Thursday, November 24, 2011

AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Free Seminar Program

AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Free Seminar Program  

Just released by the AGTA GemFair Tucson...Nov. 23, 2011
The American Gem Trade Association released its educational lineup for the 2012 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Free Seminar Program.  This four-day program provides a wealth of information, presented by industry leaders and innovators.

Educational tracks cover gemology, sales, marketing, training, appraising, estate jewelry, fair trade, travelogues, regulatory issues and much more.  AGTA offers over 40 free seminars during the GemFair that are chosen to help you succeed in the colored gemstone and pearl category.

Speakers at this year’s GemFair include popular industry presenters like Richard Drucker of GemWorld International, Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts, renowned gemologist Alan Hodgkinson, Gary Roskin, GIA’s John Koivula and Dr. James Shigley, Diane Flora of the American Gem Society, David Peters of Jewelers of America, Antoinette Matlins of the Gemstone Press, and AGTA’s Adam Graham.

There are also many new presenters on a variety of topics that relate to the colored gemstone and pearl business.

The Knot, the premier bridal magazine and online community, is presenting two sessions within the seminar program this year.  Laura Cave, Director of The Knot Market Intelligence will share insights from their comprehensive Engagement Jewelry Study in one session, then provide key social media tips in another.

MJSA also returns this year with their “At the Bench Live” program featuring daily bench demonstrations with some of the industry’s most respected bench jewelers.  Ann Cahoon, Alishan Halebian and Arthur Skuratowicz will provide hands-on demonstrations in the Galleria near the East entrance.

For a complete listing of all of the seminars available at the 2012 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson please click on this link:  Please note that many of these seminars will be recorded and available on DVD-Rom after the GemFair.

The AGTA GemFair™ Tucson is open from January 31 – February 5, 2012.  If  you attended GemFair Tucson in 2011, you will be automatically registered for 2012.  If you would like to register to attend in 2012, please click this link for all of the details:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

MJSA's At the Bench Live Returns to AGTA GemFair

MJSA will present its signature At the Bench Live demonstrations at the 2012 AGTA GemFair TucsonJan. 31 through Feb. 5 at the Tucson Convention Center. The interactive sessions will run daily and feature renowned artisans showing bench and design techniques that attendees can readily apply to their own operations. 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:

January 31
Step to It:
Tricks for Soldering Multiple Joints in Silver
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz, Director of Education at the Jewelry Training Center
Silver has become the metal of choice for many jewelry makers and designers seeking affordable price points. However, the metal poses its own challenges, not the least of which is how to solder several joints in close proximity--without melting previous attachments. Attendees will learn how to ensure their silver soldering goes smoothly, enabling them to create clean, secure attachments.

February 1
History Detective:
How to Identify Previous Repairs in Jewelry
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz, Director of Education at the Jewelry Training Center
It happens all the time: A jeweler goes to repair a piece of jewelry, only to discover that the piece had already undergone previous repairs--and the work was less than stellar. At best, this creates a few new headaches; at worst, it leads to the jewelry being severely damaged. Attendees will learn how to identify these "danger points" before it's too late.

February 2
Working with Gemstones: The Designer's Challenges
Presenter: Alishan Halebian, award-winning goldsmith/designer
When faced with designing a piece around a gemstone--especially one with an unusual cut or other uncommon characteristic--designers and goldsmiths have a double-edged challenge: Create a design that brings out the gem's unique aspects, but also ensures the stone is securely set and protected. Award-winning designer and master goldsmith AlishanHalebian will demonstrate how he accomplishes both tasks to best ensure the gem is exquisitely showcased.

February 3
Mythbusters: Challenging Tradition at the Bench
Presenter: Ann Cahoon, designer/goldsmith, Flying Marquis Studio
Venerable traditions have built up regarding how bench jewelers should go about their craft. And, like all traditions, some may be true--and some may be little more than tall tales. This session will separate fact from myth, and attendees will come away with new insights into accepted procedures for equipment maintenance, the selection of tools for specific tasks, or simple safety procedures.

February 4
Using Handmade Chain in Custom Designs
Presenter: Ann Cahoon, designer/goldsmith, Flying Marquis Studio
As consumer demand for custom jewelry grows, so too are the ways in which jewelers are creating unique, personalized pieces. One method to add personalization is through the use of handmade chain. Attendees will discover techniques for creating handcrafted chain to complement specific custom designs.

February 5
Compound Interest:
Creating the Optimum Polish on Metals
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz, Director of Education at the Jewelry Training Center
When it comes to the finishing and polishing of jewelry, you need to match your methods and metals to achieve the maximum shine. Attendees will learn how to apply various buffing compounds and polishing techniques to achieve the look they want.

MJSA's At the Bench Live sessions are sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association and will run daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Grand Ballroom in the Tucson Convention Center. For more information, go to MJSA Online at,, or call 1-800-444-MJSA (6572).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Taking You Back To Tucson...

Today I sent in the deposit for the house I'm renting for my two weeks in Tucson and it always makes me eager for, I started going through my photos albums and organizing photos in albums.  I keep coming across things I meant to post but ran out of time and never got a chance.

I know it's old but I found this great video with the Mayor on Opening Day of the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show - AKA The Main Event - to take you back and over the next couple days I will be posting from the show.

...and BTW - if you have questions or need recommendations or just want to discuss the shows we are always available on the Tucson Gem Show Facebook page and Twitter Feed...stop in and say hi!

Photo Credit:  From the Kristalle Blog:


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