Google+ The Daily Jewel: 11/16/08 - 11/23/08


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Revere Academy Announces 2009 Master's Symposium

The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts reveals Masters classes in the 2009 class:

Each spring the Academy invites prominent master craftsmen from across the country and overseas to teach workshops in their areas of specialization.

A reception and slide lecture by visiting masters is open to the public each Wednesday evening during the Symposium.

We are excited to present our special 30th anniversary, all-star line-up including David Yurman, Michael Good and Bernd Munsteiner, Kent Riable, Jean Stark, Fabrizio Acquafresca, Harlan Butt, Christo Kiffer and Suzanne Pugh.

Registration began on October 22, 2008. To register, call 415-391-4179. Payment in full required at time of registration.

National Jewelers Network (NJN) announced the Master's Symposium:

San Francisco--The Revere Academy will hold its 30th Anniversary Masters Symposium next spring, bringing together leading goldsmiths and jewelry experts from around the world to teach 14 master classes.

The symposium will be held at the San Francisco-based school from April 3-29, with most of the two- to five-day workshops open to students at all levels, from absolute beginner to advanced.

Featured among an all-star lineup is designer David Yurman, who will share for the first time his passion, knowledge and creativity in a class called "The Complete Designer." In addition, Michael Good will teach his signature techniques in two classes on anticlastic raising; Jean Stark, a leading force in ancient jewelry-making techniques, will teach classes on ancient rings and loop-in-loop chains; Harlan Butt will share his expertise on cloissone enameling as well as basse taille, stencil and straffitto; Suzanne Pugh will helm a class on working with steel; and Kent Raible will teach granulation in 18-karat gold.

Finally, two jewelry experts will travel from Europe to teach courses at Revere. Bernd Munsteiner will make his way from Germany's famed lapidary center, Idar Oberstein, to teach one course on designing and cutting included gemstones, and a second course on optics and reflections. Fabrizio Aquafresca, who comes from a long line of Italian master craftsmen, will travel from Italy to share his techniques in chasing and repousse.

In addition to the workshops, the Revere Academy will host a Wednesday evening lecture/reception that will be open to the public each week during the Masters Symposium.

As the school prepares to welcome new students this spring, it also recently sent off 25 students with diplomas from its Jewelry Technician (JT) Intensive program, which commenced this year with a juried competition. Students were asked to present a fabricated box ring, with jurors taking note of each student's technical mastery. The following award-winning students received gift certificates donated by industry supplier Otto Frei: Kyle Greenman, Best Design; Fern Thaweechaithaworn, Technical Excellence; Srikanth Rao, Best Stone Setting; Tom Colson, Best Engraving; Corey Egan, Most Dramatic; Aline Vanzin, Best Finish; Michelle Stock, Most Marketable; and Donna Olmstead, My Favorite.

For more information about the Revere Academy and its programs, call (415) 391-4179, e-mail or visit the school's Web site,

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Gem of a Find

An appropriate discovery - Opal is the birthstone for the month of October and at the end of October, this year, NASA made the following announcement:

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed Martian rocks containing a hydrated mineral similar to opal. The rocks are light-toned and appear cream-colored in this false-color image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera. Images acquired by the orbiter reveal that different layers of rock have different properties and chemistry. The opal minerals are located in distinct beds of rock outside of the large Valles Marineris canyon system and are also found in rocks within the canyon. The presence of opal in these relatively young rocks tells scientists that water, possibly as rivers and small ponds, interacted with the surface as recently as two billion years ago, one billion years later than scientists had expected. The discovery of this new category of minerals spread across large regions of Mars suggests that liquid water played an important role in shaping the planet's surface and possibly hosting life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2,000-year-old Gold Earring Found in Jerusalem

By Shawna Ohm, Associated Press Writer
posted: 10 November 2008 10:05 am ET

This undated photo made available by the Israeli Antiquities Authority on Monday, Nov. 10, 2008 shows what archaeologists say is a 2,000-year-old gold earring discovered beneath a parking lot next to the walls of Jerusalem's old city. The Israel Antiquities Authority says the earring is inlaid with pearls and emeralds and was made around the time of Christ, between the first century B.C. and the beginning of the fourth century A.D. Credit: AP Photo/IAA, HO

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli archeologists have discovered a 2,000-year-old gold earring beneath a parking lot next to the walls of Jerusalem's old city, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday.
The discovery dates back to the time of Christ, during the Roman period, said Doron Ben-Ami, director of excavation at the site. The piece was found in a Byzantine structure built several centuries after the jeweled earring was made, showing it was likely passed down through generations, he said.
The find is luxurious: A large pearl inlaid in gold with two drop pieces, each with an emerald and pearl set in gold.
"It must have belonged to someone of the elite in Jerusalem," Ben-Ami said. "Such a precious item, it couldn't be one of just ordinary people."
In a statement released Monday, the authority said the piece of jewelry was "astonishingly well-preserved." Finds from the Roman period are rare in Jerusalem, Ben-Ami said, because the city was destroyed by the Roman Empire in the first century A.D.
Shimon Gibson, an American archaeologist who was not involved in the dig, said the find was truly amazing, less because of its Roman origins than for its precious nature.
"Jewelry is hardly preserved in archaeological context in Jerusalem," he said, because precious metals were often sold or melted down during the many historic takeovers of the city.
"It adds to the visual history of Jerusalem," Gibson added, saying it brings attention to the life of women in antiquity.
Though Gibson dates the piece slightly later than the antiquities authority, to sometime between the second and fourth centuries A.D., he said its quality and beauty were impressive.
Ben-Ami added that he expects more small, luxury items to turn up in future excavations.
Earrings similar to this one have been found at archaeological sites throughout Europe, Ben-Ami said, where the Roman Empire also flourished. The authority said the earring appeared to be crafted using a technique similar to that depicted in portraits from Roman-era Egypt.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mikimoto - The Original

In 1893, Kokichi Mikimoto successfully created the world’s first cultured pearl, THE ORIGINAL, launching today’s cultured pearl industry and making pearls available to women everywhere.

