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At the Jewelry Bench

28 May

At the Jewelry Bench

Wow! I just found this, yet another reason I so wish I could make it out to Las Vegas for all the great shows starting in early June. As part of my numerous part-time jobs over the years, I spent some time working as a sales clerk at a fine jewelry shop, and I love taking a breaking and watching the bench jewelers at work. At JCK Las Vegas 2007 you can do the same thing thanks to Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America:

MJSA Jewelry Academy Presents "At the Bench Live" at JCK Las Vegas 2007

Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) will once again provide "At the Bench Live" demonstrations at JCK Las Vegas on June 2-4, 2007, in the ET&S Pavilion. This year's session will feature a diverse range of topics, from working with palladium to wax carving with a flex-shaft. Below is a full schedule:


1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

- "Palladium Today: Its Place in the Market," a panel discussion by Daniel Ballard of PM West, Teresa Frye of TechForm Advanced Casting Technology, and Lisa Krikawa of Krikawa Designs.

3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

- "950 Palladium: The Fundamentals for Success in Design and Casting" by Teresa Frye of TechForm Advanced Casting Technology.


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

- "How to Set up a Casting Operation in a Small Shop" by Chris Ploof of Chris Ploof Designs.

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

- "Tips and Tales from the Platinum Bench" by Jurgen J. Maerz of Platinum Guild International.

2:30 p.m.

- Book Signing by Jurgen J. Maerz. Maerz will sign copies of his latest MJSA Press book, Adventures at the Bench: Tricks to Overcome a Jeweler's Daily Challenges, sponsored by Johnson Matthey New York.

3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

"Optimizing Your Gravers and Other Tools for Pave and Bead Setting Gemstones" by Arthur Anton Skuratowicz of the Jewelry Training Center.


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

- "Quick Start Wax Carving with Kate Wolf" by Kate Wolf of Kate Wolf Designs.

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

- "Promotion, Pricing, and Production – a Primer" by Chris Ploof of Chris Ploof Designs.

3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

- "Safe Jeweler, Safe Shop" by Arthur Anton Skuratowicz of the Jewelry Training Center. This presentation is part of the MJSA Safe & Secure Outreach Program and is sponsored by G-TEC Natural Gas Systems.

The bench and tools are sponsored by Stuller Inc.

For more information, please contact Teresa Shannon, MJSA Jewelry Academy director, at 1-800-444-6572, ext. 3103, e-mail, or stop by MJSA Booth #L9 in the Sands Convention Center at JCK Las Vegas.

Bead Conference in Istanbul, Turkey

17 May

Bead Conference in Istanbul, Turkey

You can't have beautiful beaded jewelry without its main component – fabulous beads! I'm a bead lover from way back to the original "love beads" days. They have come a long way but their rich history is not forgotten at conference like The International Bead and Beadwork Conference in Istanbul, Turkey.

One of the conference speakers is Dr Juliette Leeb-du Toit who will present, Deciphering the Mysteries of Zulu Love Letters:

A discovery late in 2006 provides possibly the first known text on the intricate meanings associated with colour and other accoutrements in Zulu 'love letters' (also known as ucu).

The Zulu 'love letter' (ucu) has become one of the single most identifiable decorative Beadwork embellishments worn by Zulu traditionalists, and marketed widely by the tourist sector as a decipherable item that can be worn by Zulu and tourists alike. Made originally for a Zulu male by his female admirer (or for a female by her male suitor's female relatives), the ucu represents an item that is encoded with design and colour combinations (often geometric) that are said to be legible to either wearer or maker (or both).

To date 'love letters' were thought to convey messages of intent, ardour and availability.

However, IBBC presenter, Dr Juliette Leeb-du Toit argues that these assumptions (as well as notions about the format of the ucu) may be largely flawed!

Find out more about this interesting event and the various speakers that will present on the The International Bead and Beadwork Conference web site.

