Introducing the 2018 Battle of the Benches Competitors
Mark your calendars! Stuller’s Bench Jeweler Workshop begins Friday, March 23 where our 3rd Annual Battle of the Benches competition will kick off. This year, we’re bringing back four past competitors to participate in a real-time jewelry challenge, each seeking their claim to bench jeweler glory.
Meet the incredible artisans set to compete in this year’s Battle of the Benches challenge
David first developed a love for the trade working alongside his father in the family store at the age of 16. Starting from the bottom taught David all the important skills that every bench jeweler needs to succeed. Today, he is the proud owner of David Adamson Designer Jewelry. Being in the jewelry industry for over 40 years taught David how to adapt to change. He knows it’s a new, ever-growing retail landscape and he constantly attends CAD training seminars and technology fairs to keep up with current changes.
When it comes to customization, David prefers to use RhinoGold. He enjoys the software’s simplicity, intuitiveness, and ease of use. David’s career as a jeweler began at the bench (rather than as a CAD jeweler), which led him to gravitate towards RhinoGold software.
When not at the bench, David loves to help people study the Bible. He also likes to sail, ski, travel, and hang out with his children and grandchildren. David took home the gold in the 2016 Battle of the Benches challenge and will return to reclaim his bench jewelry glory.
Growing up in West Texas, Patrick’s passion for jewelry began when a teacher offered him a job making belt buckles. It was this teacher who encouraged Patrick to pursue a career in the jewelry industry.
Today, Patrick is a jack-of-all-trades. He sells, designs, and creates with CAD, 3D printing, mills, stone setting, fabrication, and more. For him, working under pressure is a daily thing. When asked about his favorite part of the job, “It’s all about the reveal,” he says. “Seeing a customer’s face light up when they see the jewelry that I’ve worked so hard to create is indescribable.”
During his free time, Patrick loves to work out and he likes to play tennis. He also spends his free time tinkering with his Jeep Wrangler. Whether it’s jewelry or cars, Patrick Dobbs enjoys working with his hands, making him a formidable competitor for this year’s Battle of the Benches competition.
An artist at heart, Craig Farley’s is gifted at working with customers and translating their ideas into purposeful pieces. His has a passion for creating future heirlooms so customers can express something personal and meaningful.
His bench jeweler career began 22 years ago. He started as a polisher at a small trade shop and quickly progressed to general repairs. Next, he tried his hand at fabrication. Craig understood the value of continuing education and took a wide variety of courses ranging from advanced diamond setting at GIA to a mokume gane workshop by Steve Midgett. Wax carving was next on his list of things to learn. After mastering these skills, Craig realized that to take his business to the next level, he needed to jump into computer-aided design (CAD). “Repairs are the backbone of a good shop,” says Craig. “But custom design makes it so much more than just a job to me.” These days, Craig is a master Matrix designer, bringing incredible designs to life.
Craig’s other passions include martial arts and playing guitar in the local music scene. “Maybe the discipline of martial arts training mixed with my inner rock star makes me a good challenger,” he suggests. The spotlight doesn’t bother Craig and he’s looking forward to competing in Battle of the Benches!
Jyothi Forman is a jeweler at Georgies Fine Jewellery in Narooma, New South Wales, Australia. She specializes in hand fabricating custom jewelry. Jyothi, a blossoming 25 years old, grew up in a small regional town called Tanja and went to school in Bega, New South Wales.
“I’ve always been a practical person and love working in a hands-on manner. In school, I loved ceramics, woodwork, metalwork, and visual arts. When I stumbled upon the jewelry trade, I couldn’t believe my luck! It combines everything I enjoy: practicality, creativity, and an ongoing challenge,” Jyothi explains. “I knew I loved making jewelry since my first day on the bench.”
Outside of work, she loves exploring the outdoors. Mountain biking, playing soccer, painting, and hanging out with her sweet pup, Baxter, are a few of her favorite activities. Jyothi will be returning to Bench Jeweler Workshop this year to defend her 2017 Battle of the Benches title.
Stay tuned for this year’s Battle of the Benches competition at Stuller’s 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop!