Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

  • Metalsmith Benchtalk with Jeweler, Craftsman, Teacher and Toolmaker, Bill Fretz

    in Art

    Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is  Bill Fretz: jeweler, craftsman, teacher and designer of remarkable tools. 

    Join us for this LIVE interview- if you have a question for Bill during the conversation, log onto the chatroom at Blogtalkradio.com or send a message to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 

    About Bill 

    Bill's interest in making jewelry began with his interest in jewelry-making tools (no surprise) and grew after talking to renowned metalsmiths like Paul Evans. Developing his own line of tools was his answer to the design challenges he would encounter, challenges that traditional tools couldn't fix. 

    It's his love of tools and working with metal, seeing what overlapping hammer blows can do, that inspires Bill to design award-winning jewelry and custom tools. Fretz forming stakes represent perfected precision and unrivaled quality. His innovative, gorgeous tools are not only the prized possessions of scores of jewelry-makers, they have also been exhibited at trade shows and in galleries. 

    Today, Bill continues to design custom tools and teach students how to use them, all while running his business with his wife Marian in Bucksport, Maine. His best teaching moment to date? As a teaching assistant to jeweler John Paul Miller at Cleveland Institute of Art (his first job). And in every class he teaches, Bill's love of metal-forming is renewed as his students "constantly remind me that designing with metal is an exploration." 


  • 00:16

    ART Talk: A Conversation with Master Jeweler Dina Varano

    in Art

    Hello and welcome to ART Talk, a series of conversations with the artists and master craftsman that make our world a more beautiful place.  What inspires them to create?  What does it take to make it in the world of handmade?  Today I'm joined by artist, mother, small business owner, master craftsman, jeweler and nature lover Dina Varano.  A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Dina has had a presence in the Connecticut River Valley for nearly thirty years.  After spending several formative years living and studying in Italy, Dina settled into her studio, nestled deep in the woods surrounding her home and retail space in Chester, Connecticut.  At her shop, that fittingly carries her name, Dina displays her stunning collection of jewelry and artwork as well as a mindfully curated collection of the works from other artists.  She continues to draw inspiration from the natural beauty at her doorstep.  

    “I am inspired by nature. I study and explore through drawing in charcoal. My goal is to capture this essence and gesture in metal. I want to show the mark of my hand in each piece and achieve a rhythm of grace and movement.  My parents are dancers, at an early age I learned the grace of rhythm and movement which has become a formative influence in my work. I want my jewelry to inspire and welcome play with the wearer.” ~Dina Varano



  • 01:00

    Metalsmith Benchtalk with Studio Jeweler and Writer Bruce Metcalf

    in Art

    Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, June 4th, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is studio jeweler and writer, Bruce Metcalf. 

    Please join us for this LIVE broadcast, and participate by logging onto the chatroom at Blogtalkradio.com or by sending a message directly to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 


    Bruce Metcalf, born in Amherst, Massachusetts, is an American artist who uses different materials like wood, metal, and plexiglass. With these materials he uses diverse techniques for the jewelry, sculptures, and wall reliefs that he creates. Many of these works are whimsical yet restrained works that comment on the human condition.

    He received his B.F.A. in Crafts/Metalsmithing in 1972 at Syracuse University.  He also majored in Architecture at Syracuse from 1968-1970. From 1972-73 he attended Montana State University and from 1973-74 attended SUNY College at New Paltz. In 1977 he received his M.F.A. in Metalsmithing and Jewelry at Tyler School of Art at Temple University.

    His entrance into jewelry – like his beginnings as a writer – was unpremeditated. He was an unhappy architecture major at Syracuse University when he took a blind leap into the jewelry department. And to his amazement, he landed in a perfect spot. “I found in that material and those techniques that I really, really fit. I felt, for the first time in my life, at the age of 20, that I had a home doing something,” he says. Fast-forward to the present day, and his jewelry appears in the collections of the Cooper Hewitt design museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Arts and Design, among many others.


  • 01:00

    Metalsmith Benchtalk with jeweler Todd Reed

    in Art



    Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST  is jeweler Todd Reed, best known for his innovative use of raw diamonds.

