The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Andrea Williams and James Carter: 2011 Saul Bell Design Award Winners

May 31, 2012
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Mark Shipman
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We’re almost there! The 2012 Saul Bell Design Award winners will be announced this Saturday, June 2nd in Las Vegas. But while we’re waiting, let’s take a look back at two of our winners from 2011 – Andrea Williams and James Carter.

Andrea Williams

"Night Grass" by Andrea Williams 

Andrea Williams of Cohasset, MA, won first-place in the Beads category with her beautiful "Night Grass Necklace." Inspired by moonlight falling on an open field, Andrea spent a lot of time determining how many blades of grass would go into each stone and whether or not they would cross. Each silver blade was inlaid into black beach stone and then sanded smooth.

Here’s a clip of Andrea discussing her inspiration for Night Grass:

James Carter

2011’s first-place winner in Enamels was James Carter of Pensacola, FL.  James' bracelet, "Rebirth," is a piece from his series "Katrina: Rebirth of a City" and features enameled panels of scenes from New Orleans, his "second city." The panels include depictions of fish swimming in the French Quarter and balloons filling the sky in celebration of the reopening of a city landmark.

"Rebirth" by James Carter

James discusses the difficulty of transforming a natural disaster into a stunning piece of jewelry in this video:

You can check out all of our past winners at the Saul Bell Design Award website, and stay tuned to The Studio for upcoming spotlights on this year's winners!

Time to get started on your piece for 2013!

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What Are You Working on Now? Enter Our June Contest and You May Find Yourself in the Spotlight!

May 30, 2012
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Molly Therese Bell

Our quest to find out what’s happening in YOUR studio continues! Last month we presented you all with another “What are You Working on Now?” contest, in which we invited readers to submit a picture or two and a short description of what’s on their jeweler’s bench right now. Well, we’ve given this month’s winner a $10 credit, and June’s contest has officially begun – show us your stuff for a chance to win!

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ALERT: Undisclosed Synthetic Diamonds

May 28, 2012
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Kevin Whitmore
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On The Studio today: We recently read that a diamond-grading lab reported getting over 600 synthetic diamonds without disclosure. You may or may not have heard something about this yourself but, either way, I urge you to read about it now. Diamonds are the life-blood for many jewelers, and any threat that the diamonds for sale in a store might be “fakes” could be a huge problem for everyone, be they a jeweler or a customer.

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Sung-Yeoul Lee: 2011 Saul Bell Design Award Winner

May 24, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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Continuing our countdown to the announcement of the 2012 Saul Bell Design Award winners, today The Studio presents last year’s 2nd prize winner in the Hollowware category: Sung-Yeoul Lee from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Come on over to get a glimpse of how this inspiring artist thinks!

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Video Project with Mark Nelson: How to Make a Byzantine Chainmail Bracelet

May 23, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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Today, on The Studio, Mark Nelson teaches us how to make a chain mail bracelet using a variation of the Byzantine pattern, with a few colorful Swarovski beads thrown in to make it pop! Check it out!

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A Kiln of a Different Color

May 21, 2012
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Bernadette Bennett

What’s your favorite color? Recently, Lisa Juen blogged about her favorite shade of HOT PINK and her fantasy of one day owning a kiln in that perfect shade of pink. What followed was a twitter conversation with Rio and before we all knew it, a HOT PINK kiln was on special order for Lisa! We love when social media makes things happen around here! We also love it when we can accommodate unusual requests for valued customers. Join us on The Studio to read Lisa’s story!

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Janice Grzyb: 2011 Saul Bell Design Award Winner

May 17, 2012
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Andy Sherwin
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We’re announcing the 2012 Saul Bell Design Award winners in less than four weeks—so let’s check in with some of last year’s winners and see what they have to say about their work! Here’s Janice Grzyb, winner of the Silver/Argentium category.

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Hot New Item: Bronze Magnetic Rio Dexterity Clasp

May 16, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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For today’s post on The Studio, we asked Monica Foster, a Rio findings buyer, to pick something really special that we could feature. Monica’s task was not an easy one! It’s tricky to choose just ONE exciting new item from her line of gold and base-metal findings, because there are so many! Her selection? The Bronze Magnetic Dexterity Clasp. Easy-to-use, secure, and great looking –check it out!

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Home-Grown Jewelry Design

May 14, 2012
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Mark Shipman
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Dozens of talented jewelers and metalsmiths work here at Rio Grande and even though many of them would love to participate in the Saul Bell Design Award Competition, they are not eligible because they are associates of the company. The solution? Our very first ASSOCIATE Saul Bell Design Award Competition! In today’s post take a look at some of the outstanding winners of this inaugural, in-house design competition.

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Coming Soon: The 2012 Saul Bell Design Award Competition!

May 10, 2012
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Molly Therese Bell

In a few short weeks, the winners of the 2012 Saul Bell Design Award Competition will be announced at a gala dinner during JCK in Las Vegas. We’re excited to celebrate all the talented winners of the competition, and to set the stage for the big event, we’d like to share a little history of the Saul Bell Design Award with you. Also, in today’s post, meet the winners of last year’s competition!

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