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Rio Grande. A Berkshire Hathaway Company.
A Berkshire Hathaway Company.
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This inaugural “Influencers” post launches a series of articles, here on The Studio, that celebrate the most influential and important shapers of contemporary jewelry design. On a recurring basis, Marlene Richey will spotlight the story of an important influencer and she invites YOU to join the conversation! Share your unique perspective on the designer she spotlights and then tell us the story of those individuals in the jewelry world who have had the greatest impact on you as a jewelry artist!

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Pearls are timeless. They’ve never really gone out of style, but lately they are popping up in the fashion mainstream in a fresh and modern way. Today, on The Studio, Mark Nelson demonstrates a simple method for mounting pearls using pearl caps and epoxy. With this method, you can use components to create a wide range of jewelry designs from earrings to bracelets to necklaces.

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Seasonal trends can be hard to nail down and staying on top of them is a daunting task for a jeweler busy at the bench. But, like it or not, trends will drive your customers’ behavior, and having your hammer on their pulse can translate directly into sales. Today, on The Studio, see four of the fall season’s biggest trends and bring them from the catwalk to your jewelry bench.

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The Studio is delighted to introduce you to our Saul Bell Design Award winners…one category at a time! Today’s featured winner, Aneka Hausmann, placed in the Emerging Jewelry Artist category. Take a look to learn more about what makes this exceptional young artist tick and then check back in the coming weeks to see in-depth spotlights on more of our winners!

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A jeweler in West Africa will typically own a hammer, pliers or tweezers, and a few other odds and ends that they keep in a hand-made toolbox. They must rely on their ingenuity because commercial tools are rarely available. The Toolbox Initiative aims to address this imbalance. Jewelers and teachers Tim McCreight and Matthieu Cheminée formed The Toolbox Initiative to assist the metalsmithing community in West Africa and to recognize them for their kindness and generosity during the research for the book, Legacy: Jewelry Techniques of West Africa.

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Annie Koenig won second place in the gold/platinum category of the 2014 Saul Bell Design Award competition. She documented her artistic journey on her website and we’ve shared her story here in a four-part series. Today you can read the final chapter, about how she put the details and finishing touches on her award-winning piece and then celebrated by attending the awards ceremony. Read Annie’s wonderful story and then challenge yourself by entering the 2015 Saul Bell Design Award competition!

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The Call for Entries for the 2015 Saul Bell Design Award competition is out! This year we want to know: What is design to you? Join us on The Studio as we take a closer look at the competition and enjoy a few of the winning pieces from years past.

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Jim Lawson was at Rio Grande last week to teach a photography class during our Summer Workshop Series. He sat down with us to talk about the difficulties of photographing jewelry and to share 10 easy tips from his class to help novice photographers start taking beautiful shots of their work.

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What inspires you these days? What materials have you been experimenting with? Nearly every month we present you with another “What are You Working on Now?” contest. It’s your chance to submit a picture and a description of what’s on your bench right now. This month’s winner, Anise Rodriguez, has her work in the spotlight and September’s contest has officially begun—show us what’s on your bench for a chance to win a $20 Rio credit!

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Designed by Bill Fretz, the Fretz Jeweler’s Sledge Hammer is ideal for forging heavy wire, rod, or sheet. Today, on The Studio, Bill makes a striking twist forged bracelet using his workhorse sledge hammer.

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