By Michelle Graff
Attleboro Falls, Mass.--MJSA again will sponsor “Live at the Bench” demonstrations at the 2014 American Gem Trade Association GemFair Tucson, scheduled for Feb. 4 to 9 at the Tucson Convention Center.

The sessions will take place twice daily from Feb. 4 to 7 in the fair’s Tools, Technology and Supplies pavilion, and will cover topics ranging from working with currently fashionable gemstones and metals to new setting techniques.

The bench presenters are Jim Dailing, who operates Jim Dailing Designs in Portland, Ore.; Joel McFadden, designer and owner of Joel McFadden Designs in Red Bank, N.J.; and Arthur Skuratowicz, co-founder of the Jewelry Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The sessions are as follows.

Feb. 4
Mixing and Matching Gemstones with Fashionable Colors: What Bench Jewelers Need to Know, Skuratowicz, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Learn which gemstones will complement Pantone’s colors of the year for 2014, how to pair multiple stones for maximum effect and how to best work with them to avoid breakage, chipping and other shop disasters.

Rivets, Screws & Cold Connections, Oh My, Skuratowicz, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

This session will cover how to make needed tools for supplies, from decorative screws and rivets to inconspicuous shims, and then use them to connect parts efficiently.

Feb. 5
Sizing Up and Down: How to Shorten Times and Improve Quality, Skuratowicz, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Skuratowicz will show participants how to sequence jobs, join many types of metals cleanly and securely and finish each joint to achieve a strong, secure bond with minimum time and effort.

The Pros and Cons of Dovetail Joints When Sizing a Ring, Skuratowicz, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Learn the instances when a dovetail should and shouldn’t be used, its various forms and the techniques that will save time and produce a superior joint.

Feb. 6
New Techniques for Setting Princess-Cut Diamonds, McFadden, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

McFadden will demonstrate a new technique he developed that simplifies the setting process and ensures the stone’s points remain unharmed.

Belly Busters: Strategies for Setting Colored Stones, McFadden, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

This session will demonstrate different strategies for evaluating colored gemstones, as well as techniques for setting a bellied stone in either prongs or bezels to ensure a tight, secure fit.

Feb. 7
The “Other” White Metals: Palladium & Tarnish-Resistant Silvers, Dailing, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This presentation will discuss the fabrication and casting characteristics of palladium and the new tarnish-resistant silvers, show how to best work with them and examine long-term wear and care issues.

Achieving the Perfect Polish, Dailing, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Learn which polishing compounds and wheels will provide the best polish for various metals and surfaces, as well as techniques that will ensure your finished pieces have a shine and finish that sets them apart.

Additional information on the 2014 AGTA GemFair Tucson can be found here.

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