The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Your New Rio Grande Tools Catalog: Top Ten Pages to Check Out!

Feb 29, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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The 2012 Tools & Equipment catalog is out! We hope you’ve enjoyed flipping through it and you're finding everything you hoped to see and more. I’ve polled the Product Managers who select our tools, and now present you with ten pages we think you should NOT miss!

  1. Page 6
    Sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones. The second item on Page 6 is the new Rio Pickle Starter Kit, with a pickle pot, tongs, and a box of pickle. We’ve carried separately for years, but now you can buy them as a kit and save!
  2. Page 87
    Last week I introduced you to Lauren Tobey, the Albuquerque artist who created the bracelet on the cover of the tools catalog. On page 87 of your new tools catalog, we show you how the bracelet is made!
  3. Page 96
    From blog to catalog, and back to blog again! Last year, Bill Fretz wrote a Tour of Fretz Hammers and Their Uses for us on the blog. We thought that content was so great, we put it in the book! If you missed this blog post the first time, look at page 96, or read the original Tour of Fretz Hammers blog post here.
  4. Page 130
    Go half-way down page 130 to see the new 4-Angle Tubing Cutter, which was one of our best-selling new tools on riogrande.com last year.
  5. Page 137
    The Tweener! That is our nickname the new Durston Forming Mandrel you can see on page 137 (Letter A). Mark Nelson sent me an email last year saying there is a sizing gap in the forming mandrels that are widely available to the jewelry industry. Under 5mm…lots of mandrels. Over 20mm….lots of mandrels. But what about in between?

    The Tweener, a Durston Forming Mandrel that graduates from 5mm to 20mm.

  6. Page 166
    The new Bonny Doon Hammer, Stakes, and Vertical Vise that lit up last year’s SNAG Conference make their catalog debut here.
  7. Page 357
    When I asked Patrick, our equipment Product Manager, to quickly name one new product he brought online this year that our blog readers should know about he said without hesitation, “New Dura-BULL Lapidary Units.” They are shown on page 357.
  8. Page 612
    Page 612 is an insert with the table of contents for the new Jewelry Arts section. We used to publish a separate Creative Arts Catalog, but this year we decided to merge that book with the Tools Catalog, into one Tools & Equipment Superbook! Starting at 612 and going to the end is our selection of goodies for those artists who work in Metal Clay, Glass, Enamels, and Resins, as well as an extended selection of Bead Stringing and Wire Wrapping supplies. Mixed in with all of the tools are findings that complement your medium (such as the complete listing of gemstones you can use with PMC, on pages 622 – 631), display and packaging ideas, and plenty of projects to inspire you (such as the Fused Glass Pendant on page 730).
  9. Page 643
    Speaking of the Jewelry Arts Section, turn to page 643 to find all the new Dynasty Stamps! Starting with this year’s catalog, all the stamps come in larger sheets (some as big as 8 x 11), so you get many more designs on each sheet you purchase. The most popular designs from the older Dyansty Series have been condensed onto single sheets (check out the “Ch’ing” sheet on page 643), and there are sheets with entirely new designs, such as the Capricious Creatures by Christi Friesen on page 646.
  10. And the number one page in the new tools catalog that you should check out….Page 341, where you can see the new Sunshine Polishing Buffs. The polishing power of the amazing Sunshine Cloth, which has been a catalog staple for years, has been harnassed into buffs for your polishing station. These buffs have non-scratch micro-abrasives built into the cloth, and they don’t require any polishing compound. If you haven’t checked these out yet, give them a go!

Thanks for flipping through the pages with me! Is there a page in the new tools catalog that caught your eye? Tell us about your favorite in the comments!

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Top Ten Reasons to Attend MJSA New York –March 11-13, 2012

Feb 27, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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Rio Grande is proud to once again be a sponsor of the MJSA Expo in New York. MJSA is the show dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design. We’d like to see you there! Read on to unveil the Top 10 Reasons You Should Go to MJSA. . .

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In the Spotlight: Lauren Tobey of Meltdown Studio

Feb 23, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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In 2006, Lauren Tobey opened Meltdown Studio here in Albuquerque, NM. Meltdown is a jewelry school/studio that not only offers jewelry classes, but provides an open studio and workspace for other artists to use. In today’s post, Spencer interviews Lauren about Meltdown Studio and about the mesmerizing and fantastic cuff bracelets she recently made using Swanstrom Disc Cutters.

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Blogs We Love: PMC Sterling™ Grab Bag

Feb 22, 2012
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Brian Fox
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PMC Sterling™: It’s metal clay, and it’s sterling—what more is there to know? Lots!
There are some fantastic jewelers out there that have been putting this new metal clay through its paces and blogging about what they’ve learned. Here are a few posts you’ll definitely want to check out. . .

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Video with Mark Nelson: Leave your Mark with Metal Stamping

Feb 20, 2012
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Molly Therese Bell

Metal stamping can be used to add a quality mark to your piece, but you can also stamp your work with an endless array of letters and symbols, or give it memorable flair with your very own signature stamp. In this video, Mark demonstrates stamping techniques and talks about many of the ways stamping can be used to enhance your work. Enjoy!

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In the Spotlight: Jewelry Studies International Opens in Austin

Feb 16, 2012
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Mark Shipman
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Rio is a huge supporter of education in the jewelry industry and we’re overjoyed to announce the opening of Jewelry Studies International (JSI) in Austin, TX, by long-time friends of Rio, Ronda Coryell and Vasken Tanielian. JSI is focused on state of the art jewelry classes, certifications in 3Design CAD/CAM jewelry design and Jewelry Arts featuring Argentium® Sterling Silver. Check out our latest post on The Studio to learn more!

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The Story of the First Fretz Hammer

Feb 15, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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Since their worldwide debut at the 2007 Catalog in Motion Show, Fretz Hammers have become a staple of the industry, and the hammer of choice for those who are doing traditional forming on a jewelry-sized scale. Thousands of Fretz Hammers are out in the world now, each of them with 420 stainless heads, oil-finished padauk handles, and a perfect, almost magical balance in the hand when you pick them up. And all of those many hammers can trace their roots back to this one, the very First Fretz Hammer. . .

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Inside Rio: 11 Techniques for Effective Feedback with Framing

Feb 13, 2012
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Mark Shipman
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Here at Rio, we’ve created an empowered workplace operating within a common set of principles. So we’ve got a challenging yet supportive environment sharing a common set of values, but what about the tools that make our culture work? Effective feedback is among our most useful (and most used) tools around here. In today’s post, Mark shares 11 framing techniques for giving feedback. Try them and tell us what you think!

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What Are You Working on Now? Jennifer Flint’s PMC Sterling Pendants Kick-Off Our Next Contest!

Feb 10, 2012
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Molly Therese Bell

Would you like to win a little extra cash to spend at Rio? In a new series of blog posts called “What are You Working on Now?”, The Studio asks readers to share photos and descriptions of their works-in-progress. Each month we’ll choose a winner from among our entries add $10 credit to their Rio account! Take a look at this month’s winner and then share something special from your own bench.

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Rio In Motion Wrap-up!

Feb 8, 2012
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Andy Sherwin
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We just finished up our 2nd annual Rio In Motion education event! Couldn’t make it this year? See what you missed!

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