Around this time last year, during my first treasure hunt to Guadalajara, several headless bodies were found strewn around the city. While Guad is a pretty town, with some stunning plazas, Colonial Architecture, public art and fountains, it is also a centre of the war between the Mexican drug cartels. When I go, I take my “bodyguard”, the charming and handsome Sigi (beader extraordinaire) Contreras who helps me navigate my way around the various jewelry emporiums, assist with translation, negotiate a substantial discount, not to mention lug my loot! He is a real GEM and you can check out his work on Facebook.
There are 3 massive jewelry Emporiums in Guadalajara all close together which is great because I find it a very intense and exhausting experience. The choices are overwhelming but it is necessary to wade through a lot of “junk” before you hit the mother lode. Sigi has always steered me to the best places – our favourites are Creazioni in the Magno Centro Joyero and just down the plaza, Lapidaria Y Metales where you are virtually guaranteed to find something interesting but it pays to keep your wits about you because we have occasionally found “buried treasure” in the most unlikely of places, (like bright purple seed pods or mosaic hearts). I was happy with my loo
The 5 hour, winding bus trip home to Puerto Vallarata capped off an exhausting but rewarding few days.
I LOVE YOU SIGI CONTRERAS!
A “Sigi Story”
After the first day I said to Sigi, who bought Gold and Swarovski crystals. “Sigi. I only bought junk”. “I know” he said, “but you make junk look wonderful!”
The second day was better – I found some lovely blue lace agate, yellow jade, the sublime soft green and aqua agate baguettes I had been looking for and some coral. Of course with exciting new material to play with I got up early and went AT the pile – I have already worked up a number of new pieces and, true to form, my FAVOURITES ARE MADE FROM THE JUNK!