JCK in Vegas This Month

15 May

JCK in Vegas This Month

May means it's time for one of the biggest shows in las vegas, and I'm not talking about Celine Dion. I'm talking about jewelry of course, specifically the JCK Las Vegas show, and during the end of May, they will have a number of educational conferences going on. Then in early June they will host exhibits. You can find out more about the educational opportunities available to those in the jewelry industry (see below too) and the exhibit portion of the show on the JCK web site:

JCK├é® Education is a complimentary program compiled of 10 tracks covering the topics of Diamonds, AGTA Gems, Business, Technology, Fashion, GIA Updates, Jewelers of America highlights and industry news.

The Education Program runs from Wednesday, May 30 to Thursday, May 31.

Conferences at-a-Glance
Keynote Addresses
GIA Workshops
At the Bench Live
Executive Roundtable Discussion
All seating is first-come, first-served. Registration fees apply for the GIA Workshop and Profit Mastery Seminar.

Vegas Jewelry & Watch Show

24 Apr

Vegas Jewelry & Watch Show

This time of year it seems like there are jewelry shows all over the place. If you live in the western part of the United States, a big show coming up in your area, specifically in Las Vegas, Nevada is the The Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show:

Book under our room block
$109 per night
$159 Fri. & Sat.
Call 877-784-5737
or 702-777-7777
Discount Code-SRJEW07

No Pre-registration
Verification of Photo ID
and Business Card

Show Hours:
Thur. thru Sat.
11:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday 11:00-4:00
Good for all 4 days

For More Show Information Call:
Tel: (239) 732-6642

By the way, "trade only" means that you need to be some how in the business of jewelry. If you have a tax ID, that is usually enough, but it's always a good idea to check the requirements of the shows on their web sites before just showing up. Sometimes you need more than just a copy of your tax ID certificate.

Jewelry Channel Expands to Austin

21 Apr

Jewelry Channel Expands to Austin

Residents of Austin, Texas have a new neighbor, The Jewelry Channel. They are moving in and that means jobs opportunities for those in the jewelry and/or entertainment field. Right now, they just started to hire, but they have big plans for the area according to this news article, Jewelry Channel lands in Round Rock, 700 jobs planned over 5 years:

The channel has established a corporate office and live studio in 30,000 square feet of space, and has plans to eventually expand to 100,000 square feet. The Jewelry Channel's parent company, publicly traded VGL Group of Jaibur, India, expects to make an initial capital investment of $3 million in the project's first year and $20 million over the next five years. The company's Austin operation has already hired 140 people in jobs ranging from on-air talent to warehousing.

Manoj Shrimali, senior vice president with VGL, says the company wanted to establish its U.S. channel in the central time zone and have access to an educated work force in a business-friendly environment. Austin, he says, provided all of the above. "Everyone in the U.S. wants to move to Austin," Shrimali says. "Everything that our channel is about we can find here."

VGL is an integrated corporation that manufactures jewelry in locales across Asia. The Jewelry Channel will mostly market and sell the company's own products, Shrimali says. Last year, VGL Group launched two other jewelry related channels in the United Kingdom and Germany. In addition to live programming, the channel will also run short documentaries about jewelry setting and various aspects of the jewelry business. The company is already broadcasting nationwide through DirecTV on channel 226 and is in final negotiations with Time Warner Cable to begin broadcasting in that carrier's markets. Shrimali says the company hopes to bring the channel to all U.S. markets, but there is no firm timeline on when that may be accomplished.

Indie Fashion and Jewelry Show

18 Apr

Indie Fashion and Jewelry Show

Indie designers, including both clothing, jewelry, and other accessories, are finding alternative ways to promote themselves these days. We see it a lot on the web. Another approach is their own fashion shows, and if you are in the Seattle, Washington area tomorrow, you can see one for yourself at Velouria.

Here's the when/what/where from Velouria puts spring fashion on the runway:

Ballard boutique Velouria will host the show with models sashaying down the runway in all this fair-weather garb on Thursday, April 19, at 8 p.m. at the Crocodile Cafe.

