Rob Bates is the News Director of JCK. A key voice in the jewelry industry, he has won numerous editorial awards, including two prestigious Neal Awards for his blog in 2007 and 2011, five Eddies from Folio magazine, the Jewelers of America GEM Award for Media Excellence and the American Gem Society’s Triple Zero Award for industry service. He has been interviewed by CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other media outlets.
Rob has his ear to the ground on the latest happenings in our industry, whether it is synthetic diamonds, digital grading and cutting, tracking the source of diamonds and colored gemstones, or world events that help shape the business climate in our industry. In this year’s Keynote Address, Rob will delve into the myriad ways in which technology affects the way we do business on a macro level, and where he believes we are headed as an industry.
Andrea Hill owns Hill Management Group LLC, providing strategic consulting, professional development, branding, and marketing services to small and mid-sized businesses. With 33 years of professional experience as the CEO and/or president of start-up through mid-sized companies, she has demonstrated serial success in leading companies through rapid and profitable growth. She has been the CEO of Rio Grande, one of the world’s largest providers of jewelry-making supplies; the president of international clothing manufacturer and direct marketer Fulcrum Direct/After the Stork; president of marketing services firm Anthill Marketing; and a founding senior executive of Playboy’s direct marketing catalog operations in music and video. Her forward-looking orientation and deep background in marketing technology and data make her business perspective particularly useful during this time of significant business transition.
Technology has long played a critical role in transforming work, communities and the economy. The jewelry industry is aware that society, our target markets, and consumer behavior are changing, but this awareness has not yet resulted in significant changes in marketing and messaging strategies within the jewelry industry. Marketing is only successful when steeped in relevance, so today’s marketing dollars are largely wasted. In this talk, Andrea Hill will examine these changes from the consumer behavioral perspective, which is the opposite of our usual approach of looking at change from the perspective of negative business results. By framing the issues in this way, she will shed light on not only what jewelry businesses must do to compete in this new reality, but why each change matters. This approach facilitates addressing changes in consumer behavior from a place of deep understanding, which will allow marketers to move beyond basic tactical planning and into strategic marketing.
Have you ever had an experience while working metal on the bench that baffled you? How about casting conundrums? Or finding that the finished jewelry you purchased didn’t perform as expected? As jewelers we spend our days diligently forming and shaping a tremendous variety of metals, and of course hoping for consistent and predictable outcomes at every step. In reality the science behind metals is extremely complex, and very small things can have very big effects. And when they do, you want to understand the how, what and why in order to avoid such problems in the future.
This panel of experts in materials science will weigh in on your most perplexing questions. Drawing on their numerous years of experience, we look forward to a lively discussion about real-world problems that occur in jewelry production. Questions for the panel can be submitted in advance by clicking here, and we will continue to collect them up until the day of the Symposium.
Teresa Frye is the founder of the Portland Jewelry Symposium and owner and President of TechForm Advanced Casting Technology in Portland, Oregon. She has over 25 years experience working in the casting industry, having started her career in international sales at Precision Castparts Corp, the world’s leading producer of aerospace castings. In 1994 she co-founded TechForm Advanced Casting Technology, a company specializing in shell casting of platinum and other high temperature metals.
With a deep passion for precious metals research coupled with inspiration gained through the broader based Santa Fe Symposium, Ms. Frye hosted the first Portland Jewelry Symposium in 2008. PJS was designed to meet the specific educational needs of manufacturing jewelry retailers and designers, a category that until that time had no singular event of its own.
Stewart Grice is Vice President of Mill Products at Hoover & Strong Inc.
Education: HD in Physics, BSc in Materials Science, MPhil in Metallurgy
Professional: Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
26 years of experience in the jewelry industry with emphasis on alloy, product and process development, technical support and process troubleshooting.
Dr. Shankar (Shan) Aithal earned his doctorate degree in Materials Science & Engineering. He currently holds the Tech Corporate Metallurgist position having been with Stuller Inc for the past 19 years. At Stuller, he oversees the Metals Technology department consisting of a fully dedicated metallurgical laboratory together with an assay laboratory. He is actively engaged in jewelry alloy development, digital manufacturing and enhancing the customer experience.
Ann Cahoon began her jewelry making journey at her local community arts and crafts center, then went on to earn her BFA in Metalsmithing, Jewelry and Ceramics at the Maine College of Art. She is currently the Jewelry Making & Repair Department Head at North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA. In addition to teaching, Ann also works in her family business, Flying Marquis Studio, a one-of-a-kind and limited production jewelry design company.
