Expo provides the education you need to hone your technical and business skills, keep you on top of trends and industry developments, and spark your imagination. Featuring renowned industry leaders and master jewelers, the seminars at Expo address the most pressing issues facing jewelry designers, manufacturers, and suppliers today—as one Expo attendee said, “I’m chomping at the bit to go back, they were that good!"
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Below is the list of the seminars presented during the 2017 MJSA Expo.
The growing availability of lab-grown diamonds and their expanding appeal—especially to the Millennial market—has led to new questions about the future of the diamond industry. How will mined and synthetic diamonds co-exist? Do synthetics pose a threat to natural diamonds, and do they raise the threat of disclosure problems? This panel discussion explored the changing facets of the diamond market. Moderated by Andrea Hill, Hill Management Group, Chicago (hill-management.com). Panelists: Cecilia Gardner, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, New York City (jvclegal.org); Don Palmieri, Gem Certification and Assurance Lab (GCAL)/GEMPRINT, New York City (gemfacts.com); Dr. Wuyi Wang, Gemological Institute of America, New York City (gia.edu); Stanley Zale, Stuller Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana (stuller.com).
You may have at hand all of your finishing and polishing supplies—compounds, buffs, wheels, etc.—but how about other useful tools, such as paper clips, electrical tape, and old mandrels? This session demonstrated tricks and techniques to make the finishing and polishing process go faster and smoother, without sacrificing that final shine. Presented by Joel McFadden, Joel McFadden Designs, Red Bank, New Jersey (jmdjewelry.com). Bench & Tool Sponsor: Stuller Inc.
Digital marketing is, to paraphrase Mark Twain, like New England weather: It seems to change every few minutes. Attendees learned the latest developments in video ads, mobile marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media trends, and more. Presented by Andrea Hill, Hill Management Group, Chicago (hill-management.com); Matthew Perosi, Sapphire Collaborative, Totowa, New Jersey (sapphirecollaborative.com); Lake Giles, Thinkspace Jeweler, Portland, Oregon (thinkspacehq.com).
Increasingly, consumers want to know the origins of the metals and gems in the jewelry they buy, and to be sure that those materials were mined in an ethical, responsible way. This session reviewed the industry’s efforts to create chain-of-custody standards, as well as outlined the questions you need to ask when sourcing materials. Moderated by Andrea Hill, Hill Management Group, Chicago (hill-management.com). Panelists: Peter Calvert, Ethical Metalsmiths, Andes, New York (ethicalmetalsmiths.org); Mark Hanna, The Richline Group, New York City (richlinegroup.com); Larry Bock, Hoover & Strong, North Chesterfield, Virginia (hooverandstrong.com); Toby Pomeroy, TOBY POMEROY, Corvallis, Oregon (tobypomeroy.com).
As printers have gotten smaller and more affordable, more and more jewelry makers and designers have been learning how to work with the printers’ resin-based patterns. This session detailed a process through which you can fully harden and prepare 3-D–printed acrylic photopolymers to reduce investment degradation and achieve a better surface finishing in the casting. Presenter: Jim Binnion, James Binnion Metal Arts, Bellingham, Washington (mokume-gane.com).
Stand out from the rest! In this panel discussion, two members of MJSA’s newly formed Council of Custom Jewelers explored how custom jewelers can leverage the trend of personalized jewelry for their financial success. Topics included how to highlight “true custom” to consumers, facilitate effective customer communication during a design’s development, and achieve technical excellence with even the most complicated design. Panelists: Lee Krombholz, Krombholz Jewelers/Just Like You Designs, Cincinnati, and Klaus Kutter, A Jour Jewelry, Bristol, Rhode Island.