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Santa Fe Symposium


Hello All:

I very much want to attend this symposium. Has anyone attended
before and was it worth it?

May 22-25, 2005
Albuquerque Marriott Hotel
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Host: Santa Fe Symposium
Registration Information: 800.952.6222 x3249
Pre-registration is highly recommended.

Michael R. Mathews,Sr.


Absolutely! You need to be into the technical end of materials and
jewelry production. Always interesting presentations, great dinners
and conversation.


Reactive Metals Studio, Inc.
PO Box 890 * Clarkdale, AZ 86324
Ph-928/634-3434 * Ph-800/876-3434 * Fax-928/634-6734
E-mail- @Michele_Deborah_Bill



I’m a regular there so maybe I can’t be objective but I definitely
would recommend it. The networking is great, there is a lot of
technical and you’ll have a great time. The symposium
takes very good care of you. Lots of good people there. Go for it.

Tino Volpe Metallurgist,
Technical Manager Tiffany & Co.
300 Maple Ridge Drive
Cumberland, RI 02864-8707


Michael, Are you aware of the type of presenters they have at the
symposium? It appears to me to be geared to major manufacturers not
small shops. If you want an idea of the types of topics that will be
covered you can order books on previous years symposiums from Rio
Grande. Maybe that will give you an idea what goes on there.

James S. Cantrell CMBJ


I am a huge fan of the Santa Fe Symposium. Most of the presentations
aren’t geared to bench jewelers, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get
something out of it. I learned a huge amount about the science
behind jewelry making by sitting through the presentations. (I credit
the Symposium for my down-and-dirty grasp of basic metallurgy, for
example.) I think such understanding can pay off when you try to
troubleshoot. If you understand why silicon is added to casting
alloys, for example, you’ll also come to understand why alloy
manufacturers recommend adding 50 percent fresh grain to the cast –
and you’ll have a good idea how far you can push things, and where
it’s not worth trying. I think that’s much more productive than
always relying on trial and error and the old “we’ve always done it
that way!”

The networking opportunities are also great. Bring your problems,
and it’s almost certain someone will have an idea how to fix them.
And you’ll meet lots of fascinating people, too, who can be a
wonderful resource.

Of course, I always say “no knowledge is wasted.” Some of what I
learned was pretty esoteric – it was hard to imagine what use the
presentation on powder metallurgy would be when I attended it 8 or 9
years ago. But now I’m editor of Studio PMC, and thanks to that
presentation, I think I have as clear an idea as anyone outside of
Mitsubishi about how metal clay works. You just never know what
knowledge will come in handy!

Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255


The Santa Fe Symposium is an excellent place to learn what is
happening at the leading edge of technical research in materials
science and process for jewelry making.

There are all levels of presentations, but it’s mostly geared toward
the scientific end of things. Manufacturers like to be able to repeat
their success’. Good research allows us to know what to repeat.
Artists can be more successful by using the from the

I gave a presentation at the 1996 Symposium on ‘Chip Carving Hard
Wax’. I made a video (Sony Handycam positioned over my wax carving
bench) showing how I carved wax. I wanted to show the tools and
techniques I learned for ‘free hand miniature wax sculpture’ that I
learned in the 70’s in Albuquerque. It is a decidedly low tech
method, but the Symposium still accepted the topic from my one man
shop. Rio still carries the video in the Symposium Videos section,
page 483 of the new tools and equipment catalog, item 570-111. There
have also been presentations on mold making, stone setting, platinum
repair, casting defects…all kinds of useful that you
can take back to your studio and use the next day. My point is that
not everyone who presents has a PhD, nor comes from a major company.
The people who attend are great! It’s a very cool event!

So you don’t have to know about progressive solidification of
castings nor cyanide toxicity nor thermal inertia in casting
investments nor pneumosilicosis before you go. But you could sure
learn a lot about those sorts of things while you’re there. Like
Suzanne wrote, “You just never know what knowledge will come in
handy!” I’ll bet you’ll find some useful ideas that will pay for your
trip over the next year…it’s that valuable!




