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Friday, November 25, 2011

MJSA's Eighth Annual Thinking Ahead Awards


MJSA Announces Winners of Eighth Annual 
Thinking Ahead Awards
Kliar by the Legor Group and Etype by Castel Technologies earn honors

 MJSA, the U.S. trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has honored two products--a nanoceramic e-coating and an automated wax injection system--with its annual Thinking Ahead Awards.


Now in its eighth year, the MJSA Thinking Ahead Awards program recognizes products that are making a difference in the way jewelry is being made and sold. The winners are selected by an international panel of independent judges, all of whom are renowned for their expertise in jewelry making and design. In-depth articles on both products appear in the November 2011 issue of MJSA Journal, the association's flagship magazine.

The judges this year selected Kliar, an e-coating developed by the Legor Group, an international supplier of alloys, tools, equipment, and plating technology that is based in Bressanvido, Italy. Kliar enables jewelry makers and designers to easily add vibrant colors to both precious and base metals, and it also can serve as a tarnish inhibitor. Available in 17 hues as well as a transparent coating, it can be applied in the shop with basic equipment (the method is similar to rhodium plating).

"This comes at an important time," said judge Andrea Hill of Hill Management Consulting's StrategyWerx in Campbellsport, Wisconsin. "Consumers are increasingly interested in different colors and treatments of metals. At the same time, manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce dependence on gold and platinum as their primary manufacturing metals, due to the high costs."
 
"The Kliar process seems to exhibit significantly greater tarnish resistance than other existing processes," said judge James Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts in Bellingham, Washington. "Given the ongoing increase in metals prices, this will help silver gain more customer acceptance, as tarnish is one of the main negative issues with some consumers."

The judges also named as a winner the Etype automated wax injection system developed by Castel Technologies in Hod Hasharon, Israel. The system features a motorized conveyor belt that brings bar-coded molds to an injection station, where they are automatically filled with wax based on computerized parameters. The molds are then returned by conveyor to workers who remove the wax. Depending on the number of injectors being used, the Etype can produce from 360 to about 1,250 waxes per hour.

Judge Chris Ploof of Chris Ploof Studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, noted that the Etype can help both large and small shops. "The equipment is great for large manufacturers, as it can replace multiple technicians with one person," he said. "It's also great for small manufacturers, allowing one person to do the work of several."

In addition to the above judges, this year's panel also included Steven Adler of A3DM in Portland, Oregon; Michael Coan of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City; Dr. Christopher W. Corti of CoreGold in London; Linus Drogs of Au Enterprises in Berkley, Michigan; goldsmith/educator Charles Lewton-Brain of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Jurgen J. Maerz of The Platinum Expert Consulting Service in Hawkins, Texas; and J. Tyler Teague of JETT Research inJohnson City, Tennessee.

The winners of the Thinking Ahead Awards will be honored at a special ceremony during the 2012 MJSA Expo New York trade show, which will run March 11-13 at the Hilton New York in New York City. For more information, or to purchase a copy of the November MJSA Journal, go to mjsa.org or call 1-800-444-MJSA (6572).
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