February 20, 2018 / Resources

Jewelry Events: Conferences, Retreats & Symposiums

Halstead is proud to support jewelry events such as retreats and symposiums across the country. Our amazing jewelry community is doing great ...

Jewelry making events, retreats and symposiums are all around the country! They offer great classes to help you expand your skill set and even better networking opportunities to connect with fellow jewelers. You may even see a happy Halstead face at some of these events!

Halstead is proud to support jewelry events such as retreats and symposiums across the country. Our amazing jewelry community is doing great things! From jewelry workshops to lectures, exhibitions and more, there are so many opportunities to gather and appreciate our favorite art form. Jewelry conferences and symposiums are great places to learn from your favorite instructors and recharge your creative batteries.

Please check the website for each event for current dates, locations, and information. Most of these events happen on a yearly basis, but unexpected changes are always possible.

Jewelry Business Forum

Dates: Mid January


This entirely virtual event will bring jewelry business experts in a variety of fields to help you build your business, no matter what stage your business is in. It was created to empower small jewelry business owners through professional development in marking, business, and more. Attendees will be inspired and ready to move forward through the new year!


ECU Material Topics Symposium

Dates: Mid-January

Greenville, NC

The Material Topics Symposium has been a production of Metal Design MFA students within the School of Art and Design within East Carolina University since 2009. They host students and faculty from over 45 institutions ranging from California to Florida. Attendees are beginners, hobbyists, sculptors, professional jewelers and metal artists, and current and retired faculty members. Presenters/lecturers are not repeated, and they are nominated and voted on by members of the ECU Metals Guild, then chosen by the incoming committee. Each year the symposium has a different theme.


Baltimore Ornamenta

Dates: Late winter/Early spring

The Baltimore Jewelry Center in Baltimore, MD and Online

Every winter, the Baltimore Jewelry Center hosts Ornamenta, a fundraiser that provides them the opportunity to raise much needed funds while exposing a larger community to the work they do. It often involves an in-person event and auction and virtual speaker events. 


Tucson Gem Shows

Dates: January-February

Tucson, AZ

Over 30 events and shows happen throughout the months of January and February in Tucson, AZ – turning the city into all things jewelry and gem. Events happen across the city indoors and outdoors. Some shows do require registration and a wholesale/tax ID, so be sure to look into that and the show dates. Many shows do overlap, but each has their own set of dates and times they are open to the public. Be sure to research each show individually to determine the dates, location, requirements, and vendor information.


Vivi Magoo – Art Retreat in the Desert

Dates: January/February – concurrent with the Tucson Gem Shows

Tucson, AZ

Held in February during the Tucson Bead and Gem Shows, the retreat offers more than 80 classes held over six days that range from metalsmithing to art jewelry classes. And in true Vivi Magoo style, they bring in the best artist-instructors that provide excellent teaching in combination with a welcoming, inspirational setting. Vivi Magoo offers other retreats, classes, and education opportunities throughout the year, so be sure to explore their website for the full offering. The Academy by Vivi Magoo is their virtual course offerings.


Yuma Art Symposium

 Dates: Late February

Yuma, AZ

The Yuma Symposium is a series of demonstrations, lectures and slide presentations given by both internationally recognized and emerging artists who have demonstrated unusual talent. Activities include an exhibit of work by presenters and a student show, the National Saw, File, & Solder Sprints, the annual pin auction, and a fiesta and dance at the end of the symposium.


Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference:

Dates: Mid-end of May

Location changes yearly

The SNAG conference happens every ear in a different city across the US or Canada. It includes lectures, demonstrations, a vendor room, gallery crawl, exhibitions and exhibition opportunities, and more. Each year the conference has a different theme. Scholarship opportunities are available, and certain exhibition opportunities are available only to those who have current SNAG memberships.


Colorado Metalsmithing Association Conference:

Dates: July


The annual CoMA conference is held in July in Colorado and allows members to network, share ideas, and learn from industry leaders in metal arts. Be sure to follow their Instagram and Facebook pages for up to date information.


Bead Fest

Dates: August

Lancaster, PA

Jewelry artists of all skill levels and techniques can indulge in their creative passion at Bead Fest. It includes over 100 educational workshops, shopping, networking, demos, and more. The Marketplace Expo features demos, hands-on maker experiences, and other opportunities for learning about new techniques, trends, and supplies.


