chance to talk with Zanobia about it, and was going to do that at Crown. Every time this comes up I get angry all over again. I'm following all the rules. I've been doing this for over eight years at every Crown Tourney and Beltane. Aren't I a Sacred Western Tradition yet? :-)

When I first started trying to sell medieval jewelry at events, I just set up in Merchants' Row because that was what was done. The thing is, if the established members don't take time out of their day to purposefully go shopping, I don't sell anything. I was alone, with nobody to give me pee breaks, but I didn't have enough of a crowd around to worry much about it. Also, being off at the other end of the event meant I didn't see my friends and didn't get to take part in the event. Setting up camp by yourself is hard. Merchanting is hard. Together it is completely exhausting, and at the June Crown where it was 106 in the shade and there was no space left on Merchant's Row, I decided something had to change or I had to quit. Setting up on the field is a partial answer. I still hate merchanting, but at least people come by to keep me company and I can see the lists and stuff.

The reason I didn't give up at March Crown is that I sold really well. For this BS to come around again so soon is very discouraging.
acanthusleaf: (Default)
OMG, this time of year Tucson is amazing!

Ok, I'll learn how to do a cut real soon now, but here is a long rambling post.

People talk about going to "the gem show", but in reality there are over 30 different shows around the city. Some in gigantic tents, some in hotel ballrooms and parking lots. They range from free-wheeling semi-hippy celebrations of crystals and tie-die to tie-wearing diamond-dealing seriousness. I only got to be there for three days, but it was lovely! Right off the plane we went to the Kino Sports Complex show, one of the most free-wheeling of the bunch. There are a great many alternate vendors, with stuff like African rugs and imported purses, but this is an excellent place to find large chunks of rough stone, very large lapidary tools, and a few unusual cabochons.

Those of you who know Aurelia (Not costuming Aurelia, I'm talking about Poo Aurelia), will not be surprised to hear that she has long been interested in having polished coprolite for a baronial coronet and other jewelry. I didn't know where to find these in California or on the Internet, but if a stone doesn't exist in Tucson, it doesn't exist. Sure enough, the first major score I had was at this show, and it was rather pretty agatized dinosaur poop, or coprolites. I texted her right then and bought a bunch. She squeed. Success!

We finished out the afternoon at the Gem Mall and Holidome show. This is four enormous tents, also with some imported random gifty-poo things and lots of premanufactured jewelry and beads. Fortunately there are also some gem dealers. This was fun to look through, but we moved pretty fast. I bought a few square cabochons, but they really didn't have what I was looking for. Still, we got over 15,000 steps, which was pretty good for the afternoon.

The next day was the big show. Not the Biggest Baddest show, which I can't get into anymore, but a really big show nonetheless. Here were acres of astounding gemstones from all corners of the earth. This is where I spent most of my money, and all of Wednesday. Lots of high-quality rough stones, tons of the sparkliest faceted stones, and quite a number of lovely cabochons. There is an entire room of gems cut by the artists of Idar-Oberstein in Germany. A. MAZ. ING. I was, frankly, disappointed with the company I used to buy a whole lot of stones from, because they have cut way back on their rectangular and square cabochon stock. These are the stones closest to the cuts they used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. They were very nice, and I bought some stones, but nowhere near what I was hoping they had. OTOH, there was a pearl merchant that had several lovely baroque pearls that I want to make into Renaissance pendants. This gigantic show exhausted us by the late afternoon, so we spent the rest of the day in a lovely little brewpub. Oh darn.

Thursday morning we went to three adjoining shows at motels on the freeway frontage road. These were more mineral-centric, with specimen stones that I have lost adjectives for. THere were quartz crystal that were over six feet tall and at least four feet across. Geodes with amethyst interiors that were just as tall. Many specimens that had custom-welded supports, and must have been brought in with a forklift. I found a few nice cab garnets, including the elusive pear-shape that goes into my Pelican rings. These shows had a greater variety of rough stones, and it is now all I can do to restrain myself from buying lapidary equipment. Seriously, though I might need to do this, because the next step in making my pieces more period is to have the right stones, and as I said, if they aren't in Tucson they don't exist. Wow, that was a long sentence. :-)

We discovered a very nice local Scottish Ale called Kilt Lifter, and it was on tap in the airport on the way home.

Friday night we went up to Napa for the annual Awards Dinner for his district. He got his 25-year service pin and a 25-year safety award. Decent catered food, but we were totally shattered and the drive home in the rain was exhausting.

But I have shinies! Hooray!

May 2017

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