The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

The History & Spirit of the Saul Bell Design Award Competition

Mar 31, 2011
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Molly Therese Bell

This June, the winners of the 2011 Saul Bell Design Award Competition will be announced at the JCK show in Las Vegas. Here at The Studio we're excited to look back over the past ten years of the competition and present you with some Saul Bell Design Award memories. Over the next several weeks, as the awards banquet draws near, we’ll show you interview footage of past winners, share some images of visionary design, and celebrate the man whose spirit inspired the competition.

The Spirit of the Award

My grandfather, Saul Bell, lived to be 96 years old and he came to work at Rio Grande every day until less than two weeks before he died. A few years after his passing, a group of associates at Rio Grande presented my family with a video documenting memories of Saul, from both associates and customers. The video featured stories—many of which we had never heard before—that revealed my grandfather's sincere interest in the artistic and technical challenges faced by the jewelers he met, whose potential he encouraged with generosity, warmth, and humor.

The competition was conceived as a celebration of Saul Bell’s well-lived life and as a way to nurture and elevate daring jewelry design.

The Life and Work of Saul Bell

Let's begin our look back over the past ten years of the competition with a video about Saul Bell’s life and work:

To learn more about the competition and see winning designs of the past ten years, you can visit the Saul Bell Design Award Competition webpage. Also be sure to read past spotlights on The Studio about SBDA winners Eva Martin, Sessin Durgham and emerging artist winner Haley Holeman.

More wonderful highlights coming soon! Stay tuned…

 

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Bonny Doon Rolling Mill Pattern Plates in Action!

Mar 30, 2011
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Spencer Baum
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Phil Poirier of Bonny Doon recently paid us a visit here at Rio and we made a video to show off the popular Bonny Doon Rolling Mill Pattern Plates.
The creative possibilities are endless! Watch for a bunch of new designs on our website in April!

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Journey to NYC and MJSA Expo

Mar 28, 2011
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Yvonne M. Padilla

In my 30+ years, I’ve always wanted to go to New York City. Having lived in New Mexico my whole life, NYC has always seemed like a magical place. But for some reason I’ve never made the effort to actually go there. This year I had to opportunity to finally get to the city because of the MJSA Expo. Wow! What a city and what a cool show!

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An Affair to Remember—Jewelry Designer Ronda Coryell’s Love for Argentium® Silver Takes Ancient Techniques into the New Millennium

Mar 24, 2011
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Shelby Chant
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Travel in time back to March of 2003. Jeweler, teacher and world-traveler Ronda Coryell had just won first place in the silver category of the 2002 Saul Bell Design Award competition. Eight years after that interview, literally to the day as I write, I learn that Ronda’s love for what she does, both as a jeweler and a teacher, has gained even more momentum. And it’s all due to the courting of that new metal alloy: Argentium® Silver. . .

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Rio In Motion Attendee Donald Poe: Returning to His Jewelry-Making Roots

Mar 23, 2011
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Viqui Sanchez
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Jewelry-making is a return to his roots for Donald Poe, whose uncle and grandparents both owned jewelry stores. (Donald can remember wheeling his tricycle around his grandparents’ store as a little boy.) After enjoying a career teaching . . .

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Rio Grande’s Jewelry Haiku Contest is Still Going!

Mar 21, 2011
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Spencer Baum
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Were you reading The Studio back in March 3? If so, you probably already know about our Haiku Contest. Maybe you’ve already entered a haiku of your own! Here at The Studio we’ve been blown away by your response. More than a hundred of you have entered so far, with haikus that range from witty to hysterical to poignant to beautiful.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Mar 17, 2011
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Kevin Whitmore
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It’s Saint Patrick’s Day! We love an excuse to do some rhyming, and since we didn’t have any snakes to drive out of the building, we encouraged our fellow associates here at Rio to whip up a ditty or two for your reading pleasure. If we are a bit self-indulgent, please forgive us!

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The Squiggle Ring: A Project with Mark Nelson

Mar 16, 2011
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Spencer Baum
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Mark Nelson demonstrates how to make a simple ring using 16 gauge silver wire and a chasing hammer. Check out this popular video and be inspired!

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Weighty Matters: Comparing and Interpreting Jewelry Scales

Mar 14, 2011
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Howard Rubin
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Questions arise daily about the various scales we use in the jewelry business. Gold is weighed on a pennyweight or gram scale. Gems are weighed on a carat scale. Postage is weighed on an avoirdupois scale and pearls are sometimes weighed on a momme scale. Do you know if you are using an avoirdupois or a troy scale?

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Chasing and Repoussé with Megan Corwin: Creating Low-Relief Design in Copper

Mar 10, 2011
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Nancy Megan Corwin

We are pleased to present this project, excerpted from Nancy Megan Corwin’s book, Chasing and Repoussé: Methods Ancient and Modern. In the book, Ms. Corwin takes the reader on a marvelous tour of chasing and repousse, including the tools, techniques, and history behind this vibrant artform…

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