Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Alishan - At The Bench at MJSA




The Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America's EXPO West Pavilion is in the Ballroom on the Galleria level, along with the Spectrum of Design Pavilion. Exhibitors demo manufacturing equipment, tools, supplies, contract services and the latest in new technologies. MJSA’s At the Bench Live features bench demonstrations for attendees, showing the latest techniques for bench jewelers.

Today's "At The Bench - Live" demo was with Alishan Halebian - who was a delight!!

The Demo was listed as...

Craft and Creativity: Improvisation At The Bench with Alishan Halebian

A Master Goldsmith renowned for bold and often provocative designs, Alishan will demonstrate how he improvises at the bench to create designs which best showcase specific gems.



In reality he walked us through a new design he started - from illustration through fabrication. That is where the title of the demo comes in. If you work at a bench - in fact if you work in any creative field - you know that just because it looks great on paper doesn't mean it works in 3D!

As he added components he discussed pieces that weren't fitting in properly and walked us through his thought process for making changes and why. He offered demos of how he used normal bench tools to accommodate a different use.

He showed his method for applying a "Florentine" finish - no he doesn't use a burr - he does it by hand - each time it is slightly different and everyone does it a little different.

One of the things he said that stuck with me...

"...each time you add handwork you make the piece more important"

Following the demo Manos from Alishan's staff took me back to the booth to show me Alishan's insect jewelry...wonder why he thought I might like that? (big grin)

Check out the schedule, the range this year is wonderful!

Thursday, Feb. 4
Setting Fancy-Cut Gems 1: A Traditional Approach
Lee Krombholz
Fancy-cut gemstones, with their subtle cut variations, present setters with numerous challenges. In this session, custom designer Lee Krombholz demonstrates traditional wax-working techniques to create cast settings that are appealing, secure, and lasting.

Friday, Feb. 5
Setting Fancy-Cut Gems 2: A CAD/CAM Approach
Lee Krombholz
Lee Krombholz has won numerous awards for his computer-aided designs. Here, he shows how he uses CAD technology to create a wax model, then applies traditional bench techniques to ensure that model becomes a finished piece that safely and securely holds a fancy-cut gem.

Saturday, Feb. 6
Working on Heirloom Jewelry: Recycle, Repurpose, Rejuvenate
Gary Dawson
More and more customers are asking jewelers to re-work the heirlooms they’ve inherited—jewelry that often has endured years of abuse, faulty repairs, and overall neglect. Goldsmith/designer Gary Dawson shows how to identify the hidden challenges in such pieces, safely remove the gemstones, and either recycle or repurpose them to create modern jewels.

Sunday, Feb. 7
Creating Unique Settings for Unusual Stones
Gary Dawson
Jewelers often must fabricate their own settings to accommodate unusually shaped gemstones. Gary Dawson shows how to make the wire or sheet metal jewelers need for a specific job, and how to create a secure and attractive setting.


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