Ann was a finalist in the gold and platinum category of the 2010 Saul Bell Awards. She also writes, lectures, and judges for the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America (MJSA) and Jewelry Artist. She is the technical co-editor of the MJSA book Secret Shop Weapons, and is featured in an instructional DVD produced by Lapidary Journal.
Embracing this year’s theme of Craft Meets Technology, Ann Cahoon’s bench demos will emphasize techniques that elevate CAD-produced designs to rival the best in high jewelry. From tools and methods that make difficult tasks precise and efficient, Ann will explore how to get the best from technology without sacrificing the art in the process.
Dr. Ann-Marie Carey is an Associate Professor in the School of Jewellery, Birmingham City University. She has worked with museums in London, Birmingham and Cambridge to create replicas of the Cheapside Hoard, art-nouveau jewels and Baskerville punches respectively. Working within heritage teams, Carey’s craftsmanship brings valuable insight to the interpretation of precious metal artifacts. Carey combines the traditional craftsmanship skills of goldsmithing with advances in laser technology, CAD and sintering to present new perspectives of understanding and novel approaches to the development of the craft. This approach has developed pioneering methodologies in how objects are created and understood. The duality of hand skills and advanced technology is a common thread throughout her research.
The Cheapside Hoard is a fragile collection of precious jewels, buried and forgotten in the City of London during the 17th Century. The Museum of London (custodians of the hoard) sought to answer a simple, but recurring question – How were these jewels made? A collaborative project between the School of Jewelry, Birmingham City University and the Museum of London developed. This session will focus on the recreation of one artifact from the hoard, the Pearl Dropper – a delicate pendant-like structure of fine gold wires, pearls and enamels. The artifacts recreated through the project have become essential hands-on exhibits at the museum with a “please touch” policy, allowing them to be worn and engaged with as these jewels would have been 400 years ago.
Nanz Aalund’s wide-ranging career has included teaching jewelry arts at the University of Washington and the Art Institute of Seattle, design and consulting for Nordstrom, Rudolf Erdel, Neiman Marcus, and Tiffany & Co., among others; serving as associate editor for ‘Art Jewelry’ magazine; and creating her own series of jewelry technique instructional DVDs. She has won multiple professional jewelry design awards including two-time recipient of DeBeers Diamonds Today Awards, Platinum International Awards, American Pearl Awards, Saul Bell Finalist Awards, and an AGTA Spectrum Award, among others. She holds an M.F.A. in Jewelry/Metals from the University of Washington and an M.Ed. in College and Technical Teaching Curriculum (CTTC) from Western Washington University.
In this presentation Nanz will be discussing long-term lifestyle trends, with which analysis can provide insights to future design, marketing, and shopping trends in the jewelry business. She will also differentiate between what is a trend and what should be considered a fad or fashion. While fashion is one aspect that impacts jewelry design and consumption, jewelry as a product of self-identification responds to broader, long-term societal meanings and influences. With early analysis of lifestyle trend shifts, jewelry designers, manufacturers and retailers can provide clients with the products they desire at the beginning of the product’s lifespan.
Mark Hanna is Chief Marketing Officer of Richline Group, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Company. After graduating NYU Stern with an MBA in Marketing, he began his 46 years in the jewelry industry. He has experience in all facets of management, manufacturing, marketing, sales and corporate social responsibility. Prior to this position, he has served as a managing executive for Bel-Oro, Michael Anthony Jewelers and Leach & Garner. In 2012, he was honored as one of US’s top 200 CMOs and again in 2015 as CMO of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility, by the CMO Club. Mark is an active speaker and advocate on responsible issues and innovation for the industry. Additionally, he serves as a board member of Special Olympics, USWTA and the Responsible Jewellery Council, plus is an active member and contributor to Manufacturing Jewelers Association and the CMO Club.
The Trustchain collaboration, a tremendous game-changer for the jewelry industry, is the focus of Mark’s presentation. Trustchain™ is positioned to have a transformational effect on the gold and diamond industry when paired with a collaboration among responsible and ethical organizations across the jewelry industry, and supported by governance and a code of conduct. Richline and IBM, together with a consortium of leading diamond and jewelry companies from around the world, announced this unique blockchain collaboration in April of 2018. Utilizing IBM’s advanced technology solution, it will track and authenticate diamonds, precious metals and jewelry at all stages of the global supply chain, from the mine to the retailer.
