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Rio Grande. A Berkshire Hathaway Company.
A Berkshire Hathaway Company.
Inside Rio
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Swanstrom’s resident tool master Tim Sheriff is gearing up for a one-of-a-kind classroom experience at Rio: He will tag-team with talented designer/instructor Lauren Tobey for a Winter Workshop class that will take disc cutters and pliers to the limits of students’ imaginations. In this edition of The Studio, read about Tim’s journey from Iowa farmhand to jewelry-making rock star, and pick up a few of his invaluable nuggets along the way.

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Each year we look back over the landscape of articles we wrote and try to pinpoint five of our readers’ favorites: The ones that drew the most eyes, the ones you spent the most time with, the ones that generated the most interest on social media. And each year, after Google has finished crunching the numbers for us, we are surprised and delighted to discover the five that made the cut. Here they are, Studio readers, your top five posts of 2014!

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Have you signed up for Rio’s annual Winter Workshop yet? Get to know John Sartin, who will be teaching a two-day intensive on textures and treatments that will enrich your designs and expand your conceptions of jewelry. This class is a must for beginning metalsmiths!

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Start the new year right by immersing yourself in an array of new and popular returning classes offered for the 2015 Rio Grande Winter Workshop series. Make a day or two of it, or plan to take a whole week! The classes, demonstrations and tours lined up for the week of Winter Workshop give you lots from which to choose. Gain a new skill—or hone a skill you’ve already got. Browse through today’s post to find out more, and reserve your seat early!

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Last week, Rio’s 2014 Summer Workshop Series had students and teachers from across the jewelry industry converging to share knowledge, learn something new, and have a little fun at the bench. We were surrounded by some of the best and brightest minds in the jewelry industry, and it made for an inspiring atmosphere. So we thought we’d give anyone who couldn’t make the trek to Albuquerque this summer a little window into the workshop—take a look!

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One of the things Rio is most proud of is the depth of the product lines we offer to jewelers like you. This depth is due largely to our in-house manufacturing teams; so, this week on The Studio, you’ll meet Jeff Zirwas, a “Rio Superstar” and an indispensible member of the team. You’ll hear about how Jeff and all the creative problem-solvers in manufacturing create the products and tools you love.

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Non-profit organization, Jewelers for Children makes significant and lasting improvements to the lives of children throughout this country and around the world. Check out The Studio today to learn more and consider making a hassle-free, tax-deductible contribution, ensuring children get the critical support they need. Every dollar makes a difference and, together, our contributions make a positive, substantive and lasting difference in children’s lives.

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Sometimes folks hear about Rio’s culture and assume that it’s some kind of commune where we all wear necklaces of dandelions and clover. The fact is the Bell family made the decision long ago to move Rio Grande into participative management because they felt that informed, empowered, and caring associates would create the best solutions, provide the best service, and have the most fun. Read on to find out more. . .

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Here at Rio, we all strive to do business in ways that honor our customers, community, environment, and one another. Saul Bell founded the company back in 1944 as a small family-run business and, though it has grown to have more than 300 employees and is now a proud member of the Berkshire-Hathaway family of companies, the company is still run by members of the Bell family, and it still feels like a family affair. Recently, we were surprised and elated to be recognized by The Samaritan Counseling Center as a recipient of one of its 15th Annual New Mexico Ethics in Business Awards. The award is based on “high standards and exemplary practices,” something Rio Grande strives for every day of the year.

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Today Amy visited several of the bustling classrooms here at Rio Grande’s Winter Workshop. Some participants were quiet and intensely focused on trying new techniques. Others worked in a happy cacophony of clanging and then paused to examine their progress. Rio Grande is wonderful place to be this week—learning and discovery is all around us! Maybe today’s photo tour will get you planning your trip to the Land of Enchantment for next year’s Winter Workshop.

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