This weekend, I attended my first JCK show—and wow, was there a lot to take in. From the vantage point of Rio Grande’s booth, there were jewelry supply and tool companies in booths as far as the eye could see. Rio Grande’s booth was chock-full of tools and equipment—and the “Rio Superstars” who demonstrated them to scores of interested individuals asking, “So, how does this work?” The air was filled with the great energy of questions, sharing, and “ah-ha!” moments.
As I made my way around the booth, I started with Yarov Salov, who used the JoolTool to brighten the pendant I was wearing—a ’60s or ’70s Trifari piece from my grandmother. He used the softest disc and it came out shining. Soon others gathered round, so I moved on to see Yvonne M. Padilla holding a half-blackened example of our best-selling Sunshine Cloths, giving away small cloths and three-inch buffs. I heard a woman in the crowd say, “This is my favorite tool.”
Next, I visited Tim Sheriff at what I call our “prettiest” display featuring beautiful pendants formed with Swanstrom Disc Cutters and hand-held pliers and cutters. A bit further down, Jeff Caplan spent the whole show showing off his CraftOptics and DreamBeam LED lights, usually to a crowd of bench jewelers learning that they don’t have to hunch over to see what they’re working on. Truly an “ah-ha!” moment.
And all that was packed into just the first row.
Down the next row, Blaine Lewis set stones while onlookers watched the details on an overhead monitor, and a crowd at the next bench peered over Kate Wolf’s shoulder. She was demonstrating wax carving with her line of Wolf Tools. One more bench over, Sam Alfano’s beautiful designs were on display—all made with GRS engravers.
On the opposite side of Rio’s booth, I met David and Jason from Orion and learned the basics of pulse welding. Next to them, Valentina Bindi was showing a customer what great results could be achieved with the Riace Wax injection system. Precision production—just gorgeous results.
Michal Kwoczek showed me three steps to perfect mass finishing using Avalon finishing tumblers. Elisha Kaufman demonstrated how to cut out names and shapes with the U-Marq Gem-CX5 engraving machine, then turned around and engraved a detailed face with the amazing Gem-RX5, which I call miles of magic contained in a square foot. Bill Seeley from Reactive Metals Studio showed me how to anodize niobium and titanium in a matter of seconds and in a rainbow of colors. Right next to him Rio Grande’s Ashli Taylor demonstrated e-coating to a group. And Cesar Martinez demonstrated diamond and gold testing. Such fun jewelry science!
In the center, Robert Claborne from 3Design created a virtual form in CAD. Digitalwax’s Enrico Bulian explained how Claborne’s digital form becomes a reality through his rapid prototyping machine, and how light exposure creates the form, layer by layer. Totally fascinating! Herman Karakaya from Dura-BULL/Arbe machines demonstrated the Dura-BULL cartridge filter series and the tabletop polishing unit. Rio Grande tech guru Phil Scott gave me a hands-on lesson in using the Neutectm PulsePoint welder. And last but not least, Phil Poirier let me grill him with questions about Bonny Doon hydraulic presses and tools, and the Durston rolling mill for imprinting patterns.
Rio Grande’s booth is a lot to take in, but the more tools you see, the more methods of jewelry making you realize are available to you. So visit us at trade show booths like JCK Las Vegas each year, flip through our catalog or search on our website for new tools and new possibilities in your jewelry creation. As always, call us at 1.800.545.6566, say hello to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. You can also leave questions right here on The Studio!
There’s a tool for almost anything you want to do, and we can help you find it.