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MJSA Expo Seminar Program Announced




It includes the new ConFab Creative.

(Press Release) From expert discussions about lab-grown diamonds to “how-to” sessions on 3-D printing, bench work and custom design, the 2017 MJSA Expo will explore all aspects of professional jewelry making and design when it returns March 12-14 to the Javits Center in New York City.

This year’s Expo will also debut the first ConFab Creative, a “mini-conference” taking place on the last day of the show. An extension of MJSA’s popular ConFab conference (which offers “profit lessons” for designers), ConFab Creative will feature sessions that go “behind the design” to focus on the inspiration, creativity and technical know-how that goes into each jewelry creation. In addition, it will offer opportunities for members of MJSA’s Designer Collaborative to sign up for free consults with Marlene Richey, author of the award-winningProfiting by Design: A Jewelry Maker’s Guide to Business Success (MJSA Press).

The full Expo schedule is outlined below. In addition, two new features — the Expo Demo Corner and Tool Testing Station — will offer attendees more opportunities to learn new techniques, as well as put the latest hand tools through their paces. For more information or to register, go to or call 1-800-444-MJSA.

From Mine to Lab: Where Will Diamonds Go from Here?
10:30 a.m. to noon

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. Moderated by Andrea Hill, Hill Management Group, Chicago. Panelists: Cecilia Gardner, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, New York City;Don Palmieri, Gem Certification and Assurance Lab (GCAL)/GEMPRINT, New York City; Dr. Wuyi Wang, Gemological Institute of America, New York City; and Stanley Zale, Stuller Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana.


MJSA’s At the Bench Live: Finishing and Polishing Made Easier
1 to 2:30 p.m.

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. Bench & Tool Sponsor: Stuller Inc.

Don’t Blink: The Latest Best Practices for Online Marketing
3 to 4:30 p.m.

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; Matthew Perosi, Sapphire Collaborative, Totowa, New Jersey; and Lake Giles, Thinkspace Jeweler, Portland, Oregon.

Doing Good: Sourcing Metals and Gemstones Responsibly
10:30 a.m. to noon


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. Panelists: Peter Calvert, Ethical Metalsmiths, Andes, New York; Mark Hanna, The Richline Group, New York City; Larry Bock, Hoover & Strong, North Chesterfield, Virginia; and Toby Pomeroy, TOBY POMEROY, Corvallis, Oregon.

A New Method: Casting Crisp 3-D Printed Patterns
1 to 2:30 p.m.

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.

Personal Best: Achieving Excellence in Custom Design
3 to 4:30 p.m.

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.


Inside Design Inspiration
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

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. Panelists: Elizabeth Garvin, Elizabeth Garvin Fine Jewelry, New York City; and Amy Roper Lyons, Amy Roper Lyons Jewelry & Enamels, Summit, New Jersey.

Celebrating the American Jewelry Design Movement
10:45 a.m. to noon

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.

Design Consults with Marlene Richey
12:30 to 2 p.m.

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. These free sessions will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. A sign-up sheet will be available on-site starting on Tuesday morning.

To learn more about MJSA Expo and to register, go to



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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