    Please join us for this live interview and participate by logging onto the chatroom or by sending a message to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 

    About Todd:

    In 1992, Todd introduced the aesthetic of the raw diamond to the fine jewelry industry. With designs that challenge the common perception of luxury jewelry, Todd's work is one-of-a-kind wearable art for the true individual.

    Todd pulls inspiration from the endless beauty found in nature--the most intricate details of the natural world can spawn an entire collection. Since the beginning, Todd has been involved in every step of the process. All pieces are inspired, designed and hand-fabricated in Boulder, CO and Venice, CA with recycled metals and diamonds that have been purchased through reputable sources.


    At a very young age, Todd Reed was introduced to the world of fine art. His mother, a renowned commercial illustrator, ensured that Todd’s childhood was filled with creative work. When Todd was 10 years old, he witnessed a silversmith at work, and it forever changed his perception of design. “I watched in awe as this man turned sheet metal into body adornment in what seemed to be a very short amount of time,” says Reed.

    Throughout his adolescence and early adulthood, Todd was drawn to creative arts such as culinary arts, painting, sculpting, clothing design, leather work and eventually, jewelry design. While in his teens, he graduated from culinary school with a developed appreciation for process before result.

    Visit www.toddreed.com for more information


  • 00:27

    Questions to Ask Your Personal Jeweler - Anthony Harris, Harris & Co. Jewelers

    in Women

    In 2004, Anthony Harris spent a pivotal year learning the art of the bench jeweler. For 5 years, he successfully managed one of the nation's largest jewelry repair shop chains. In 2009, Mr. Harris decided to step out on faith and he began building one of the few African-American owned fine jewelry businesses. Anthony's specialized technical experience allowed him to create one of Atlanta's best kept secrets, Harris & Company Jewelers. Tune in to find out what important questions you should ask your personal jeweler.

  • 01:01

    How to Handle Pressure with Catherine Griggs

    in Women

    Catherine Griggs, author of A Diamond in the Rough  Every one of us is a potential diamond in the rough. Embedded within each person are diamond-like qualities waiting to be mined bringing joy to our Maker, others, and ourselves. Are we willing to endure the pressure, the cutting, and the polishing of the Master Jeweler to bring out the diamond within us? ike naturally occurring diamonds, they appear quite ordinary, even rough on the outside, but their beauty and worth comes from the extreme pressure under which they are formed and the harsh process of cutting and polishing that are used to reveal their inner beauty and value.


  • 01:10

    Arron “The Legal Guy” - “Just Talking Business”, Wednesday, 11am PST

    in Business

    Great Information To Help You PROTECT And GROW Your Business!

    This week, our special guests are Dr. Kathy Gruver and Mr. Louis Farkovitz. Dr. Gruver is an award-winning author and the host of the national TV show based on her first book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet (winner Beverly Hills Book Awards). She has earned her PhD in Natural Health and has authored five books in all with two books on stress: Body/Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker and, Conquer Your Stress with Mind/Body Techniques (Winner Indie Excellence Awards, Beverly Hills Book Awards, Global E-book Awards, Irwin Awards, Finalist for the USA Best Books Award). Her latest book, Journey of Healing was just released. Dr. Gruver runs CorporateStressPrograms.com providing customized business stress and wellness programs around the country. 

    Louis spent forty years perfecting his expertise in transforming silver, gold, platinum, nickel silver and gemstones into fine jewelry, Judaica, and custom sculpted objects, which he has culminated into an exquisite collection of luxury custom guitars.

    As a native Brooklynite, he is a first generation American born in 1957 in New York City, just after his parents' arduous journey from revolution-torn Hungary. He began his work as a goldsmith and fine jeweler in the 47th Street district in 1974, at the tender age of 17. Over the years, he has developed popular and successful designs for the companies he served, and executed the designs of world famous designers. His luxurious craftsmanship adorns the bodies of Hollywood movie stars, the elite and royalty, the world over. http://louisfarkovitz.com

  • 01:00

    Metalsmith Benchtalk with Artist and Jeweler Jesse Bert

    in Art

    Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on January 15th, 2015 at 3:00 PST/ 5:00 CST is artist and jeweler Jesse Bert. 

    Please join us for this live interview and participate by sending us your questions via social media  (via Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook ) or by logging onto the chat room. 


    Originally from the U.S, Jesse relocated to Mexico in 2006. With eleven years of experience as a jeweler, Jesse has a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from East Carolina University in North Carolina.

