December 2009

Win $10,000 with Ganoskin and Rio Grande

What would you do with $10,000 to spend on jewelry making supplies at Rio Grande? Perhaps you could use a new bench to work at?  A state-of-the-art kiln to speed up production?  Or maybe you would stock up on materials for your best selling designs.  Personally, I don't think it would take me much longer than a few hours to burn a serious hole in my windfall as I quickly ticked items off my wishlist, invested in new tools and splurged on some exciting new gemstones and materials to experiment with! 

This kind of injection of capital for relevant expenditures could certainly take most jewelry making businesses to new heights, or at least help to start the new year off with a healthy amount of stock.

Jeweler Interview: Stuart Berger

"Stuart Berger is an environmentally conscious jewelry design company that blends recycled precious metals with both natural and faceted gemstones to create dynamic, fashion--forward jewelry."  It's a description that is difficult to argue with, as the company delivers just that.  Their designs are contemporary and polished yet never stray too far from the natural form of the materials as to detract from their raw beauty.  I talked to co-founders Matt Stuart and Michael Berger to get a glimpse behind the scenes of this exciting new brand.


Where do you find inspiration?              

Jewelry Sales Up This Quarter

There was good news for jewelers this week as both the Wall Street Journal and National Jeweler magazine reported that jewelry sales were positive through November, with Black Friday sales being particularly good for such a bad year.  Although the majority of store owners still complained that sales were slow, 47% reported an increase; a statistic which offers tentative hope that the recession may be lessening it's grip on consumer spending.

Understandably, stores reported a higher level of consumer spending on lower end jewelry such as silver, while platinum and gold sales were poorer than in previous years, even scaled for the overall lower sales figures.

Jewelry Sawing Tips

Of all of the jewelry making techniques, piercing or sawing is often the most challenging.  Simple in principle, yet tricky to master, jewelers are divided on whether they love or hate this part of the creative process.  Some love the high level of concentration required and the instant gratification of seeing something take shape, and I have even heard one jeweler call it soothing, like meditation.  Others (myself included) often end up snarling at the lack of cooperation between blade and metal.  So here are some top tips on how to take some of the hassle out of sawing.

Use a Paper Template

Draw your design onto paper first, and then stick this to your piece of silver.  Not only with this provide you with a clear pattern, but will also mean less surface marking.  Some jewelers also find that the paper provides a good texture for sawing.

Get Slippery