In spite of all the doom and gloom, there really is something new under the sun. It looks like traditional Mokume Gane but, this innovative manufacturing process holds the promise of much lower price-points and a variety of new combinations never before possible.
Traditional Mokume Gane requires quite a bit of talent and training to create billets that work at the bench. In most cases, bench jewelers today have been relying on material suppliers like Hoover and Strong or Reactive Metals to provide what they themselves could not create, albeit at a significant cost when compared with traditional sheet and wire.
My JCKOnline blog from last March details the new process called XPM ( eXtruded Patterned Metals ) developed by Jim Binnion and Steve Midgett. I am most pleased to report that the judges have agreed with that assessment and will be presenting Jim and Steve with a MJSA 2008 Innovation Award this weekend at Expo-New York for their work with XPMs.
From a merchandising point of view, XPM products will provide retailers with a fresh look in bridal and in particular wedding bands. At a price-point 30% of the precious metal Mokume Gane, XPM wedding bands will also remain competitive with traditional karat gold products. Experts tell us that the “Millenials” are looking for unique bridal products primarily in alternative white metals. This would make XPM products a good marketing bet in this soft economy. Jim Binnion and Steve Midgett will be exhibiting XPM products in Booth 717 this weekend. I myself look forward to getting closer look at what Millenials will be buying.
By the way…….I just checked on my hotel reservations for MJSA Expo New York this weekend and found that lodging in Manhattan has come way down. In fact my airfare was cheap too. When business gets slower, we all need to take another close look at our business models. There is no better time than today to join us at MJSA Expo New York to network with your peers and to find a new path to profitability. Hope to see you there and hope you will check back to tomorrow for more about another MJSA Innovation Award winner V-Ray…. For me…. the most significant jewelry CAD/CAM product of the decade.Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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