As jewelers, we love our tools and supplies. We cherish our trusty old standbys as if they were part of our family. Our pliers, torches, gemstones (and a slew of other items) are always there for us, egging us on, encouraging us to create. Here at Rio, we also love tools and supplies, and are always on the lookout for the newest, latest, and greatest items that we hope that will become a staple at your bench, giving you years of productivity and creative inspiration. Here are a few highlights of some of the cool new products we introduced in 2013.
When I asked Kevin, our gemstones and raw materials product manger, what product he was most excited to carry this year, his immediate response was Rubellite. “This is a product I have wanted to introduce to Rio Grande customers for years,” Kevin told me. “Finally the supply has opened up. Rubellite has a beautiful red color, rivaling ruby (thus its name), but WOWIE KAZOWIE, check out the prices! A high-quality 6mm ruby goes for about $1400. A high-quality 6mm rubellite goes for about $140. Easy on the eyes and the pocket book.”
One of our most exciting endeavors this year was when we partnered with Reactive Metals Studio to introduce an amazing line of metals (niobium and titanium) along with the equipment needed to use them. Anodizing titanium and niobium offers jewelers a huge range of great color options to add to their designs. Rio has the metals, the supplies, the equipment, and thanks to our partnership with Reactive Metals Studio, we’re able to have the grand master of anodizing, Bill Seeley, offer instructional classes right here at Rio!
Bonny Doon Hammers
If you do any metal forming, the Bonny Doon hammer is a must for your toolbox! The urethane faces conform to your work piece and shape the metal, rather than stretching or thinning it. Also, the urethane is a non-marring surface, so no worries about nicks or scratches on the metal surface. To see the hammer in action, check out our Hydraulic Hammer Video.
Vienna Ostrich Faux Leather Displays & Linen Totes
After hours spent creating your masterpiece, what is the best way to show it off? Hands down, the new line of Vienna Ostrich Faux Leather Displays are one of the best choices available. Denise, Rio’s Display and Packaging Product Manager, loves these new displays because “Vienna has always been a fabulous fabric and now with the added texture, it creates a wonderful backdrop for jewelry.” Her other favorite new item? The Faux Linen Textured Totes with Satin Ribbon Handles because “I have always loved the look of the faux linen textured boxes, and now we have a matching tote to complete the look.”
What’s your favorite new item of 2013? Post a comment here to let us know what it is and why you love it. And are you looking for something new in 2014? Check out Rio Grande’s website to see an ever growing list of new items we’ve introduced over the past few months. Or let us know what you’re looking for. We love hearing (and supplying) the tools, gems, findings, and displays you’re looking for.
Have a creative 2014!