The gem and mineral gathering is the annual extravaganza of the Mid-Hudson Valley Gem & Mineral Society, based in Poughkeepsie since 1969, and now full of members interested in all aspects of their field, from collecting to jewelrymaking. Forget the non-renewable liquid carbon treasures with which our economy is still so obsessed – or the simpler lure of silver and gold. The big draws at this weekend’s event will be more specialized stones, settings and the sorts of natural wonders that pull droves to major collections from the State Museum in Albany to the American Museum of Natural History down in New York.
As for the stamping, scrapbooking and other paper arts on view this weekend, simultaneously: These are new phenomena, in terms of booming popularity, that are based on age-old techniques, from woodcuts to memorabilia, that now mix sentimental popular forms with bona fide artists shifting into the forms and methods with self-conscious calculation. Festivalwise, expect loads of hobbyists gathering over vendors’ tables of products, or kibitzing in massive long-table klatches of excited practitioners.
The gem and mineral expo will be running Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with over 30 dealers on hand, lapidary demos, fossil exhibits, bead and tool sales and other fun. The papercraft aficionados will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, with demos, vendors and shared practice sessions. All will take place September 17 and 18 at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, located at 6550 Springbrook Avenue (Route 9) in Rhinebeck.
For more on the Gems and Minerals Meet-Up, call (845) 227-1188 or visit mhvgms.org. For more on the rubber- stamping and scrapbooking, call (727) 644-0590 or visit www.stampscraparttour.com.