Stuller hosted their annual Bench Jeweler Workshop last weekend, welcoming more than 200 jewellers from across the country to its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana.
“Workshop always draws in a dynamic and enthusiastic crowd,” says Tammy Kidder, vice president of tools, findings, and metals. “Jewellers get to spend the weekend learning not only from Stuller and industry pros, but from each other as well.”
This year’s event had over a dozen in-depth classes, hands-on product demonstrations, and the 2nd annual Battle of the Benches® competition. “The jewellers that attend truly enjoy watching this real-time, design and bench-work contest held on our demo floor,” says Kidder.
The Battle of the Benches competition consisted of three different challenges – CAD and render, parts and pieces, and polishing and finishing. The jewellers selected for this year’s competition were: 2016 defending champion, David Adamson of David Adamson Designer Jewelry, Meghan Proctor of Mucklow’s Fine Jewelry, Jonathan Smiddy of Robson’s Diamond Jewelers, Jyothi Forman of Georgies Fine Jewellery, and alternate Marty Collins of Collins Jewelers. The winners were as follows:
- CAD and Render Challenge – Jonathan Smiddy
- Parts and Pieces Challenge – Jyothi Forman
- Polishing and Finishing – Jyothi Forman
- Overall Winner – Jyothi Forman
“We had over 30 talented jewellers apply for this competition,” says Battle of the Benches judge, Adrienne Keleher. “These four contestants are at the top of their game, so trying to choose winners from their level of competency is difficult. They really outdid themselves again this year.”
“I actually cannot believe it,” says Overall Winner Jyothi Forman of Georgies Fine Jewellery in Australia. “What an honor. The competition was a lot of fun, and I had a really good time here and that’s what I really wanted, so this is just a bonus.”
See coverage from this year’s Bench Jeweler Workshop at stuller.com/workshoplive.
In 1970, Matthew Stuller founded Stuller, Inc. Headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, the prime manufacturer provides a wide range of goods and services for jewelry professionals worldwide. Stuller’s core product categories include: bridal jewelry, wedding bands, fine jewellery, mountings, diamonds, gemstones, findings, metals, tools, packaging, and digital solutions.