Last updateTue, 19 Jun 2018 9pm

MJSA Jeweler’s Bench Conference & Trade Fair coming in September


If you ever wanted a better, more profitable way to make or repair a piece of jewelry, plan to attend the MJSA Jeweler’s Bench Conference and Trade Fair September 13 & 14. Held at the Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel in Warwick, RI, the Jeweler’s Bench Conference & Trade Fair is for anyone engaged in bench work - artisans and designers, manufacturers, retailers who offer repair or repurposing services. Attendees will learn the latest bench techniques and re-discover the joy of bench work, learn ways to run a better bench business and discover the latest tools, supplies, and services that will turn their operation into a lean and fit “Super Shop.”

Conference Schedule for Saturday, September 13: Better Business Sessions

• How to Stock a Better Bench, presented by Ann Cahoon, North Bennet Street School

What are the essential tools needed by the modern bench jeweler? Which tools will make her or his life easier? Which machines and technology are worth the cost in time saved? This informative session will look at the basics, then examine specialized tools for various kinds of jewelers, from general repair operations to stone setting, chain making, and more. A review of necessary safety equipment will also be included.

• Social Media Tips for Bench and Custom Jewelers, presented by Peggy Jo Donahue, Director of MJSA Education Foundation and MJSA Social Media Correspondent

Bench and custom jewelers are some of the most followed jewelers on sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Why? Because jewelry loving consumers love to see photos of works in progress, and “insider” photos of the amazing machines and tools that jewelers use. In addition, custom, restoration, and repair projects almost always come with a story of a well-loved heirloom or a relationship sealed by a talisman. Learn how to make your projects catnip on social media, and build your business.

• Pricing for Jewelry Repairs and Custom Design: Don’t Sell Yourself Short 

Bench jewelers and custom designers commonly admit that they don’t always factor in all of the costs involved in charging for their work. From taking into account the materials, labor, and subcontractor costs, to valuing your years of experience, training, and other less tangible costs, there is a lot involved. This informative session will help you include all of the costs, even the hidden ones.

• The Business of Running a Bench Business: Operations Advice, presented by Marlene Richey, Business Consultant and Author of “Profiting by Design: A Jewelry Maker’s Guide to Business Success”

Bench jewelers run businesses with a wide array of tasks, from building one piece on a custom order, to fulfilling larger orders, to doing repairs and restoration. But what about the basic tasks involved in running a business, from operations and inventory, to pricing and promotion? If your skills are more bench than business oriented, learn from Richey, an award-winning consultant and author, who has also operated a successful design firm and retail jewelry gallery.

Conference Schedule for Sunday, September 14: Better Bench Sessions - The following sessions have been developed and will be run by Metalwerx.

• Possibilities of Pulse Arc Welding, presented by Sessin Durgham, Rio Grande

Micro pulse arc welding is widely known to be a useful tool to increase efficiency with basic bench tasks such as ring sizing, re-tipping near heat-sensitive stones, and repairing porous castings. Sessin Durgham, technical support team member at Rio Grande, has been conducting ongoing research on the many other possibilities this technology has to offer the jewelry industry. Using the latest Orion Pulse Arc Welder I series, Sessin will demonstrate and explain new discoveries found in his research including: fabricating large jewelry objects and small hollowware using long, consistent, repeatable weld seams as well as the ability to join dissimilar metals, such as titanium to karat gold, karat gold to iron, and more.

• Casting for Designers: Production Strategies, presented by Daniel Grandi, Racecar Jewelry Co.

Dan Grandi is a valuable resource to the jewelry industry with more than forty years of experience in all aspects of the business. As a casting expert and founder of Racecar Jewelry Co., he has developed strategies for working in a proficient and cost-effective manner. In this presentation, Dan will help demystify the lost-wax casting process so that attendees can gain a better understanding of what will work well in a production environment. He will also discuss ways to save time by designing wax models to incorporate findings, simple methods to cut open molds, tips for modifying tools, and other tricks he’s developed over the years.

• Lapidary: Repairing and Restoring Cabochons, presented by David Baird, Professional Jeweler and Instructor

David Baird will demonstrate ways to alter, refashion, and customize cabochon stones using a flex-shaft and hand tools. Topics addressed include simple methods and tools available for refreshing or re-polishing, how to deal with scratched or abused cabochons, and solutions for stone replacements in existing settings. Take ordinary, damaged, or chipped stones to extraordinary without the need for a full lapidary studio. 

To learn more and view session times please visit www.MJSA.org.

In addition to outstanding education, MJSA is adding familiar and new suppliers offering the supplies and services you need to put your new knowledge to work, including:

  • Bench Tools
  • Casting Equipment and Supplies
  • CAD/CAM Software and Machines
  • Lasers
  • Finishing Supplies and Systems
  • Components and Chain Providers
  • Business Services and Software
  • Contract Service Providers

Conference and Trade Fair sponsors include Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co., Metalwerx and FedEx.

To learn more or register to attend the MJSA Jeweler’s Bench Conference & Trade Fair please visit www.MJSA.org or call 800-444-MJSA.