MJSA’s At the Bench Live Moves to New Tools, Technology, and Supplies Pavilion

by Robyn Hawk on November 16, 2012

MJSA’s At the Bench Live Moves to New Tools, Technology, and Supplies Pavilion at AGTA GemFair

MJSA will present its signature At the Bench Live demonstrations at the 2012 AGTA GemFair Tucson, running twice daily Feb. 5-8 in GemFair’s expanded Tools, Technology, and Supplies Pavilion. The sessions will again feature renowned artisans showing bench and design techniques that attendees can readily apply to their own operations. In addition, related articles from MJSA Journal, the association’s flagship monthly magazine, will be distributed at each session.

The sessions are sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association, and the Bench and Tool Sponsor is the Jewelry Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The schedule includes:

February 5:

Paving the Way: Master Techniques for Pavé and Micro Pavé
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Presenter: Blaine Lewis
With its multiple rows of sparkling gems, pavé adds flash and fire to any jewelry design—but only if it’s done correctly. This session will reveal innovative methods to create and enhance pavé and micro-pavé designs, including advanced bead setting and bright cutting techniques, tool selection, and tips for proper layout, working with different metals, and handling fragile stones.

A Cut Above: Prepping Your Graver
2:30 to 4 p.m.
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz
Whether you need to raise beads, bright-cut a channel setting, or add decorative textures and details, the graver is one of the most important tools you can have—but only if it’s properly prepped. This session will discuss shaping and sharpening methods, along with how to care and maintain your graver, to ensure your cuts remain precise and predictable.

February 6:

Texturing and Finishing Options
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Presenter: Lee Krombholz
Fashion experts say baroque will be big in 2013, which means there will be plenty of opportunity for jewelry featuring textures and decorative finishes. Learn a variety of techniques—including hammer finishing, milgraining, hand engraving, and stippling—in which inexpensive hand tools can be used to create a big look.

Techniques for Setting Halos and Side Diamonds
2:30 to 4 p.m.
Presenter: Lee Krombholz
Adding a “halo” of gems around the center stone or incorporating decorative side stones can add flash and sparkle to any design. Discover various techniques and styles—bead settings, split prongs, bright cuts—that help you to create gem patterns offering the perfect accent.

February 7:

Setting Fancy Shapes, Part 1: Prong Settings
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz
Marquise cuts, cushion cuts, slices—gemstones in these and other unusual shapes pose unique setting challenges. In the first session, learn different techniques for shaping and securely fastening prongs, based on the stone and the metal involved. In honor of “Monaco Blue” being named Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2013, issues specific to tanzanite, lapis, sapphire, and similarly colored stones will be reviewed.

Setting Fancy Shapes, Part 2: Thick-Walled Bezels and Channels
2:30 to 4 p.m.
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz
The force needed for bezel and channel setting can be particularly challenging with fancy shapes: a few bad hammer blows and you’ll have crunching, alignment issues, and misapplied pressure points that lead to stress and cracking. Learn the proper preparation and setting techniques to ensure your walls are aligned and secure.

February 8:

Hand Carving Wax Models
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Presenter: Gary Dawson
A casting is only as good as its model, and in this session you’ll learn how to carve waxes that lead to great castings. The session will include tips for choosing the proper wax, creating an initial layout, removing wax quickly, and achieving fine details. Most important, you’ll learn how to integrate the gem into the model, and create a design that showcases the stone to maximum effect.

Plating Techniques to Ensure Predictable Results
2:30 to 4 p.m.
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz
With precious metals prices expected to remain high, plating has become the option of choice for jewelers to add a precious touch while maintaining price points. This session will discuss techniques for both pen and immersion plating, and to ensure cohesion between different metals, and how to create quality coatings that meet consumer expectations and conform to FTC standards.

In addition to being redesigned as a “one-stop resource” for the know-how, supplies, and services needed by jewelry makers and designers, the Tools, Technology, and Supplies Pavilion will be open to attendees from other events: badge holders of the GJX show, the JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show, and the Gem & Lapidary Wholesalers (G&LW) show at the Holidome will be able to shop the pavilion and attend the At the Bench Live demonstrations.

For more information about the At the Bench Live sessions, go to MJSA.org or contact 1-800-444-MJSA (6572), [email protected]. For more information about the Tools, Technology, and Supplies Pavilion, go to agta.org.

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