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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MJSA Jeweler’s Bench Conference & Trade Fair


Jeweler’s Bench Conference & Trade Fair

September 13 & 14, 2014

Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel
1850 Post Road, Warwick, RI

If you ever wanted a better, more profitable way to make or repair a piece of jewelry, then this event is for you.

The Jeweler’s Bench Conference & Trade Fair is for anyone engaged in bench work—artisans and designers, manufacturers, retailers who offer repair or re-purposing services—who wants to be a business success. Who wants to learn the latest bench techniques and re-discover the joy of bench work as well as learn ways to run a better bench business. Who wants to discover the latest tools, supplies, and services that will turn their operation into a lean and fit "Super Shop."

Registration is now open!


Jeweler’s Bench Conference Sessions

The Jeweler’s Bench conference offers two distinct educational programs:

The Better Business program on Saturday will feature sessions on how to best price your products and services, stock your bench, and generally run a better bench business.

The Better Bench program on Sunday covers the technical issues faced by bench jewelers every day, from how to think like a welder, to create designs that can be cast more easily, and to transform ordinary, damaged, or chipped stones into extraordinary gems.

Below is the schedule for the Better Businesssessions that have been developed and will be run by the MJSA Education Foundation, and the Better Bench sessions that have been developed and will be run by Metalwerx.

Better Business Sessions

Saturday, September 13
9 to 10:30 a.m.:
How to Stock a Better Bench
Presented by Ann Cahoon, North Bennet Street School
What are the essential tools needed by the modern bench jeweler? Which tools will make her or his life easier? Which machines and technology are worth the cost in time saved? This informative session will look at the basics, then examine specialized tools for various kinds of jewelers, from general repair operations to stone setting, chain making, and more. A review of necessary safety equipment will also be included.


11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.:
Social Media Tips for Bench and Custom Jewelers
Presented by Peggy Jo Donahue, Director of the MJSA Education Foundation, MJSA Social Media Correspondent
Bench and custom jewelers are some of the most followed jewelers on sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Why? Because jewelry-loving consumers love to see photos of works in progress, and "insider" photos of the amazing machines and tools that jewelers use. In addition, custom, restoration, and repair projects almost always come with a story of a well-loved heirloom or a relationship sealed by a talisman. Learn how to make your projects catnip on social media, and build your business!


1 to 2:30 p.m.:
Pricing for Jewelry Repairs and Custom Design: Don’t Sell Yourself Short
Presented by Joel McFadden, Joel McFadden Designs
Many bench jewelers and custom designers admit that they don’t always factor in all of the costs involved when charging for their work. Using David Geller’s famous Blue Book to Jewelry Repair and Design as a guide, this informative session will help you to avoid common mistakes in pricing both repairs and designs, ensuring you cover all material costs and labor charges (including for your CAD work) and establish a price that your target market will bear.


3 to 4:30 p.m.:
The Business of Running a Bench Business: Operations Advice
Presented by Marlene Richey, Business Consultant and Author of Profiting by Design: A Jewelry Maker’s Guide to Business Success
Bench jewelers run businesses with a wide array of tasks, from building one custom piece to fulfilling larger orders to doing repairs and restoration. But what about the basic tasks involved in running a business, from operations and inventory, to pricing and promotion? If your skills are more bench than business oriented, learn from Richey, an award-winning consultant and author, who has also operated a successful design firm and retail jewelry gallery.


Better Bench Sessions
Sunday, September 14

9 to 10:30 a.m.:
Possibilities of Pulse Arc Welding
Presented by Sessin Durgham, Rio Grande
Micro-pulse-arc welding can increase efficiency with basic bench tasks such as ring sizing, re-tipping near heat-sensitive stones, and repairing porous castings. Sessin Durgham, technical support team member at Rio Grande, has been conducting ongoing research on the many other possibilities this technology has to offer the jewelry industry. Using the latest Orion Pulse Arc Welder I series, Sessin will demonstrate and explain new discoveries found in his research, including how to fabricate large jewelry objects and small hollowware using long, consistent, repeatable weld seams, and how to join dissimilar metals—titanium to karat gold, karat gold to iron, and more. Begin to think like a welder and apply this valuable skill to jewelry and metalsmithing.
MJSA and Metalwerx would like to thank Orion Welders for sponsoring this presentation.


11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.:
Casting for Designers: Production Strategies
Presented by Daniel Grandi, Racecar Jewelry Co.
As a casting expert and founder of Racecar Jewelry Co., with more than forty years of experience in all aspects of the business, Dan Grandi has developed strategies for working in a proficient and cost-effective manner. In this presentation, Dan will help to demystify the lost-wax casting process so that attendees can gain a better understanding of what will work well in a production environment. He will also discuss ways to save time by designing wax models to incorporate findings, simple methods to cut open molds, tips for modifying tools, and other tricks he’s developed over the years.


1:30 to 3 p.m.:
Lapidary: Repairing and Restoring Cabochons
Presented by David Baird, Professional Jeweler and Instructor
This presentation is for jewelers who want some lapidary knowledge to help them at the bench. David Baird will demonstrate ways to alter, refashion, and customize cabochon stones using a flex-shaft and hand tools. Topics will include simple methods and tools available for refreshing or re-polishing, how to deal with scratched or abused cabochons, and solutions for stone replacements in existing settings. Take ordinary, damaged, or chipped stones and turn them into extraordinary gems, without the need for a full lapidary studio.
The Better Business program on Saturday will feature sessions on how to best price your products and services, stock your bench, and generally run a better bench business.

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