    Jesse’s prefered work format is sculptural jewelry that incorporates recycled and found objects. Over the past five years Jesse has taught metalsmithing and jewelry techniques on a regular basis, to students of all skill levels, at his private studio in San Miguel de Allende, Gto. He also teaches annual workshops around Mexico as well as in other countries.

     “When I am not teaching or working on new pieces, I love to be outside. I tend to my cactus collection or spend time exploring the Mexican countryside and hiking in the mountains.”

    Visit his website and Facebook Page. 

  • 01:00

    Metalsmith Benchtalk with Marc Choyt, President of Reflective Images Jewelry

    in Art

    Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, November 5th, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is Marc Choyt, president of Reflective Images Jewelry and the first licensed Fairtrade jeweler in America! 

    If you have a question for our guest, please log onto the chatroom at Blogtalkradio.com or send a message to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 

    For the past ten years Marc has taken action against dirty gold and the blood diamond atrocity. He began writing, speaking and campaigning about ethical sourcing jewelry issues. This lead to the co-founding of Fair Jewelry Action in 2009. Reflective Images also began to introduce the option of Fairtrade gold into their work in 2011.

    In April 2015, after ten years as ethical sourcing pioneers, Reflective Images Jewelry became the first licensed Fairtrade Jeweler in the USA. Marc worked hard with Fair Trade International to bring this about, and he continues to guide Fair Trades' launch in the US market as their main commercial liaison: providing critical contacts to main suppliers and laying the groundwork for more jewelers to enter the system. Since 1995, under Helen's creative direction, Reflective Images continues to craft jewelry that brings benefit and beauty to the world.



  • 01:01

    Metalsmith Benchtalk Past Favorites with Sydney Lynch

    in Art

    This Thursday, October 29th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk, we'll be going back into the archives for one of our favorite past episodes- a chat with artist and jeweler Sydney Lynch. 

    About: Since 1981, jewelry artist Sydney Lynch has been designing and making her handmade jewelry featuring contemporary earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants and pins in 18k and 22k gold and sterling silver. From her studio in Lincoln, Nebraska, Sydney creates both her Designer Line and singular One Of A Kind pieces that include a variety of gemstones such as opal, aquamarine, tourmaline,diamonds, pearls, beryl, peridot and sapphire set in high karat gold and silver.

    I fell in love with jewelry when I was young, rummaging through my grandmother’s bureau drawers, enchanted by her treasure trove of costume jewelry that she kept in a jumble of tiny boxes, each with its own story. Since childhood I have accumulated and “curated” my collections of objects, found and acquired, assembling them in patterns and groupings that often inspire my jewelry designs. I think of these pebbles, shells, rusted metal fragments and art objects as an archive of personal memories.

    While working on the Navajo Reservation during college, I fell in love with the wide open western landscape and met my first silversmiths who inspired me to learn to make my own jewelry. I moved from Connecticut to Colorado, where I got my BFA at the University of Colorado, and decided if nothing else, a traditional career wasn’t for me. I eventually relocated to a farm in Nebraska, then to Lincoln, where I now live. I have an airy, sun-filled studio where I work with two bench assistants and my husband.


    For more info, visit http://sydneylynch.com/.

  • 01:00

    Metalsmith Benchtalk with Metalsmith and Fine Jeweler Pat Cahill

    in Art

    Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, June 18th, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is metalsmith Pat Cahill. 

    Please join us for this LIVE interview and participate by logging onto the chatroom at Blogtalkradio.com or by sending a message directly to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We love your questions! 

    About Pat: 

    Pat Cahill creates hand crafted sterling silver boxes and fine jewelry. 

    The boxes are fabricated from sterling silver sheet stock that is hand sawed, filed, soldered, and sanded.  The only machines used are a buffer and flex shaft for surfacing finishing of the work.  Pat prefers to use hand tools.  Each box represents hours and hours of labor.

    Pat Cahill's boxes can be used as pill boxes or presentation boxes for that special gift.

    Pat Cahill started making boxes and jewelry three years ago after being laid off from his job as a molecular biologist. 

    Pat is a member of The Society of North American Goldsmiths and was recently featured as the Maker Profile Artist of the week. 


    Facebook Page