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Think reality TV for jewelers, but with more education and less spectacle — that's the Bench Pressure Challenge. A high-traffic highlight of The SMART Show annually, this contest pits the industry's best names in benchwork against each other in live, head-to-head battles of craftsmanship-under-pressure. This year, the competition is separated into two categories: CAD skills and all-around skills.

2015 Challenge Schedule

CAD I: Saturday, April 18, 10:15am - 12:15pm
CAD 2: Saturday, April 18, 2pm - 4pm
All-Around 1 - Setting: Sunday, April 19, 10:15am - 12:15pm
All-Around 2 - Freestyle: Sunday, April 19, 2pm – 4pm



CAD Challenge

At this year’s CAD Challenge, our challengers will be given two tasks that will test their skills and knowledge of the CAD design process. They will also be challenged to show off their creativity at meeting the design requests. From concept to creation, it will all happen live on the show floor!

Each contestant starts with a blank screen and an audience to watch them make their way through each design challenge in only two hours. Talk about pressure! If you think you have the skills and nerves to be a part of this “Iron Chef” contest, apply today!

All-Around Challenge

The Bench Pressure All-Around Challenge pits four masters of the bench against each other in three tests of their abilities. Awards will be presented for each sub-challenge, with an overall winner being picked at the conclusion of the three contests.

These sessions are lively, interactive and a great opportunity for networking … all while showing the world just what you're capable of creating. These four bench professionals will demonstrate their skill in setting and engraving, as well as show their skills in a special freestyle challenge sponsored by Stuller. Have the nerve? Apply today!


Thanks to our sponsors!




CAD Contest Information

  1. Entrants will be interviewed to determine availability, ability and to review details of the challenge. The CAD Challenge takes place during The SMART Jewelry Show at Chicago's Navy Pier on Saturday, April 18, from 10:00am to 5:00 pm.
  2. Four challengers will be selected from submitted entries.
  3. Selected challengers will be notified by February 16. Names will be posted online by February 20.
  4. Travel and hotel will be arranged by The SMART Show. This includes coach airfare for one, ground transportation and two hotel nights.
  5. Using their own computer and programs, contestants will design according to specific requirements similar to those given in a retail environment by an actual customer and designer.
  6. Each contestant will present their design to the “customer” and celebrity designer.
  7. Completed works will be judged on design, craftsmanship, originality, and how well they meet the requirements and requests of the customer and celebrity designer.
  8. There will be two hours to complete each design.

Travel

The four contestants chosen for this competition each receive round-trip airfare to The SMART Jewelry Show and two nights accommodation at the show hotel.

Application Process

Fancy your chances at the monitor? Our experts choose contestants based on their experience and qualifications. Here's what we need:

  • A list of formal training and certifications
  • Any other contests entered / won
  • Two examples of previous fabrication work
  • Two CAD renderings you've created recently


All-Around Contest Information

  1. Entrants will be interviewed to determine availability, ability and to review details of the challenge. The All-Around Challenge takes place during The SMART Jewelry Show at Chicago's Navy Pier on April 19, 2015.
  2. Four challengers will be selected from submitted entries.
  3. Selected challengers will be notified by February 16. Names will be posted online by February 20.
  4. Travel and hotel will be arranged by The SMART Show. This includes coach airfare for one, ground transportation and two nights hotel.
  5. Contestants will need to supply some of their own tools. Other tools (see below) are generously supplied by Stuller, the sponsor for INSTORE’s Bench Pressure All-Around Challenge.
  6. There will be two hours to complete each challenge.

Travel

The four contestants chosen for this competition also receive round-trip airfare to The SMART Jewelry Show and three nights accommodation.

Tools Provided by Stuller

  • Bench
  • Bench chair
  • Light
  • Meiji microscopes with .5 reducers and ring lights
  • Bench mate
  • GRS wood bench pins
  • Drop spacer plates for the bench mate
  • Flexshaft with any standard quick-change hand pieces
  • Gravermachs with magnum hand pieces
  • Basic graverballs from GRS with doughnut base
  • One graver sharpener (share with other challengers)
  • One hot pot for the plastic-like part (share with other challengers)
  • At this time the torch that will be used has not been selected. If a water torch is selected you will be given the opportunity to try it out in advance of the show.
  • Polishing and other finishing tools and supplies are also under consideration.
  • Challenge contestants will need to bring their own wax carving tools and gravers with them.

Application Process

Interested in throwing your hat in the ring? Contestants are hand-chosen based on their experience and qualifications. Here's what we need:

  • Work history going back 15 years
  • A list of formal training and certifications
  • Any other contests entered / won
  • Two examples of previous fabrication work


See past competitions

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