Bench Jewelers Conference & Expo

TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Bench Jewelers Conference & Expo
Pre-Registration Deadline Is MARCH 15th

SAVE $$$$ and Pre-Register for this Important Event for Bench

The first annual Bench Jewelers Conference & Expo will be held April
23 =96 25, 2004 in Chicago IL, and will include Workshops, Seminars,
Demonstrations, Networking Opportunities, and an Exhibitor Show.

For complete details and to pre-register go to:

If you folks wanna meet this writer/setter I’ll be doing two seminar
demo’s at this BENCH gathering. I’ll be doing a "Bead Setting"
demonstration on Friday April 23rd at 9:00-10:30 a.m. and again at
4:00-5:30 p.m. I’m gonna be showing the “group” how to sharpen
gravers and taking greater care of your tools and a few million tips
on setting.:>) and a few jokes thrown in for good fun!

Darn…! I’ll be the only ruddy Canadian in the whole group, I might
even bring down with me some souvenirs,…“eh!”…“Gerry, the

It was great seeing many of you at the Bench jewelers Conference &
Expo in Chicago over the weekend.

The Conference & Expo was a huge success with 250 jewelers attending
the educational conference on Friday and over 500 jewelers at the
supplier’s expo on Saturday & Sunday.

Thank You to all who attended the conferences would not have ben a
success without your attendance.

Brad Simon

to all of my unseen and now seen new friends, Dave Arens for one. I
had the most enjoyable weekend at the “Bench” Conference this great
jewellery trade fest. I gave one seminar in the morning on graver
sharpening, shaping & polishing. then a new version of
bright-cutting before setting any stones,…its called
“pre-cutting”, 4 wall displays of sketches for easy note taking, a
different method of wire-beading of hard to set Gypsy Setting, the
morning groupee had only 55 folks, the next late afternoon groupee
had over 90+ folks in attendance all chairs were full, standing room
and lots more were outside this class room. In two sets of classes I
had over 140 sets of eyes staring at me…(shudder)!!! then after
breakfast I was accosted with 20 more wanting to learn folks in the
mid-hallway! From Thursday till late Sunday night it was non-stop
talking…:>) HERE IS THE BIGGER NEWS OF THE DAY ! I have one CD on
graver sharpening and lotsa notes attached…and now I’m gonna now
start ultra soon a whole newer series of setting CD’s on Fancy-Cut
stones, channel setting, bezel setting, bright-cutting, uses of
pre-setting bright-cut… I will not copy anyone else’s ideas, but
these will be in my own easy style of showing. All of my setting
notes are NOW on my web-site for everyone to read. If there seems to
be a repetition of articles, its because I had some of them
proof-read. Gerry, the Cyber-Setter!

Dear Brad:

I am still dealing with sensory overload having recently attended
the Chicago Bench Jewelers Conference. Never in my life have I ever
walked away from a conference with such wonderful feeling. Having
had the actual experience of sitting between Eddie Bell and Jurgen
Maerz for lunch and actually being able to interact with these
people on a one-to-one basis…Pinch me…is this real? Kept going
thru my brain! And having Jurgen offer to come to my shop for a day,
or more; to be willing to help me have a better understanding of
working in Platinum…this is where the pinch me part comes
in…only having to pay his airfare, hotel, and food. Can you

What a dream come true! I am already saving up!

I cannot emphasize the openness of the attendee’s and the
participants of this show in wanting not only to share their
theories, trade secrets,.and bench tips but their overwhelming
willingness to spread the word. To offer such personal attention to
you, as an individual; in order to help you succeed in your own
business! Wow. It is not often that I am rendered speechless…The
bottom line to me, is that I was amongst my peers. I was not judged
by how much money I make, how large my store, or how many employees
I have. I was critiqued only by my work; my creativity, my own
designs. Never did receive a derogatory comment; only positive
reinforcement. And most of all; the people lecturing shared on a
personal note or sometimes more than one, a humbling, and rather
stupid experience. Proving that we too are all human and all make
mistakes! After realizing that most all of my bench tools are out of
place and my drawer resembles Brad’s video…At least I can with all
honesty say I have never set my bench afire nor my hair!

