Monday, October 18, 2010

reminiscing on a weekend artisans trail

For twenty years a regular activity of mine has been  to go on the Allegheny Artisans Trail heading west winding through Alfred, Andover, Belmont and Wellsville. It is a fairly large trail with over forty-seven artists this year opening their studios to the public. Usually it is a matter of picking and choosing where I want to go between old friends and meeting new people. Somewhere in there is a visit to The Jet in Alfred or the Wellsville Creative Arts Center for a light lunch depending where I am at the necessary time to pause for refreshment.

Yesterday at Walker Metalsmiths in Andover I met a gemologist, Peter Torraca, GG , who graciously shared his exertise along with a little demonstration. He answered a question that I thought that I knew the answer to but wasn't sure: What's the quality of the gemstones that you see advertised on the shopping networks on TV? You guessed the answer: a low grade gem, and even if it was lovingly set by an exceptional jeweler, it would still be not perfect. It follows the rule that you pay for what you get.

I came home and checked out Torraca's website, and it held a lot of information about gemstones. See for yourself.