Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

Badge 6 Showmanship


6. Showmanship

A fun part of collecting and the lapidary arts is sharing what we‘ve found or made. When displaying at a local gem show, we not only get to show off our own collections but also to learn from others, getting advice, sharing tips, and forging bonds of friendship through mutual interests. But building an effective display involves more than getting a glass-fronted box and throwing in a bunch of rocks. Before you enter an exhibit into a show, county fair, or elsewhere, you should learn the rules of effective showmanship.

Activity 6.1: Techniques for effective displays

Learn the techniques of assembling an effective display, such as balance, color coordination, labeling, and lighting. List them from memory.

Activity 6.2: Holding a workshop on display ideas

Hold a workshop with fellow club members to discuss display ideas. Have a display case at hand and see what happens when you use various types of materials as background liners (light versus dark materials; plain versus patterned cloth; etc. What happens when you vary the lighting or use risers or stands to raise display specimens?

Activity 6.3: Observing and evaluating displays

Either alone or with a group, visit a museum with rock displays or a gem show with exhibits. Carefully observe the displays, taking note of what catches your eye as being effective or not so effective. Make a checklist of techniques for effective displays and judge the displays you see against the checklist. Then hold a discussion about what works and what doesn‘t in a display. How could the displays you saw be improved?

Activity 6.4: Making your own public display

Note: This activity is required to earn this badge.

Gather together the best of your rock, mineral, or fossil collection or your lapidary artwork and prepare a display for public exhibit. Good settings for displays include your school, county fairs, libraries, a local museum, a rock club show, or a science fair. Such a display might be done individually or collectively. If collectively, your club might approach a public library about doing a display for a month. Libraries like to do this, and they often use it as an opportunity to highlight their books on that particular topic.

Activity 6.5: Entering competition

Enter into competitive display at your regional show, at a county fair, or elsewhere. Competitions usually have very specific sets of rules or guidelines that all entrants must follow. Work with your youth leader to make sure you understand whatever rules may be in place for the competition you enter.