If you haven't noticed yet, I love jewelry, I want to make jewelry, and I work in the jewelry industry. But sometimes work can get in the way and make me HATE jewelry. Luckily, there are small moments in life where the clouds part, and the sun shines through bringing to light something like the Smart Show, and I am totally reinvigorated...ahhhh....(sigh of relief).

I spent all of Saturday inside Navy Pier's convention center roaming long aisles of booths filled with gemstone and diamond suppliers, retail jewelry brands from all over the states, the next generation in CAM technology, jewelry tool supplies, and even got to watch live bench performances. Above was the hand engraving competition. 

Below is one of the BEST parts about these show: FREE publications from the trade. Not gonna lie, totally nerd out on these things!

And another bit of truth, a lot of the jewelry there is pretty damn ugly. But I did find a select few designers that really caught my eye. Natalie Frigo is one of them. I probably felt a connection to her work since she hand carves all her own waxes and is a one-woman show. Oh, and her work isn't only about diamonds and engagement rings. She finds beauty in the bizarre and imperfections. OH, and one last thing, she makes environmentally-conscious decisions when it comes to running her business. Um, can I be like her??