Like Suzanne, I also am a huge fan of The Santa Fe Symposium. I also
have presented papers at the Symposium.

These can be seen on our website go to contents/
Alloying in the small Workshop also Evolution of an Alloy.

Under Santa Fe Symposium you can also see the speakers lists and
subjects for several years past.

From this you will see it is not by or for the larger manufacturers
only. The Symposium is for the furtherance and improvement of
jewellery technology Because the Symposium is aimed at the Trade as a
whole your interests will not take in all papers.

However there will be much to interest you and certainly something
which touches your own speciality.

The organisers and attendees are a wonderful, giving, group of
people. Along with Chuck and Bill I’m pleased to call myself a member
of the Santa Fe Symposium Family.

Tony Eccles


Have you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall so you could
listen to what people say about something you are interested in the
recent string of posts on Orchid regarding the Santa Fe Symposium
have been quite gratifying for me to say the least, but I will talk
about that later. First I want to set the record straight. For any
of you who don’t know me, I am founder and organizer (with a lot of
help from friends) of the Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry
Manufacturing Technology, so please forgive me if my point of view
is a bit biased.

They say that the best advertisement is unsolicited third party
endorsement. To see what was posted about SFS from people who have
been there was amazing to me. I couldn’t have expressed the purpose
and spirit of SFS better then they have. When we started the SFS we
had specific goals in mind. In part we wanted to make it friendly
and accessible, to make everyone comfortable no matter their job. We
wanted a place where academics could talk to jewelers so we could
learn from one another. We wanted to encourage a rich exchange among
people interested in making the best jewelry they could. And we
wanted to publish what we did so the next generation will not have
to invent it all over again. SFS is casual, people are relaxed and
while the speakers take their work seriously, I think it is fair to
say that none take themselves seriously. They come to share, teach
and learn, but mostly they come back year after year because of
friendship and because they had fun and look forward to the fun we

I am in the process of editing the papers to be printed in the 2005
SFS book. Tonight I am working on a paper by Gregg Todd from
Stuller. The title of the paper is Standardizing the Designation of
Karated Gold Solders. It made me think about one of the posts asking
about the content being appropriate for the designer gold or
silversmith. The title does sound kind esoteric; but before you
decide you=92re not interested, hear me out. Gregg is a goldsmith and
he has something to say that we should all hear. He starts by
explaining the technical difference between various solder grades
and the kind of joint each makes. You learn why it would be
beneficial for you to have some kind of guide so you could quickly
and correctly pick the best solder for any particular job =96 even if
you were using a new alloy you had no experience with =96 or what
solder to use for joining white and yellow gold if you want to be
sure one joint can be separated later by heating (changing a head)
while the joint next to it would never separate accidentally.
Further, he suggests that we could have a system for classifying
solders that would make it easy for goldsmiths to understand what
they were buying and offers a format for it to start the dialog. The
esoteric title aside, this is a well-written paper with a lot of
research, thought and time invested on a subject that should
interest anyone who picks up a torch and hopes to do the best job

I’ll close with one of my favorite stories. Thirty-five years ago
when I first saw the Sistine Chapel it was dull and grungy, so I was
excited to see the paintings again after the recent restoration. I’m
sure you can imagine how stunned I was by the brilliance and the
magnificence of the art. Then, being me, I started to think about
the technology. No matter how great an artist Michelangelo was, we
owe our enjoyment of his art to his understanding of the technology
of making fresco stick to the ceiling. If he wasn’t in equal parts
technologist and artist, perhaps his painting would have fallen down
50 years after he painted it.

I hope we will see a lot of you in Albuquerque in May at the SFS. I
promise you will have a great time if you join us. The SFS is
non-commercial and non-profit.

Eddie Bell
Santa Fe Symposium