Humor, the willingness to make fun of yourself, honesty. That’s the
big picture. Yes, there was a very serious overtone as well.
Pricing your work…Saftey…I could go on for far more than I have
time, or space. No, I do not personally know Brad, Nor was I paid
for this testimony (although I will be contacting him shortly;
perhaps I too could learn some magic tricks for Atlanta) Sadly to
say I do need to add that in trying to speak to most everyone that
attended the conference…I asked if they would be attending next
year’s (See; Brad; you do need me as a marketing director…) That I
was told more than once; I attended this year’s … why do I need to
travel to Atlanta next year? I am assured with the knowledge that
personally obtained this year…if at all feasible…look for me
next year!!! I will be the one in pink! And smiling from ear to
ear! It was a pleasure meeting all of you!

As an added note: I gained a vast amount of knowledge from Roger
Jones of Herff-Jones…He took me under his wing so-to-say;
introduced me to the various companies and contacts he deals with
and gave me a wealth of Although in as much as I can
dream…I can’t imagine Brink’s picking up my bench sweeps and or
delivering my shipment of gold casting grain! Thank you all; all of
you that I had the privilege to meet and to discuss process,
techniques etc.I only hope that I can put into action all that I
have learned . In humble appreciation I proudly sign my name,

Nancy Anderson
Design Force
Rockrord, IL

Dear Brad; Congratulation on the success of the first Bench Jewelers
Conference & Expo!

I would like to take this opportunity and thank you and Rio Grande
for providing Orchid a corner in the show.

A special thanks goes to Dave Arens of Tucson who attended the
Orchid booth, Dave was there to welcome Orchidians and to help
spreading the word about our community. Thank you Dave!


I agree. It was wonderful to see all the bench people attend the
show. The exchange of ideas with everyone was a wonderful time. I
truly enjoyed my and can’t wait for next year.

Andy “The Tool Guy” Kroungold
Sales/ Tools and Technical
Stuller Inc.
337-262-7700 ext. 4194
337-262-7791 fax

Has anyone ever attended the Bench Jewelers Conference & Expo? Was
it worth the trip? I am thinking very seriously about going. Are the
classes good?

Michael R. Mathews,Sr.

Hi Michael,

Has anyone ever attended the Bench Jewelers Conference & Expo? Was
it worth the trip? I am thinking very seriously about going. Are
the classes good?

I attended the Conference (the 1st one) in the Chicago area last
spring. I found it very worthwhile.

The classes were good & the chance to talk shop with a bunch of like
minded folks was great. There was probably much info also
transmitted in one on ones in the hallways.

I look forward to going to the one in Atlanta.


I went last year even with 27yrs experience I think it was worth it
Don in Idaho

Hi Michael

Let me be the first person to answer this question, if you don’t go
to the Bench Conference. you’d be missing too much. I was a guest
speaker at last years demo in Chicago. The classes were lined up
outside the classroom. I personally had in total, 195 folks hearing
and seeing my demo on bead and all other kinds of setting stuff !
There was one fellow who did wax carving, he was very good. Dont even
"think" about going, you just gotta “be there”, trust me!..:>)

In fact on the Sunday I was held captive by another 3-40 more in the
hallway giving more pointers on setting…:>) We are to be in
Dallas on September 17, again!


I will be speaking at the conference this April on pricing. This
will be my first time. But from other posts I’ve seen it is a haven
for people who work at the bench.

David Geller

JewelerProfit, Inc.
510 Sutters Point
Atlanta, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565 Voice
(404) 252-9835 Fax


I attended the conference in Chicago last year and it was pretty
good. I’d recommend attending in Atlanta. The classes were good
but the chitchat in the halls, at lunch & after the events was
great. You will make some great connections and friends. Everyone
was willing to share tips & techniques & just the general "business"
we’re in. The conference is designed with us (the bench jewelers in


Hi there,

I was wondering where one could find more on the classes
and seminars that will be given at the Expo.


Lou you can go to This website has the
complete schedule & synopsis of events & instructors plus travel &
Hotel arrangements.

Cathy Rowe

I am looking forward to the conference again… as well attending
David’s class and all the other new instructors

Andy " The Tool Guy" Kroungold
Tool Sales / Technical
Stuller Inc
Phone 800-877-7777 ext. 94194
Fax 337-262-7791