By Michelle Graff
Attleboro, Mass.--MJSA again will present its signature At the Bench Live program during the AGTA GemFair, which runs from Feb. 3 to 8.

The interactive demonstrations will run twice daily in the Tools, Technology, and Supplies pavilion, offering advice and insights for jewelers of all skill levels, from beginners on the bench to experienced professionals.

The schedule for At the Bench Live is as follows.

Tuesday, Feb. 3
Presenter: Tira Mitchell,

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“A Cut Above: Common Jewelry Engraving Patterns”
During this session, Mitchell will present common jewelry engraving patterns, including wheat leaf borders, running leaf borders, geometric patterns, and will demonstrate how to create them. She also will show the audience how to combine basic cuts into complex patterns and create an engraved surface that truly enhances a design.

2:30 to 4 p.m.
“Mixing Metals: Techniques for 24K Gold Inlay”
This program will demonstrate the techniques for inlaying 24-karat gold wire into stainless steel, titanium and other non-precious metals. Topics covered will include sizing gold wire, properly excavating gold lines and cavities, sealing the gold and finishing the design.

Wednesday, Feb. 4
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz, Anton Nash LLC

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“The Well-Dressed Bench: Tools That Make a Difference”
During this session, Skuratowicz will discuss the essential tools essential for specific tasks, from sawing and piercing to stone setting and finishing, as well as how to best use the tools and arrange them for maximum speed and efficiency.

2:30 to 4 p.m.
“The Flat-Top Bur and Other Tool Tricks for Easier Setting”
Here Skuratowicz will show the audience how to modify and rejuvenate the tools they already have to gain greater precision, avoid stone damage and ensure a secure fit.

Thursday, Feb. 5
Presenter: Gary Dawson, Gary Dawson Designs

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Wax Work 1: Precision Carving Techniques”
In the first of a two-part session, Dawson will show how wax carvings can be more precise and cast better. It will include demonstrations of general carving techniques, design transfer and detail work, and also will cover the tools that make carving easier.

2:30 to 4 p.m.
“Wax Work 2: Integrating Gems into a Design”
The second part of the series will discuss both the process of accurate centering and the technique of creating “balance without symmetry,” ultimately teaching the audience how to showcase their gems to maximum effect.

Friday, Feb. 6
Presenter: Skuratowicz, Anton Nash LLC

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 “To the Point: Easy Ways to Build up Prongs”
Even though re-tipping prongs is a basic bench task, that doesn’t mean there aren't ways to do it more efficiently and more profitably. In this session, Skuratowicz will take a look at the various ways to build up a bead on top of a worn-down prong, including tips for repairing micro-pavé settings.

2:30 to 4 p.m.
“Down to the Wire: Replacing Prongs and Gallery Wires”
Sometimes a prong just can’t be re-tipped but has to be replaced. In this follow-up session, Skuratowicz will demonstrate cost-effective ways to replace the prong by grafting in a new wire. He’ll also demonstrate how to best replace worn or broken gallery wires, with a few tricks for easily positioning the wire and keeping it in place.

For more information about the Tucson sessions, go to

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