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 mjsa.org, e-mailinfo@mjsa.org, or call 1-800-444-MJSA (6572).
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