MJSA, the trade alliance dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, will continue its MJSA Journal LIVE series with three bench demonstrations at the 2024 AGTA GemFair Tucson from Jan. 31 through Feb. 2. Each demo will run from 3 to 4 p.m. and feature a past contributor to the alliance’s monthly magazine:
- Jimmy Butts has been a custom goldsmith since 1990 and is now based in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he is the master jeweler at Sissy’s Log Cabin. He holds the distinction of being a three-time past winner of the Instore Show’s Ultimate Bench Pressure Challenge. His demonstration, “A Cut Above: Jewelry Engraving Techniques,” will cover the most common engraving methods and discuss design approaches, graver choice, and sharpening techniques. (Jan. 31)
- Joel McFadden of Joel McFadden Designs in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, is an award-winning goldsmith and designer. He was named the first MJSA Mentor Jeweler in 2017 and served as technical editor of At the Bench Vol. 2: Tips, Tricks, and Step-by-Step Projects (MJSA Press, 2019). His session, “The Art of Brilliance: Multi-Row Pavé Setting,” will show how to lay out the diamonds, create secure seats, and set the gems so they appear to float while still being held firmly in place. (Feb. 1)
- Sam Patania of Patania Jewelry in Tucson, Arizona, apprenticed to his father at the age of 15 and took over the family business in 1990. He, his father, and his grandfather had their work showcased in an exhibit at the Tucson Museum of Art, “The Patanias: A Legacy in Silver and Gold,” and each had a bracelet inducted into the Smithsonian’s permanent collection. For his presentation, “Pattern Recognition: Techniques for Creating Surface Textures,” he will draw on Native American arts and his own family’s 96-year history in jewelry making. (Feb. 2)
The Bench & Tool Sponsor is Albuquerque, New Mexico–based Rio Grande (riogrande.com), which supports jewelers with wholesale jewelry supplies – including metals, tools, equipment, and gemstones – and exemplary service.
For more information about the MJSA Journal LIVE program, visit the Events section at MJSA.org. For more information about AGTA GemFair Tucson, which will run Jan. 30 through Feb. 4 at the Tucson Convention Center, go to AGTA.org.