Last updateWed, 11 Sep 2019 2pm

MJSA brings At the Bench Live sessions to 2014 AGTA GemFair Tucson

MJSA, the trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, will again present its signature At the Bench Live demonstrations at the 2014 AGTA GemFair Tucson. The sessions - covering topics ranging from working with currently fashionable gems and metals to new setting techniques - will run twice daily Feb. 4-7 in GemFair’s Tools, Technology, and Supplies Pavilion. In addition, related articles from MJSA Journal 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, CO. The presenters will be:

Jim Dailing, a graduate of the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, who began his career in metals and jewelry after watching a friend in college cut an opal. He now operates Jim Dailing Designs in Portland, OR, specializing in one-of-a-kind custom jewelry and wedding rings. He also teaches workshops and private classes, and consults with jewelry makers and designers on production issues.

Joel McFadden, an award-winning designer and owner of Joel McFadden Designs, a custom design jewelry boutique in Red Bank, NJ. A third-generation jeweler, he is one of the most experienced diamond setters in the country, and has given training courses throughout the country. His work is frequently featured in trade journals.

Arthur Skuratowicz, co-founder of the Jewelry Training Center (JTC), where he serves as director of education. He was the first instructor at GIA to teach both gemology and jewelry manufacturing arts, and at JTC he combines training in Old World craftsmanship with modern business practices, including pricing, costing, and management. He and his wife, Julie Nash, are co-authors of “Working with Gemstones: A Bench Jeweler’s Guide” (MJSA Press).

The sessions for 2014 are as follows. For more information, go to www.MJSA.org.

February 4

Mixing and Matching Gemstones with Fashionable Colors: What Bench Jewelers Need to Know - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz 

Placid Blue, Violet Tulip, Cayenne… The Pantone colors announced for 2014 offer a mix of soft pastels and vivid brights - but how will that translate to gemstones? Learn which gems will complement the year’s hot colors, how to pair multiple stones for maximum effect, and how to best work with them to avoid breakage, chipping, and other shop disasters.

Rivets, Screws, & Cold Connections, Oh My - 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz

When assembling jewelry parts, solder is not your only option: Wire rivets, tubes, screws, and other “cold” connectors can not only safely secure parts, but also serve as creative embellishments in their own right. Learn how to make the needed tools and supplies - from decorative screws and rivets to inconspicuous shims - and then use them to connect parts efficiently.

February 5

Sizing Up and Down: How to Shorten Times and Improve Quality - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz

Sizing a ring is one of the most common requests of a bench jeweler - and, if done efficiently, can also become one of the most profitable. Learn how to sequence jobs, join many types of metals cleanly and securely, and finish each joint to achieve a strong, secure bond with minimum time and effort.

The Pros and Cons of Dovetail Joints When Sizing a Ring - 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz

While butt joints may be most frequently used in ring sizing, dovetail joints have their place - and, in some cases, may be preferable, given the added support they provide. Learn the instances when a dovetail should and shouldn’t be used, its various forms (not all dovetails are the same), and the various techniques that will save time and produce a superior joint.

February 6

New Techniques for Setting Princess-Cut Diamonds - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Presenter: Joel McFadden

Princess-cut diamonds are among the most popular styles favored by consumers, but their sharp edges must be protected: Too much stress from the setting, and they could easily become damaged. Joel McFadden will demonstrate a new technique he developed that simplifies the setting process and ensures the stone’s points remain unharmed.

Belly Busters: Strategies for Setting Colored Stones - 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Presenter: Joel McFadden

When setting colored stones, jewelers have many factors to consider: The stone’s specific hardness, its durability, and its shape: Most colored stones tend to have heavy pavilions (i.e., they’re belly bottomed), and their seats need to reflect that. Learn different strategies for evaluating colored gemstones, as well as techniques for setting a bellied stone in either prongs or bezels, to ensure a tight, secure fit.

February 7

The “Other” White Metals: Palladium & Tarnish-Resistant Silvers - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Presenter: Jim Dailing

The high costs of precious metals have led jewelers to find new, lower-cost options - and, in the case of white metals, there are several. This presentation will discuss the fabrication and casting characteristics of palladium and the new tarnish-resistant silvers, show how to best work with them, and examine long-term wear and care issues.

Achieving the Perfect Polish - 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Presenter: Jim Dailing

Small scratches and surface irregularities can ruin even the most beautifully designed piece of jewelry. See which polishing compounds and wheels will provide the best polish for various metals and surfaces, and learn techniques that will ensure your finished pieces have a shine and finish that sets them apart.

Founded in 1903, MJSA is the U.S. trade association for jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. Its mission is to supply the information and resources needed to achieve professional excellence and maintain a competitive edge. For more information visit www.MJSA.org.