For the sixth straight year, JCK Tucson is poised to take the desert by storm
From Feb. 6 to 9, the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa will host the sixth annual edition of the JCK Tucson show, now firmly established as the sole designer-led fine jewelry event to take place in Tucson during gem week.
When JCK Tucson vice president Katie Dominesey took over the management of the show on behalf of Reed Exhibitions in 2015, she was thrilled to see the Arizona event had a handful of well-known designers on its roster (from Southern California’s Alishan to Peter Schmid of Konstanz, Germany–based Atelier Zobel), but, she recalls, they were too often overshadowed by “a lot of mass manufacturers selling a lot of semi-mounts.”
As she set about refashioning the show into a designer-led experience, starting in 2016, she was determined to create an environment that inspired a sense of discovery, yet lacked the formality so typical of shows on the jewelry calendar.
“We wanted to make sure there was a certain look to the show, but we didn’t want it to be stuffy,” Dominesey says. “We surveyed the retailers and asked them what they wanted, and overwhelmingly they wanted to do business in a non-pressure environment.”
That philosophy will be on full display this year, thanks partly to the show’s commitment to nurturing designer talent. In addition to the international section that debuted last year (with brands like London’s The Rock Hound), JCK Tucson will showcase domestic artists such as Sarah Graham, Petra Class, and Audrius Krulis as well as Denver’s John Atencio, who’s returning for an encore.
Through a partnership with the Women’s Jewelry Association, JCK Tucson has space in the Arizona ballroom for eight designers new to the trade show scene. But that’s not all that’s new. “We have four lab-grown diamond companies in the Tucson ballroom,” Dominesey says. “I wouldn’t have predicted that.”
Diamond and 18k gold rings with green tourmaline, mint tourmaline, and
aquamarine, $4,840–$6,820; Audrius Krulis; email@example.com; audriuskrulis.com