MJSA. Professional excellence in jewelry making and design.

MJSA Journal Cover Image and ArticlesMJSA Journal

Every month, the award-winning MJSA Journal offers design ideas, fabrication and production techniques, bench tips, business and marketing insights, and trend and technology updates—the information crucial for business success. "More than other publications, MJSA Journal is oriented toward people like me: those trying to earn a living by designing and making jewelry," says Jim Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts.

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This Month: April 2021


Leaf image
Business Insights

Going Green

What does it mean to be an environmentally responsible jeweler? Does it mean knowing the origins of precious metals and gemstones? Is it recycling your metal scrap? Or is it knowing about and choosing the greenest options for all of the materials that go into making jewelry? It’s actually all three, but while a lot of attention has been paid to responsible sourcing, many jewelers aren’t aware of the environmental risks posed by a lot of the products used to make jewelry. To help you clean up your shop and processes, we spoke with several green-minded jewelers about the choices they make in their own shops. Their tips are sure to help get you started down your own green path. By Shawna Kulpa


Collage of mining operations, miners, gold
Responsible Sourcing

It Takes a Village

For more than a decade, there’s been a movement within the industry to improve how materials are sourced. As a result, many companies have begun referring to their products as “responsible,” “recycled,” and “sustainable.” But what it does really mean? And how can you verify a company’s responsible sourcing claims? To help, we’ve spoken with experts about what it means to source things responsibly, the best questions to ask suppliers, the certifications to look for, and the right resources to turn to for help when vetting suppliers. By Deborah A. Yonick


Illustration of man on pogo stick
Business Strategies

See the Forest and the Trees

Jumping into a project without a detailed plan in place will almost always deliver suboptimal results. Making time to do the thinking and planning first, before you tackle the physical part of the work, is critical if you want to achieve your goals. Thankfully, there are a few simple tools you can use to boost your focus and creativity when planning through any project. By Andrea Hill


Evgenii Fedko’s River of Life bracelet
Creative Design

Even Flow

"Life is like a river in that sometimes it is quiet, calm, and peaceful, while sometimes it is fastflowing with ups and downs." Learn more about the creation and inspiration behind designer Evgenii Fedko’s River of Life bracelet. By Tina Snyder


Jeanette Caines removing a bezel-set stone
At the Bench

In the Hot Seat

Unsetting a bezel-set gemstone is something that you might not do often, but it is more than likely to come up eventually. It’s a process that can be tricky since it involves sticking a tool between the stone and its setting and applying pressure to create a space between them. Here’s one way to unset a stone that can help minimize the risk of damage. By Jeanette K. Caines


Creating a needle burnisher
At the Bench

In a Tight Spot

Often times it can be quite difficult to fit a standard hand burnisher into sharp inner corners of a piece, complex fretwork, or in and around prongs, hinge knuckles, or clustered bezel settings. One wato solve this problem is to create a needle burnisher out of the steel shaft of a worn down flexible abrasive attachment. By Helen I. Driggs


The Latest Tools, Supplies, and Technology from MJSA Members

Conical Oval Beading Tool Sets
Manufactured by Glardon-Vallorbe, these conical oval-shaped beading tools are made from chromium steel that has been hardened to 64-66 HRC. Designed to hold their shape longer to keep resharpening to a minimum, each tool features a perfectly formed calotte, with a rounded outer edge and a sharp inner edge. In addition, each tool is also marked with its size, from size 00 through 07. They come in a set of 24, with two each of tools measuring 00 (0.25 mm), 01 (0.3 mm), 02 (0.35 mm), and 03 (0.4 mm), and four each of tools measuring 04 (0.45 mm), 05 (0.5 mm), 06 (0.55 mm), and 07 (0.6 mm). Contact: Otto Frei, 126 Second St., Oakland, CA 94607; 1-800-772-3456 or 1-510-832-0355; e-mail info@ottofrei.com; ottofrei.com. MJSA Member and Expo Exhibitor

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Kool Lube Paste
Ideal for use when a surface being worked on needs to be completely covered, Kool Lube Paste is designed to protect burs and other cutting tools from overheating, prolonging their life. Available in a 2 ounce jar, the paste is environmentally friendly and leaves no residue when heated. It is designed to wash off in seconds. Contact: Paul H. Gesswein & Co. Inc., 201 Hancock Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06605; 1-203-366-5400; e-mail info@gesswein.com; gesswein.com. MJSA Member and Expo Exhibitor

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Bonny Doon Tru-Shape Silhouette Die Plates
Designed to save users time and energy, the Bonny Doon Tru-Shape Silhouette Die Plates allow users to create domed shapes with a hydraulic press. Those shapes can then be quickly cut out using corresponding Swanstrom disc cutters. Suitable for creating rings, bracelets, earrings, components, graduated beads, and more, the plates are available with a range of shapes: hearts, squares, ovals, rectangles, triangles, and teardrops. For the most consistent form volume, these plates should be used with the Bonny Doone Silhouette Die Container and Urethane Kit. The plates measure 7 inches long by 2 inches wide by 3/8 inch high. Contact: Rio Grande, 7500 Bluewater Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87121; 1-800-545-6566; fax 800-965-2329; e-mail info@riogrande.com; riogrande.com. MJSA Member and Expo Exhibitor

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