National Jeweler Network

Trade Shows

MJSA bench conference, trade fair set for next month

August 27, 2014

Attleboro, Mass.--The MJSA’s second Jeweler’s Bench Conference & Trade Fair has been scheduled for Sept. 13 to 14, returning to the Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel in Providence, R.I.

Dubbed “J-Bench,” the fair is meant for designers, custom designers and jewelry makers who work at the bench, as well as bench jewelers who run service, repair, custom and repurposing businesses.

The trade fair includes two days of education, suppliers offering various bench tools and supplies, CAD/CAM software and machines, laser welders and engravers, finishing supplies and systems, components, gemstones and chain, businesses services and software, and subcontracting services.

MJSA is also sponsoring a “Win a Free Bench” drawing for any attendee who registers and attends J-Bench on either day of the event.

This year, the education conference has been divided into two distinct days--one for jewelers who want to improve their business and marketing skills, and a second day for designers and bench jewelers to sharpen their bench skills.

The Better Business Strategies sessions were designed by the MJSA Education Foundation, and will run on Saturday, Sept. 13. Classes include how to stock a better bench, how to market your jewelry using social media, how to price repairs and custom designs to make a profit, and how to handle the operations and inventory side of a business.

Speakers will include Ann Cahoon, owner of Flying Marquis Studio in Boston and an instructor at the city’s North Bennet Street School; Joel McFadden, a custom designer and owner of Joel McFadden Designs in New Jersey; Marlene Richey, who ran a jewelry design firm and retail jewelry gallery and wrote Profiting By Design: A Jewelry Maker’s Guide to Business Success; and Peggy Jo Donahue, director of MJSA Education Foundation.

The Better Bench Work classes, developed by Metalwerx, a school and community studio for jewelry makers and metal artists in Massachusetts, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 14. The sessions will cover topics such as new discoveries of the possibilities and uses for pulse arc welding, explanations of the lost-wax casting process, saving time by designing wax models to incorporate findings, tips for modifying tools, and repairing and restoring cabochons.

Presenters include Sessin Durgham, a designer and member of the technical support team at Rio Grande in New Mexico; Daniel Grandi, owner of RaceCar Jewelry Co., a full-service investment casting and finishing shop in Rhode Island; and David Baird, a jewelry maker and lapidary expert who has sold his work across the country and teaches classes and workshops around New England.

Registration and more information about available classes and exhibitors can be found here.

For more information about exhibiting at MJSA’s Jeweler’s Bench Conference and Trade Fair, call 1-800-444-6572 or e-mail Director of Sales and Business Development Corrie Silvia Berry at