Last updateTue, 19 Jun 2018 9pm

SMART Show Chicago wants the country’s top bench and CAD pros


(CHICAGO) - The SMART Jewelry Show is seeking applicants to compete in its INSTORE Bench Pressure Challenge competition held on April 5 - 7, 2014, at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Sponsored by Stuller, these head-to-head battles see the best bench jewelers in the country face off against each other - and the clock - in a series of timed events.

Bench-Harry-JanThe SMART Show is looking for artists based in North America to compete in its two competition categories, the All-Around Challenge and the CAD Challenge. In total, eight bench jewelers will receive a free trip to the April show.

CAD Challenge

In a SMART Show first, the CAD Challenge competitors will be designing a wedding ring for an actual engaged couple. On Friday, April 4, our four contestants will meet with the couple (selected from online entries hosted by The Knot) to find out what they like, who they are, and what they’re looking for. The artists will each sketch several designs, and on Saturday, the couple will choose one design from each contestant. Our CAD masters will develop their design using their own software and computer, then the winning “Couple’s Choice” design will be created in platinum supplied by Stuller. A “Judge’s Choice” award will also be selected, and designs will be grown by EnvisionTEC using their 3D printer.

All-Around Bench Challenge

On Sunday and Monday (April 6 and 7), four different bench pros will go hands-on in the INSTORE Bench Pressure All-Around Challenge. The three contests will stretch the bounds of their creativity as they demonstrate their skill in setting and engraving, as well as show their skills in a special freestyle challenge sponsored by Stuller. At the conclusion of the three challenges, an overall winner will be crowned.

Bench-Tira-JanuaryTaking place on the floor of the jewelry show, this competition highlights the expertise and craftsmanship required to turn basic ideas into brilliant finished pieces. With overhead monitors giving the audience an up-close view of the action at each bench workstation, as well as Mark Loren - an award-winning designer and owner of one of INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Jewelry Stores - hosting the activities, these competitions are fun and informative for store owners and bench jewelers at every level.

Contestants will be selected based on their education, experience and past work. Bench jewelers interested in participating can apply online before February 1 at www.smartjewelryshow.com/pressure.

INSTORE’s Bench Pressure Challenge is sponsored by Stuller. The CAD portion of the contest is also sponsored by Gemvision and EnvisionTEC.