I had to go back to Tucson one more time to find one of my favorite vendors and look at the rocks (mineral specimens)! I wish I had the budget and room for some of the larger specimens like the huge crystal ball or the cut amethyst geode that I could see with a glass topped coffee table.
or the rock with crystals inside of it that looked like a miniature cave.
Two years ago I met Gary Wilson (no web site, just email) of Lapidary Design Group, and fell in love with his unique focal beads. I used one of his semi-tumbled & drilled mineshaft basalt rocks as a focal bead in a necklace I crocheted with 6 mm red tigereye beads. I have several more that have not yet found their place in finished jewelry, but couldn't resist going back this year to see what he had.
He makes beads out of the most unusual things; old Ford car paint, vintage kitchen glass or porcelain fragments, common rocks like granite, and uncommon things like Norwegian moonstone. Every piece is different and unlike anyone else's lapidary work. I've shown just four of the very unusual focal beads that came home with me as well as the beautifully done moonstone beads from Norway.
And then there was the strand of pale green 20 mm chalcedony beads that I couldn't resist and have no idea what I'm going to do with. They just seemed to have my name on them. Some day they may just be a hand knotted necklace that can only be worn for a few hours at a time. What would you do with them?