Colors of the Stone with To Bead True Blue is the only major Tucson Show that primarily promotes artisan handcrafted gemstones, jewelry, and bead design. It is hosted twice a year, in the months of February & September, at Casino Del Sol Resort & Convention Center. The eight-day Winter event hosts 1000 artisan exhibits, galleries, and workshops; the four-day Fall event hosts 500. Attendees come from across the U.S. and over 38 countries, and include designers, art curators, jewelry artists, trades people, and a growing artisan community.
Both the Winter and Fall schedules include Artisan Workshops --handcraft and design classes, which give anyone so inclined an exceptional opportunity to learn from artisans-in-residence, who are people who actually cut and polish gems, make beads, design jewelry and art clothing. These handcraft workshops focus attention back on the artisan tools and hands-on skills that have been overlooked in favor of mass production. Workshops are offered at all skill levels in subjects like bead making, jewelry design, wirework, art metal clay, hand knotting, enameling, crystal setting, mixed media, stone setting, chainmaille, bronze clay, photography, macramé, micro chasing, leatherwork, kumihimo, and marbled glass necklace.
The exhibitor list is an assemblage of selected artists, artisans and trades people who work out of independent studios, ateliers and workshops. They are lapidaries, gem cutters, jewel smiths, gold smiths, silver smiths, engravers, bead makers, lamp workers, glass blowers, wood carvers, ceramists, embossers, textile weavers, cloth makers, paper crafters, leatherworkers, clothiers, fashion designers, milliners, fiber artists, felters, dyers, silk painters, soap makers, shoemakers, button makers, embroiderers, furniture makers, wine makers, distillers, basket weavers, glass artists, tile makers, candle makers, tool makers, trades people and bohemian merchants.
Each exhibitor is carefully juried for their outstanding artistic ability, exceptional design and singularity of work, and asked to exhibit as the result of this creative review. Exhibitors must, whether they are an artist, designer, artisan, merchant, or manufacturer --and whether they create fine jewelry or the useful wares that we use in day to day life --be loyal to traditional techniques, handcraft skills, natural colors and sustainable materials.
The products offered at Colors of the Stone with To Bead True Blue must reflect this loyalty to authenticity, and getting the most out of materials, while exuding innovative, brilliant, artisan design and originality. Each individual work in this vast range, from bold eclectic stone pieces to classic handmade gold earrings, artisan beads to antique trade beads, silk painting to fine art canvas painting, fused glass jewelry to found object jewelry --is an original work of art.
Colors of the Stone with To Bead True Blue offers the general public a rare opportunity to meet one-on-one with artists and artisans and buy direct at excellent prices. Most artisans are eager to show off their work --there are handcraft demonstrations and pop up fashion shows, which complement an interactive environment. Many offer custom pieces, crafted to an individual’s style --and numerous design pieces are debuted here and presented by the artists themselves.
The show is a wholesale source for designers and trades people who are purchasing goods for the purpose of resale --such as jewelry makers, metal workers, bead stores, craft stores, and art galleries. There are about 50 established wholesale companies that offer true wholesale pricing on jewelry making and bead making supplies, beads, metals, leather, cords, wire, clay, findings, gemstones; and tools for metal working, diamond cutting, jewelry and bead making.
Colors of the Stone specializes in hand-cut gemstones, designer jewelry, rare mineral pieces, crystals, opals, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, jade, garnets, pearls, amber, topaz, peridot, gold and silver work. It celebrates the handcraft skills developed by artisans over thousands of years and promotes gemstone cutters, polishers, setters, goldsmiths, jewel smiths --and the complete spectrum of lapidary design --from hand-cut gemstones to handcrafted gold jewelry, from diamonds to sapphires, turquoise to moonstone.
To Bead True Blue --la grande dame des perles --presents the finest artisan beads, an exclusive selection of one-of-a-kind handcrafted beads, bead jewelry, hand knotted strands, lamp work glass beads, polymer clay beads, bead embroidery, gold and silver beads, bead components and findings, antiquities, vintage Gablonzer glass beads, hard to find tribal and nomadic beads, and other rare design elements.
Over the years, To Bead True Blue has welcomed bead-related products and complementary accessories made by artisans such as textile weavers, fiber artists, milliners, clothiers, fashion designers, felters, shoemakers, and ceramists --who embrace the continuum of handcrafted media --discover handmade, individual creations, such as original lamp work beads, hand-cut gemstones, upcycled clothing, felted hats, artwear, hand-dyed silks, raku beads, painted linen, hand tooled leather, eco-dyed fabrics, jewelry art, natural crystals, mineral specimens, fossils, ethnographic findings, African trade beads, nomadic cloth and sacred textiles.
Casino Del Sol is Tucson’s premier luxury resort, with the largest Convention Center in Tucson, over 75,000 ft² of showroom space --enough for 1000 exhibits, galleries, and workshops. It is an architectural gem, modeled after a late 19th-century Tuscan village, and nestled in the beautiful Sonoran Desert, minutes from downtown Tucson and Tucson International Airport.