Velouria owner Tes de Luna's fashion philosophy focuses on independent designers who create and produce their own pieces. No mass-manufactured stuff from overseas here. Many of the featured clothing, handbag, and jewelry designers and labels are from the Northwest including Liza Rietz, Holly Stalder, ZUZUPOP (de Luna's label), Frocky Jack Morgan, Kimmi, Jenny Yule, Amy Tavern, RikaRika and House of Spy. More than 30 designers will be featured in three fashion sets. Listen to local bands ghost stories and Siberian between the sets.

Advance tickets are $10 at Velouria or Sonic Boom Records locations. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15.

Not Your Typical Bug Jewelry

11 Apr

Not Your Typical Bug Jewelry

It is really weird how often I seem to find people making bug or bug related jewelry. Most recently I reported of funky roach jewelry. Before that was the clay jewelry maker who makes polymer clay into cute bug jewelry, especially pins. And then, of course, there were the bugs incased in resin.

So, the whole make bugs into jewelry thing is nothing that new, but this jewelry designer, whose work is now on exhibit at Sternberg Museum of Natural History until mid August has a different twist on the bug jewelry thing. At least she isn't using real bugs in the finished product.

From Sternberg Museum shows a new take on jewelry:

Some people can make anything look beautiful, but biologist Kathy Stout, Wheeling, W. Va., has a niche for the unusual. Stout and her creative partners, small insects called caddisflies, work together to create to create unique pieces of jewelry, which are on display now at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History.

Caddisflies are moth-like insects whose larvae live under water. In nature, they build protective cases out of sand grains and other debris found on streambeds and then live in these cases, sheltered from fish and other predators. Stout has created an artificial streambed for them in her home. She lines the Habitat with carefully selected gems and semiprecious stones. The caddisflies substitute these materials for their normal sand and pebbles to construct their shelters. As they become adults they leave their shelters and fly away, leaving behind beautiful pieces of art for Stout to collect and craft into her unique jewelry.

The exhibit, "Jewelled Cases: A Collaboration of Art & Nature," opened April 7 and will run through August 12.

Admission to the museum is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and youth ages four to 12 and $3 for Fort Hays State University students with their Tiger cards. Children under age three receive free admission. The museum hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday and closed on Monday.

India Internatinal Jewellery Show

26 Mar

India Internatinal Jewellery Show

The India International Jewellery Show isn't until much later this summer, but they have already started registering exhibitors for it. This jewelry show is scheduled to run from August 30th through September 3rd 2007 in Goregaon, Mumbai, India. Here are some of the details from their web site:

The Indian Gem & Jewellery sector is one of the most dynamic and fast growing sectors of the Indian Economy. The fact that India is the world's largest source for trained, skilled and adaptive manpower along with liberalised government policies that provide a conducive environment for bi-lateral businesses, is what contributes to the continuous growth of this sector. Contributing around 19% to the over all forex kitty of the country, the industry's growth over the years, can be attributed primarily to the continuous efforts put in by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

Along with lots of people selling jewelry, there will be seminars including:

8. VISION 2015(KPMG)

Crafty Jewelry from Kentucky Crafted

28 Feb

Crafty Jewelry from Kentucky Crafted

Many years ago, I used to sell my jewelry at arts and crafts shows throughout the east coast of Florida. I did this for about eight years before I turned to writing more about jewelry than selling it. My time at the shows was a huge amount of work, but it was a wonderful learning experience as well.

Now I get to be a customer again, and I always have my eye out for that extra special piece of hand-crafted jewelry. The type of jewelry piece that friends will comment on, but alas, they won't be able to get that easily because you bought it from a jewelry artist at a show.

If you live in Kentucky and love craft shows, then you might want to check out the Kentucky Crafted show this March. Here are the details from a press release they send me:

The national award winning Kentucky Crafted: The Market is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The event is open to the general public March 3-4.

Kentucky Crafted: The Market ranked as the number one Art Fair and Festival in the country, according to a national on-line survey conducted by American Style Magazine.

The Southeast Tourism Society has also named Kentucky Crafted: The Market as one of the Top Twenty Events in The Southeast for the twelfth time.