This classic piece of jewelry, THE ORIGINAL Akoya strand, has been reproduced the world over, evolving from a trademark of nobility to an icon of style.

Mikimoto. THE ORIGINAL. The first, and simply the world’s finest cultured pearls.

Nurturing the Dream
With their mysterious yet pure and honest glimmer, pearls have won the hearts of countless people through the ages. After the mid 1800s, just before the Meiji Period, Japan became deeply involved with foreign trade and its natural pearls, already regarded as precious, became more treasured than ever before. At the same time, the pearl oysters around Mikimoto's hometown of Ise-Shima were being over-harvested to a crisis point. He threw himself into the task of seeding oysters and creating pearls, and for decades, he spent every waking hour on research and experiments.Pearls had always been a chance product of nature and initial efforts to delve into their mysteries did not yield immediate results. Factors such as red tides and low water temperatures lead to repeated failures. Regardless of the many complications imposed by nature, Kokichi pledged to commit every fiber of his being to the task and he had the stubborn confidence to turn mighty nature into his ally. The day he had been waiting for finally came on July 11, 1893. In the company of his wife Ume, he raised one of the bamboo oyster baskets out of the water, opened one of the oysters, and there, inside the shell, he discovered a shining pearl. This was the first time in history that a human being had ever created a pearl.

Growing the Dream
Once he had succeeded in culturing a pearl, Kokichi's urge to research grew even stronger. He had always been enchanted by the mysterious glow of the legendary black lipped pearls and silver lipped pearls, and he made up his mind to try culturing them.In 1914, Kokichi opened a culturing site for Black South Sea pearl oysters on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa. Overcoming the often daunting forces of nature, including continual typhoons, in 1931 he turned his fantasy into reality with the production of a giant pearl, 10mm in diameter.He also dispatched a team of researchers to the South Pacific island of Palau, where they had considerable success in culturing pearls.While trying to meet the challenge of producing black lipped and silver lipped cultured pearls, he encouraged the development of local pearl industries on previously underdeveloped islands. He contributed so significantly to the development of these islands that the name 'Mikimoto' is spoken of with reverence even to this day.

Creating a Style
Hoping to enhance understanding of pearls by making them more accessible, Kokichi founded the world's first store specializing pearl jewelry in Tokyo's Ginza district. In 1906, he moved the store to a new building in Ginza 4-chome. The Mikimoto Pearl Store, a two-story Western-style building made of white stone, was a remarkably new type of establishment, offering Kokichi's keen sense of contemporary fashion in the form of beautiful, high-quality items.

Stylish young men in finely tailored high-collared three-piece suits waited on the customers and each month the store featured new displays conceived by expert designers. Kokichi put the utmost effort into decorating the showcases with jewelry representing the highest quality and most refined styles. The Mikimoto Pearl Store, a product of Kokichi's study of Western aesthetics and his own unique sense of style, soon attracted worldwide attention. Kokichi steadily continued pursuing his dreams.

Check out Mikimoto TODAY:

For some great pearl info:

Monday, November 17, 2008

MetalSmithing - Free Online Tutorials

5 Reasons Solder Doesn't Flow - Don Norris

I was asked for some tutorials, by a couple ladies in my Jewelry Making Class and thought I would share the info....

First - if you want to learn it there is probably a tutorial online for it - Google is your friend!

Two places I look to for metalsmithing info are Ganoksin ( and YouTube (! Simply put the technique or term you are looking for in the search window.

Here is a small sample of interesting tutorials:

Making Strong Secure Jumprings from How-To-Make-Jewelry [www_wireworksecrets_com]

Making HeadpinsFree Headpin Tutorial from Etsy [www_etsy_com]
Jewelry 101 - Making Headpins from Michon Jewelry Blog
Making Headpins: Video demo from Beading Daily

Patinas - Using Liver of Sulphur from Holly Gage [www_hollygage_com]
Patination from Ganoksin [www_ganoksin_com]

Fold Forming from Ganoksin [www_ganoksin_com]

Lost Wax Casting from Expert Village [www_expertvillage_com]
Cuttlefish Casting from Ganoksin [www_ganoksin_com]


Viking Knit Chain Making from YouTube

Wax Working from Ganoksin [www_ganoksin_com]
Beginners Corner from Ganoksin

From Beginning to Very Complex - Tutorials by Hans Meevis

Bench Jewelers Television Network
(some free but for full use join for a minimal monthly fee)

MetalSmithing from Art Jewelry Magazine

MetalSmithing from Jewelry Artist Magazine


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