SNAG or Clasp?

I am trying to make a decision about Snag conference vs Clasp
conference or neither. I figure it will cost anywhere from $1200 to
$1800 dollars for one or the other conference. Are they really worth
it? The Tuscon show costs more but i love the vendors and the
seminars and the location. Can I have some input.

Mary Frances

SNAG is significantly cheaper – only 200 something compared to 700
something. Nashville is a cheaper area, but with hotel discounts
there may not be that large a difference.

The two conferences are completely different. Clasp is strictly a
conference with no vendors, and includes sections on creativity and
business aspects.

SNAG will have vendors, multiple exhibitions, at least one gallery
reception at the beautiful Tiffany room at the Chicago Cultural
Center across from Millennium Park, the pre-conference workshops,
the pre-conference business seminars, which are free…

So it really depends what you are looking for, what you hope to get
out of a conference.

SNAG in Chicago will be lovely, you should really come.


Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Hi Mary,

I am in the decision place myself. Where to spend the dollars in the
best place for myself and for Metalwerx. Although I have been
attending SNAG conferences since 1991, I think it is time for
something new.

Does anybody know the full schedule yet? I tried to sign up on their
email request, but it was rejected due to an overload of their

I hope to hear soon, because I already registered for SNAG and need
to pull out if Clasp is going to be the thing.


Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio

I made the decision to go ahead and attend Clasp. I love attending
SNAG, but it is time for something new. The people at Rio, plus all
the others are pretty smart and savvy people. I trust they know what
they are doing. It’s expensive for sure, but, this is an investment
for Metalwerx. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.

Karen Christians

Clasp - A Convergence of Jewelers.
Nashville, Tennessee, September 15-17, 2006.

What is Clasp?

  Clasp is an innovative new conference recently announced by
  Rio Grande and its advisory partners Bench Media, Ganoksin
  (parent to the Orchid Forums), Manufacturing Jewelers and
  Suppliers of America (MJSA) and The Society of North American
  Goldsmiths (SNAG). 

Who Will Clasp Serve?

  Clasp will be the first conference of its kindan education and
  networking conference specifically designed to serve small
  manufacturers, metalsmiths, designing jewelers and bench

What Will Clasp’s Focus Be?

  Clasp will explore all aspects of the business of
  jewelry-making art, working to educate and inspire
  jewelry-makers across the industry in a setting that
  encourages networking with peers and interaction with speakers
  from inside as well as outside the jewelry industry. 

Clasp Will Build Important Relationships

  As an important part of the Clasp experience, independent
  jewelry-makers will be encouraged to take advantage of
  networking opportunities, gaining tremendous value from
  interacting with one another and sharing ideas. The casual,
  non-competitive setting provided by Clasp will enable
  jewelry-makers to step outside their daily routines and to
  invest in professional development and interpersonal
  connections. This investment will pay off throughout the year
  as jewelry-makers draw on both new knowledge and new sources
  of support and 

Clasp is Good for the Industry

  In addition, Clasp will serve to invigorate and reinvest in
  the jewelry industry. Rio Grande will finance and produce
  Clasp. Bench Media, Ganoksin, MJSA and SNAG will provide
  advisory support. This effort will build individual
  jewelry-makers' success and will strengthen the entire jewelry

Will There Be an Exhibition?

  This will not be a selling event. Jewelry industry educational
  providers will be invited to share their literature and
  curricula so attendees will have an opportunity
  to learn more about all the educational opportunities
  available to them in the industry. But suppliers (including
  Rio Grande) will not be selling wares at this event. We know
  the jewelry industry offers many opportunities for trade
  shows, and we want to focus all of our energy on education,
  networking, inspiration and growth.


Ask yourself what you hope to gain by attending either. SNAG
conferences are always wonderful for their intellectual stimulation,
creativity, and presentations by artists. It’s where you want to be
if you’re trying to get a position teaching at a university. But it is
not intended for those wanting to learn business skills.

Clasp will be the first conference of its kind and according to its
website, it looks like it will be pretty interesting. Excellent
speakers are booked. With Bench Media, Ganoksin and MJSA involved it
seems there will be more business oriented networking possibilities.

Plus SNAG is one of the sponsors of Clasp.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228

I still don’t see the difference between the SNAG conference and
Clasp (apart from the vendors which is not the primary thing people
attend the conference for). Why would SNAG sponsor the Clasp
conference if it means losing half (???) of their SNAG conference

Well, I will be at the SNAG conference in Chicago and looking
forward to it (and to the flatware workshop!)

See you there,
Linda Savineau


Another choice has been left out. What about Kraftwerks?

Good advice given by Nanz! Where will you see and learn the most of
what you want or need. Each event is distinctive, with its own focus.
Kraftwerks, which I run for PMWest, is designed to take advantage of
our actual factory/refinery location. The good people at SNAG and
CLASP can tell you about their best features. Look at the cost to
attend, the talent provided and the level of audience participation.

I am just amazed at the growth in educational events/seminars/schools
in the last decade. I actually know a man who PAID $500 a week to
learn stone setting here in Los Angeles. This was years ago before
some schools even existed, before stone in place casting.

Few jewelers can attend all that is offered.

Call event organizers and bend some ears with questions. Look at the
other work done by the teachers/demonstrators. If you admire their
work, you will likely be satisfied with their presentation.

Daniel Ballard

I still don't see the difference between the SNAG conference and

While both have lectures on matters creative and technical, only
Clasp has a business track, and their take on creativity will likely
be different.

SNAG is generally considered to have an academic slant.

The Bench Media Bench Conferences are directed at the bench jeweler.
SNAG is a wonderful fit for professors, students and all types of
individuals working in metal.

Clasp seems to be directed at the small, dare I say it, designer,
and small studio handcrafted type person.

Many of us would enjoy both SNAG and Clasp. Others might find one or
the other a better fit. If the gallery show reviews in Metalsmith
make you crazy, then maybe you’d like Clasp better.

Those particularly wanting guidance on business issues may find that
more at Clasp.

SNAG is certainly more affordable.

There can never be too many conferences. There’s room for all of
them. If I could spare the time away, I’d go to all of them.


Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Another option for those who are interested in the business ideas for
artisan jewelry would be to attend one of the Arts Business
Institute’s workshops. The website is at and they usually have several
weekend workshops thoughout the year. I have attended a couple of
them and was very impressed.


Paul Ewing
Shining Moon Creations