The show features approximately 300 exhibitors of contemporary and traditional craft, two-dimensional visual art, books, musical recordings, and "Kentucky Proud" food products as well as live performances on the Kentucky Cultural Stage and children's educational craft activities (ages 4-12).

Kentucky's craft industry contributes 252 million dollars to the state's economy. An additional impact of 147 million dollars is realized through sales made outside of Kentucky . The Market is a collaborative effort among several state agencies and cabinets, which promote Kentucky 's rich cultural heritage while supporting the state's economy and generates 2 to 3 million dollars in direct sales.

New for the 2007 Market will be a special 25th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit sponsored by silver sponsor Brown-Forman and special lighting designed and furnished by Osram Sylvania. This informative display will feature original and long-time exhibitors of Kentucky Crafted: The Market, an historical overview of how the Market has grown since 1982 and the impact it has had on the growth of Kentucky 's craft industry.

Market shoppers will find 54 new exhibitors this year in six different exhibitor categories. The one-of-a kind Gallery section will be returning featuring more booths this year, totaling 67 exhibitors in this area.

The Osram Sylvania Design Showcase will be created by interior design students from the University of Kentucky in conjunction with KCM and silver sponsor, Osram Sylvania. The students will arrange products from Market exhibitors to feature in room settings, illustrating how Kentucky 's impressive cache of art, craft, and other products can be used in everyday settings.

The Kentucky Arts Council (KAC) will promote the work of artists who have received Kentucky Arts Council Fellowships or who have been accepted into programs such as the Performing Arts on Tour Directory. The KAC booth will include the works of Kentucky artists in the form of recorded music and videos for sale. Live performance will be featured on the Cultural Stage for both Saturday and Sunday.

The Children and Family Traditions area will be presented by the Kentucky Historical Society, The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, and The Little Loomhouse. This area will offer children ages 4-12 opportunities in weaving, making stringed instruments, Japanese paper folding, and the art of Chinese paper cutting.

The event will be held at and will be held in Louisville at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center , South Wing B.

The Market is produced by Kentucky Craft Marketing, a program of the Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet. For more information, call 888-KYCRAFT (592-7238), local (502) 564-3757, or visit our web site at: .

Come celebrate 25 years of quality and style!
Public Days March 3 – 4

Saturday, 9am – 6pm – Sunday, 10am – 5pm, (EST)

Adults $8 Children (ages 15 and under Free) Parking $5

Shared Images Jewelry Exhibit

15 Feb

Shared Images Jewelry Exhibit

The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona will be running a Native American jewelry exhibit of the works of artisans Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird starting this February 17th. You can find out more details as well as get a sneak peek at some fo the items on exhibit at the museum's web site, and here is more information about the what/where/when from their press release:

New Exhibit Highlights Innovative Direction in Native Jewelry

"Shared Images: The Jewelry of Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird" Opens February 17, 2007

Innovative design and flawless technical skill distinguish the jewelry of Yazzie Johnson, Navajo, and Gail Bird, Santo Domingo/Laguna. Their masterful designs are the featured in the exhibition "Shared Images: The Jewelry of Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird," opening February 17, 2007, and on view through July 8, 2007 at the Heard Museum.

Johnson and Bird have been working as a creative team for more than 30 years. "Shared Images" presents elegant earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and belts. Also on view, shown together for the first time, are the artists' best-known work: a series of thematic belts created for the Santa Fe Indian Market. Since 1979, one belt has been designed and debuted each year.

Their jewelry that has been described as "frequently dramatic, always wearable, and compositionally arresting," according to exhibition curator Diana Pardue. "Shared Images" takes a chronological look at the artists' work and process.

The new catalogue, "Shared Images: The Innovative Jewelry of Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird," by Diana Pardue is available, priced at $45, at the Heard Museum Shops.

For images, contact Nicole Haas at 602.251.0283 or

Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Ariz.

$10 General Admission; $9 for seniors (65+); $5 for students with ID; $4 for children 6-12; children under 6, members of the Heard Museum and American Indians with proof of tribal enrollment are free.

To learn more, call 602.251.0283 or visit