The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Rio Grande Tech Team’s Holiday Wish List: Picks for Every Jeweler!

Dec 2, 2013
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This is a busy time of year for our Technical Support team as we talk to jewelers about a new process, help them through a jewelry-making challenge, and suggest tools and equipment that will make their work at the bench that much more successful. And as we talk about these innovative tools, each and every one of us, as fellow jewelers, can’t help but get a bit giddy about what WE would love to have for our OWN benches this holiday season! Here are some of our favorite and most coveted tools and equipment.

Phil Scott (The Laser Dude and Rio’s In-House Stone-Setter and Graduate Gemologist)

Foredom 1090 Rotary/Hammer Dual Handpiece Micro-Motor System: To restore a 60-year-old rifle for his son, Phil determined that his Foredom® flex shaft was the right tool for the job because he needed a micro-motor with more speed and extra control. Along with a new micro-motor, Phil says that Sam Alfano’s stone-setting and engraving DVD series would be a great gift for a stone-setter.

foredom

For some high speed and great control, you can’t go wrong with a Foredom®.

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One of several engraving DVDs from jeweler Sam Alfano.

Sessin Durgham (Award-Winning Metalsmith and Stone Carver)

Sessin’s been a good little jeweler this year so spoiled himself a bit early with a shiny new Orion 150s Pulse Arc Welding System. Got a question about an Orion? Call us at 800.545.6566 and ask for Sessin! He also loves all of the LUXI Polishing Compounds; they are non-toxic, water soluble (easy clean-up), and  provide a bright, gorgeous lustre!

orion

Sessin loves his new Orion Pulse Arc Welding System

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LUXI Super Fine White Polishing Compound—stocking stuffer for the jeweler!

Thomas Flores (Precious Metal Clay™ Guru)

Thomas has his eye on the Bonny Doon Vertical Vise along with one or two Bonny Doon stakes. Thomas already has the Bonny Doon Urethane Hammer (pure AWESOME), and wants to form PMC Sterling™ bracelets with these tools.

bonnyDoon

Thomas is asking for a Bonny Doon vertical vise—a favorite among jewelers….look at those reviews!

stake

This is one of many Bonny Doon forming stakes on Thomas’ wish list

Gregg Burgard (Master of Rapid Prototyping and Glass Caster Extraordinaire)

Gregg could use 3DESIGN® CAD software to perfect his jewelry creations. He also mentioned he was interested in getting into more stone-setting, and a GRS BenchMate Stone-Setter’s Kit would do the trick. It’s the perfect gift for any jeweler who’s starting to do stone-setting work or who wants to upgrade their bench.

3design

Jewelry-design perfection with 3DESIGN® CAD software….Gregg asks, “Yes, please?”

GRS

Ready to start stone-setting like Gregg? Ask for the GRS BenchMate!

Ronnie Mares (Equipment and Fabrication Expert)

Every member of Tech Support (and every jeweler who’s used one) loves the Swanstrom Disc Cutter setsRonnie needs the newest teardrop shape to add to his bench. Disc Cutter. He also wants a Durston rolling mill. Who wouldn’t? Ronnie says there are so many things to do with a rolling mill…the most important? Rolling out scrap metal to make more jewelry! They are also great for texturing metal and rolling wire.

teardrop

Ronnie wants the newest Swanstrom teardrop shape disc cutter to add to his growing collection (he’s pretty obsessed with these, as are many jewelers).

durston

Who wouldn’t love a Durston Combination Rolling Mill in their studio?

Mark Nelson (Rio’s Television Celebrity and "His Exaltedness Highness of the Third Realm of Awesomeness")

Mark thinks the new Slide & Lock™ Height Adjustment Bracket is the coolest! It allows you to move your bench pin up and down giving you more versatility depending on your project. Also, Mark has noticed a change in his vision (ah, age), and absolutely loves CraftOptics™, especially the 1.5 bifocal. CraftOptics come in a wide range of magnifications to fit various vision needs.

slideandlock

The New Slide & Lock™ is a must at every jeweler’s bench

craftoptics

Mark’s protecting his eyes with the best: CraftOptics™ 1.5 bifocals.