Scott Bradford’s jewelry experience began with beginner classes at Rio Grande, followed by attendance at the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology in Paris, TX, where he received training in jewelry fabrication, repair, casting, stone-setting, watchmaking, gemology, and CAD/CAM. He is the winner of the Stuller Award for Excellence and is a certified Bench Jeweler with Jewelers of America. Scott has worked making high-end custom jewelry, servicing and repairing mechanical watches, running a casting department, conducting stone setting and repair, fabrication, and utilizing rapid-prototyping technologies and computer-aided design software. Scott has extensively researched and tested the casting of 3D-printed resins throughout the industry, and shared his knowledge with anyone that needed it. Since joining the Rio Grande Tech Team in August 2015, he has trained with a large number of industry experts in areas such as engraving with Sam Alfano, enameling with Ricky Frank, mokume gane with Jim Binnion and Chris Ploof, and metal-forming with Bill Fretz, just to name a few.
Technological changes are not a new phenomenon. The greatest difference today is how fast these changes occur, as well as how quickly they are adopted into the maker’s palette. As makers, we are pressed with meeting the production expectations of our marketplace while trying to remain true to our creative vision and spirit. In this session, Scott will discuss how to keep the “heart and soul” in your jewelry while using modern technology to produce your designs.
Jewelry manufacturers are incorporating 3D printed casting models into their production processes at an incredible pace these days. There are now countless machines and materials from which to choose, and all possess unique features and behaviors that must be well understood to assure optimal quality in the castings they produce.
There is broad agreement among jewelry manufacturers that success using model materials from 3D printers is highly dependent not only upon the model material itself, but the casting process as well. And given that root causes of resin-related defects are not always well understood, there is wide debate upon what does and does not work to remedy them.
This panel of experts will share their comprehensive knowledge on the casting of gold, platinum, and silver using a variety 3D printing machine outputs. Questions for the panel can be submitted in advance by clicking here, and we will continue to collect them up until the day of the Symposium.
Kevin Abernathy is a consultant with over 30 years of expertise in high level CAD/CAM and Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) technologies. Abernathy spent part of his career in the research and development division of the Jostens Corporation, a company specializing in the manufacture of high-volume customized karat gold products for the collegiate and professional athletic markets. His deep interest and passion for next generation CAD/CAM and Additive Manufacturing technologies has driven him to become a leader and a mentor in the field. Over the span of his career, he has provided design and consulting services for a broad spectrum of companies and industries. He is a co-applicant on several patents relating to the use of additive manufacturing in jewelry production.
Jim Binnion’s love of craft started in his grandmother’s home. A furniture maker and weaver, she inspired him to use his creative talents, which he’s been doing for more than 30 years as a jeweler. Though he learned jewelry basics in high school, Jim has spent his entire adult life expanding his knowledge of jewelry making. Jim was always drawn to the beauty and workmanship of Japanese craft. And once he saw mokume gane for the first time in the early 1980s, he knew he would make mokume gane; he even pioneered a technique for making electric kiln-fired mokume gane. In 1991, Jim established James Binnion Metal Arts (JBMA), working exclusively in mokume. He has consulted and collaborated with other mokume gane artists and metallurgists to develop his theoretical and practical knowledge of metallurgy. Today, this metalsmith, engineer and periodic beer-maker continues to refine his process and designs while also passing on the knowledge he’s gained to the next generation of jewelers.
Eric Paul Marvets is a jewelry designer and manager of custom jewelry production for John Paul’s Jewelers in Columbus, Georgia. A third-generation jeweler, he modernized his father’s shop by integrating 3D manufacturing technology into the design process. Before joining the family business, he developed IT solutions for a number of Fortune 500 companies. His work in the developer community on security and usability twice earned him the MVP award from Microsoft. Now, Eric volunteers his time helping jewelers through his forum and YouTube channel.
Joel Meltzer is the Director of Manufacturing at Techform Advanced Casting Technology. During his career, he has experienced many different media in the arts, from large scale sculptures to printmaking. But it was jewelry-making that captivated him the most while living and working in one of the industry’s capitals, Tucson, AZ. Joel received his BFA with a concentration in metalsmithing from the Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2006, and following that began his career at TechForm. In his current position, among other things, he oversees the wax and 3D printing departments at TechForm. Over the past twelve years, Joel has seen numerous types of 3D castable models come and go, and others make great improvements. In addition, he has performed numerous casting experiments aimed at optimizing casting quality from resin models.