In Good Company Episode 5

Episode five of in good company™ , goes “behind the bench” at Stuller’s annual Bench Jeweler Workshop to capture the experience and expertise that goes into the jewelry-making process, and how Stuller is inspiring and empowering bench jewelers with the tools, training and technology to help them create “the art of real emotion” in each and every piece.
For other episodes click here:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4

Video Transcript

One part artist, one part engineer, one part technologist, the bench jeweler is the heart of the industry. And every year here at Stuller Inc., the Benchjeweler Workshop brings the best partners, tools, technologies, and techniques in the industry and of course, the Battle of the Benches competition.

My name is Adam Voss. I'm a traveler, an entertainer, and I'm a man on the move. From the biggest cities to the smallest towns, I'm on the hunt for cool companies and what makes them so successful. Right now, you're in good company.

We are so happy to have you here for the next 48 hours. We're gonna make sure that you can go anywhere you want in the 600,000 square foot facility and engage with it. Every year, Stuller hosts its annual Benchjeweler Workshop where participants from all around the world experience hands-on training, tools, and technology from Stuller and its vast network of industry partners.

So what do you have here Vic? What's going on? So this is plastic injection with auto metal mold from flexible silicone mold basically.

Tell me when you see a number. I'm getting like a 1.6, 1.65.

In depth classroom sessions with industry experts are one of the greatest benefits of attending Workshop. Topics run the gamut from fusion welding to diamond grading to increasing profits with repair.

I will never forget any moment of this. The diamond grading, which was my first class I took. I was figuring, you know, it’s gonna be a lecture it's gonna be a PowerPoint. No, he gave us diamonds to physically look at which was absolutely phenomenal to do.

I've been grading diamonds for 23 years. Right now they are grading a diamond, giving it a color grade, a clarity grade, and a cut grade.

I love diamonds so I decided to try my hand at grading them after, of course, getting help turning on the lamp. So if I get the answers right I get to keep the diamond? Umm no, sorry. Don't drop it! So you're looking for imperfections or inclusions inside that diamond. This would look so good in my left ear.

Well everybody put their stuff back in the bags and then we'll hand out the answer key. Make? We said good, it's very good. So we'll just put a V right there. So we basically got one right. Yeah I guess this makes me head of the class.

What's so great about Stuller’s Benchjeweler Workshop is the energy is palpable. People come from near and far to share ideas, techniques, tactics, technologies, and to enjoy the Hunger Games itself of jewelry--the Battle of the Benches. Stuller’s annual Battle of the Benches competition pits four skilled jewelers together in a real-time design contest, with a winner chosen at the close of each day's challenge and an overall winner decided on the final day. On day one contestants were tasked to prep, assemble, and set their original CAD entry piece. And on this day, victory fell to Craig Farley. Tell me about this ring that you designed. Honestly I think the original idea started I wanted to use green gold. It's something different. Obviously it was the right choice.

On day two of the battle, contestants have yet another chance to win with the Parts and Pieces challenge. On the table we have randomly selected and pulled various raw material and then some stones in the middle. And you have until 5:00 p.m. to fabricate something that can beat the other guys around you. On my go. Go. The work that it takes to actually fabricate a piece using just sheet metal and stock and stuff like that, it takes a lot of work and a lot of thought.

While contestants were putting the finishing touches on their designs, I got to know some of this year's attendees and the impact Workshop has had on them.

Workshop has really surpassed expectations. I just had a class on casting. My dad does all our casting in-house but there's a lot of like new machines that are out that make life a lot easier. It's helped us in more ways than I can describe.

It's so inspiring to be here with so many people that are as passionate about making jewelry as we are and just geeking out it's been such an amazing experience overall. We're so happy.

So you brought your students so this Workshop? I bring students every year. Until they come into this environment they don't get it. Yeah. And then it's all of a sudden wow this is what I'm training for.

Immediately after the first day of us kind of going our separate ways and doing our own classes we all came and rejoined together and it was all unanimous that this trip has been absolutely invaluable. There's no other experience like this.

After an exciting day two at Stuller’s Workshop we're now in Downtown Lafayette in the Arts and Culture district where things are booming to find out who won today's challenge at the Jefferson Street Pub complete with crawfish, good drinks, and some real zydeco.

Today's award goes to Patrick Dobbs.

Patrick Congratulations on your victory today. Thank you, appreciate it. A couple moments I saw that you were kind of distressed, like things weren't working out for you. You got to just kind of persist you know? It's not about how good you are. It's really about how good you fix your mistakes. That's what makes you a good jeweler. How well you can adjust? Exactly.

It was neck and neck and I can honestly tell you that some of them were actually a tie and we had to use a tiebreaker and in this competition we've never done that. Today we used a tiebreaker. The technical aspect of his piece really outweighed the complexities of the other products.

Workshop is all about the tools, training, and technology that go into the art of bench jewelry. But it is so much more than that. It’s makers coming together to network, learn, and inspire each other while celebrating the love of jewelry in a magical place like Lafayette, Louisiana.
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8/23/2019 Market Prices:
Gold 1503.80 Platinum 865.00 Silver 17.05