As for me, I’m asking for the new Fretz Planishing Hammer.

I already have the smaller Fretz Planishing Hammer, along with several other beautiful Fretz hammers, but this one is equally amazing and I must have it! It is larger than the other nylon hammers and has eleven inserts. Other than feeding my hammer addiction, I really could use the Durston Complete Cupola Daps and Forming Set.

I work with these in the lab at Rio and they are my favorite dapping tools around, with a beautiful high polish finish and sturdy design.

fretzplanishing

“I’ve been such a good girl this year….pretty please?”

dap

This is one heck of a dapping set!

What’s on your list this holiday season? Leave us a comment below and share wish list favorites!

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Rio Grande’s 2014 Winter Workshop Series: Registration is Open!

Nov 13, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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Registration is now open for this week-long event where you can get hands-on in any number of jewelry-making classes taught by the industry’s most beloved and talented instructors, watch demonstrations of the tools and processes that will enhance your work at the bench, and tour our 180,000 square-foot solar-powered facility. What a great way to experience Rio firsthand and start 2014 with a shot of creativity and learning!

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Winter Wonderland—er Workshop—at Rio Grande

Oct 24, 2013
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Viqui Sanchez
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Rio Grande is here after the holidays with an exciting array of new and returning classes for you in the 2014 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 to choose from. 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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Rio Reviews: Thanks for the Love!

Feb 14, 2013
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Amy Cliser
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One of the best ways for us to get feedback about your experiences with Rio Grande products, is through product reviews on our website, and in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve compiled a whole slew of LOVE reviews. Thanks for the love!

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In the Spotlight: John Sartin’s Natural World

Feb 4, 2013
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Heather Apodaca
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John Sartin’s intricate, finely formed pieces are wearable art inspired by nature. Today, on The Studio, he shares where his inspiration comes from, which tools he loves best, and some beautiful examples of his work.

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Rio Grande’s Annual “What Was Your Favorite Purchase” and Giveaway Post!

Jan 17, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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Every January, we ask fellow jewelers what their favorite jewelry-making purchase was for the previous year. Sometimes, it’s a hammer or a saw; other times it’s an iPad for designing, diamonds for setting, even a ladder for building a new studio. Check out 2012’s list of favorite purchases…and participate in the awesome giveaway!

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What Are You Working on Now? Show Us What’s on Your Bench AND Enter Our January Contest!

Oct 24, 2012
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Molly Therese Bell

What inspires you these days? What materials are you dying to work with? Each month we present you with another “What are You Working on Now?” contest, in which we invite readers to submit a picture or two and a description of what’s on their bench right now. Well, this month’s winner, Laura Burbaker, has won a $10 Rio credit, and January’s contest has officially begun – show us your stuff for a chance to win!

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What Are You Working on Now? Show Us What’s on Your Bench AND Enter Our September Contest!

Aug 30, 2012
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Molly Therese Bell

What inspires you these days? What materials are you dying to work with? Each month we present you with another “What are You Working on Now?” contest, in which we invite readers to submit a picture or two and a description of what’s on their bench right now. Well, this month’s winner, Melicia Phillips, has won a $10 Rio credit, and September’s contest has officially begun – show us your stuff for a chance to win!

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Epilogue: Rio’s Spencer Baum Embarks on Life as a Novelist

Jun 29, 2012
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Viqui Sanchez
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Our very-own Spencer Baum leaves a sad but supportive Rio for the life and career of a full-time novelist! Way to go, Spencer!

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JCK Las Vegas 2012: The Recap

Jun 11, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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Laser welders, gold testers, GRS engraving equipment, rapid prototyping machines—JCK is like Christmas in June for those interested in the latest in jewelry tools and technology, and we are honored to be a part of it. Join us in The Studio today to learn about some of our favorite parts of JCK.

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