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Jim Grahl, the latest designer to offer his take on the Online Design Challenge

Celebrating a Life Lost Too Soon

This story hit home for me because I have experience in the world of law enforcement. There’s always a risk there so it’s hard to be involved in that line of work. To be a wife and mother in this environment requires courage, and it takes a tough and bold woman to be the support mechanism for someone in law enforcement when each day could be the last. I like the idea of celebrating Jenny for the support and strength she’s given to her family, and I chose to create a bold piece that would truly be worthy of adorning this strong woman who has been through so much.


When I thought about trying to capture the essence of a celebration in this piece, I immediately thought of fireworks. It can make for an outrageous piece, but I wanted something that truly demonstrated that life can and should be a celebration. In addition, I chose to incorporate the idea of spring. Spring is a time of rebirth, and I thought it be appropriate for a woman who in a way is starting anew and now has to reinvent herself in light of the loss of her husband and partner. My intention was to create a piece that has a natural lightness to it and reminded me of something comforting yet exciting.

I made each of the sapphires a focal point of a different element of the neckpiece. To keep the piece consistent with the colors of spring, I chose sapphires as the primary color focus, adding shading with demantoid and tsavorite garnet along with yellow sapphires and a hit of diamonds for accent. The neckpiece is susupended on a handmade link chain, with each link a scaled down version of the one before it. I wanted to keep the chain simple so it would lay flat to properly showcase this piece celebrating this strong, resilient woman.

Jim Grahl is the owner of J. Grahl Design in Balboa Island, California.

Click here to read more about the challenge and to access the work of the other designers who participated.

Knowledge Center

Aug 2017 MJSA Journal Cover

In the August MJSA Journal: Pure Imagination

This month’s MJSA Journal reveals the winners of the annual MJSA Vision Awards competition and helps you to learn which 3-D printer materials are currently available to the jewelry industry.

Pure Imagination by Shawna Kulpa, Irina Missiuro, and John Shanahan
Read about the winners of the 2017 MJSA Vision Awards and see the winning designs. 

Material Evidence by Shawna Kulpa
A chart comparing 3-D printer materials will help you make sense of your options. 

Get a FREE Trial Subscription

"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. Click here for a FREE four-month trial subscription, and see how MJSA Journal can help your professional success.


MJSA Announces Winners of 2017 Vision Awards

Adam Neeley Rouge Moderne EarringsMJSA member Adam Neeley’s  Rouge Moderne earrings (right) were among the 10 designs honored this year with an MJSA Vision Award, which annually recognizes excellence in design creativity, craftsmanship, and technological prowess. The earrings, which took Laser Distinction honors, feature red zircons set in rose, white and yellow gold, capped by kite-shaped diamonds.

Click here to see all of the winners.

Our thanks to this year’s Vision Award sponsors: Rio Grande (General), Stuller/Gemvision (CAD/CAM Distincton), LaserStar Technologies Corp. (Laser Distinction), Century Casting Co. (Custom Design Distinction), The Richline Group (Responsible Practices Distinction), MJSA Education Foundation (Future of the Industry Award), and Instore, Metalsmith, and Retail Jeweler magazines (Media Sponsors).

View the 2017 MJSA Expo Look Book

Continue the MJSA Expo experience year-round through the Expo Look Book,which features supplies and services from the industry’s leading providers. Click here to see the 2017 MJSA Expo Look Book. And make a note: The 2018 Expo will run March 11-13 at the Javits Center. For updates, go to MJSAExpo.org.

Sourcing Help

Read the Latest Edition of the MJSA Retail Link

Retail Link Spring-Summer 2017Find the latest finished lines and designs from MJSA members, as well as display and packaging, watch accessories, and premier services and supplies to help meet your custom and repair needs. This issue also features a "Custom Design Insights" article by Gary Dawson on how to connect with customers.

Click here to read the latest edition.

More Online Sourcing

Click here to view the online edition of the 2017 MSA Buyer’s Guide.

Click here to view theMJSA Guide to Subcontractors.

Click here to view the MJSA Product Showcase.

Where to Find MJSA View Industry Events Calendar

Portland Jewelry Symposium— Oct. 1 - 2, 2017
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About MJSA

MJSA is the trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design. By tapping into the collective strength of our community, MJSA members find the expertise, connections, and support needed to maintain quality, reach new customers, and succeed. Click here to learn more about membership.

Portland Jewelry Symposium

Oct. 1 - 2, 2017

Educational sessions on jewelry manufacturing techniques and technologies, artistic trends.