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. This year’s sessions include the debut of ConFab Creative, an extension of MJSA’s popular ConFab conference. Whereas ConFab typically covers the business side of jewelry design, ConFab Creative will focus on the inspirational aspects.
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!"
Click here to learn all about the Expo Demo Corner.
Below is the list of the seminars that will be 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 will explore the changing facets of the diamond market. 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 will demonstrate 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. Learn 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 will review the industry’s efforts to create chain-of-custody standards, as well as outline 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 details 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, members of MJSA’s newly formed Council of Custom Jewelers will explore how custom jewelers can leverage the trend of personalized jewelry for their financial success. Topics will include methods of highlighting “true custom” to consumers, facilitating effective customer communication during a design’s development, and achieving technical excellence with even the most complicated design. Moderated by Lee Krombholz, Krombholz Jewelers/Just Like You Designs, Cincinnati (krombholzjewelers.com). Panelists to be announced.
From inspiration to celebration! Based on the annual MJSA ConFab conference, which offers "profit lessons" for jewelry designers, these sessions go "behind the design" to focus on the inspiration, creativity, and technical know-how that goes into each jewelry creation.
In this session, several designers will share the inspirations that led to some of their favorite pieces, and how they were able to navigate the sometimes tricky path from concept to completed piece. Moderated by Andrea Hill, Hill Management Group, Chicago (hill-management.com). Panelists: Elizabeth Garvin, New York City (elizabethgarvin.com); Amy Roper Lyons, Summit, New Jersey (amyroperlyons.com).
The names are familiar today—Henry Dunay, Michael Good, Jose Hess, Todd Reed, Robert Lee Morris, David Yurman—but 40 years ago they paved the way for contemporary American designers to be an integral part of the jewelry world. Join Marlene Richey as she celebrates the life and work of these pioneers, charting a journey of exquisite design that will leave you feeling inspired, proud, and with a better understanding of what goes into a creative life. Presented by Marlene Richey, art/business consultant (marlenerichey.com) and author of the award winning Profiting by Design: A Jewelry Maker’s Guide to Business Success (MJSA Press).
Open to members of the MJSA Designer Collaborative; 15 minute sessions by appointment. Marlene Richey will offer individualized sessions in which she’ll review your work, offer design suggestions, and provide insights into how you can best merchandise your jewelry to enhance sales. Sessions will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. A sign-up sheet will be available on-site starting on Tuesday morning.