Sawtooth Metal Clay Artists Symposium

Dates: End of August

Winston-Salem, NC

The MCAS features a mix of one and two-day hands-on workshops by nationally known metal clay artists, an opening evening round table discussion, breakout sessions, Technique Discovery Workshops, an exhibition, vendor’s marketplace, and more. This event happens at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in North Carolina.


Flourish & Thrive Live

Dates: End of September


Flourish and Thrive Live is an event hosted by Flourish and Thrive Academy. It helps jewelry brands grow and see success through networking, talks, and more from F&TA coaches, mentors, and jewelry industry experts across PR, branding, design, and more. Flourish and Thrive Live is usually designed for their Mastermind Group program, but limited seats do open up for those not in the program.


Portland Jewelry Symposium

Dates: End of September

Portland, OR

Portland Jewelry Symposium is a one-of-a-kind event that brings together custom jewelers, designers, and retailers covering technology, design, industry, and business education. Their goal is to help attendees grow their businesses by taking advantage of new technologies, techniques, and trends. Each year the symposium selects a different theme.


Metalwerx Spring Symposium

Dates: Spring, End of March


This virtual summit for jewelers, metalsmiths, makers, artists, and all curious minds is a chance to find inspiration, discover new techniques, and connect with the metals and jewelry community near and far. A diverse five-day showcase, the Spring Symposium offers attendees a mix of presentations, demos, and studio tours with established and emerging artists, all online! We will learn new skills and techniques, broaden our jewelry and metalsmithing knowledge, and peek into fellow artists’ studios and bodies of work. In addition to the scheduled webinars, there are social meetups and live chats throughout the week as a way to meet other makers and make valuable, long-lasting connections.    


Seattle Metals Guild Symposium:

Dates: Fall

Online or Seattle, WA

The Seattle Metals Guild Symposium includes live presentations, a silent auction, and allows for jewelers and makers to get to know each other and network.


New York City Jewelry Week:

Dates: Mid/End of November

Online and NYC

NYCJW is a week-long celebration that invites a global audience to experience the world of jewelry in NYC. Our hybrid program blends in person experiences with virtual engagement and programming, as we host the best and brightest in the industry to deliver thought leadership, exhibitions, shopping experiences, retail collaborations, and first look designer discovery. NYC Jewelry Week is free and open to the public, modernizing the way the world thinks about jewelry by bringing together everyone from the window shopper to the avid collector. NYCJW also hosts programs throughout the year, such as their Here We Are and One For The Future initiatives.


The Enamelist Society Conference:

Dates: August

Pocosin Arts School of Fine Craft, Columbia, NC

The Enamelist Society conference includes workshops, a vendor room, live and silent auctions, speakers, demonstrations, an exhibition, and more. Check their website for up to date information on each year’s conference.


Enamel Guild North East Conference:

Dates: Spring


The conference includes workshops and presentations by instructors. You must be a member of Enamel Guild North East to register for the conference. Check the calendar and events tabs on their website for up-to-date information on each year’s conference. 



Dates: Fall

Orlando, FL

MicroWeld is Sunstone Welding’s welding conference for bench jewelers. The conference includes panel discussions, demonstrations, exhibitor showcases, and more. It focuses on the uses of welding for jewelry applications. The mission of MicroWeld is to continue to develop a connected community by sharing proven business models, tools and techniques that are live demonstrated by peers in real-time. 


Metals Week at Idyllwild Arts:

Dates: June

Idyllwild, CA

Spend a week in intensive metals studies with master metalsmiths. Maximize your creative artistic experience through workshops, lectures and demonstrations delivered by a team of six experts. You will work with one master instructor in an environment that encourages learning new techniques and creating work as well as networking with fellow jewelers and metalsmiths. Learn new skills, improve your techniques, and challenge yourself to grow as an artist. Lectures and demonstrations give you access to a variety of experts with different perspectives on metal and jewelry work. Small class size allows for maximum personalized interaction.


Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference:

Dates: Early November

Chicago, IL

Creating and sustaining responsible jewelry supply chains is extraordinarily complex. The jewelry industry, governments, NGOs, communities, individual employers, and consumers each have a stake, often with conflicting interests. To reconcile these divergent viewpoints requires transparent communication, deep listening, and collaborative problem-solving. The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference is where the stakeholders in the jewelry supply chain gather to participate in the skillful navigation of challenging problems and it was livestreamed and recorded.


IAC’s Gold and Diamond Conference:

Dates: End of July


Join Initiatives in Art and Culture for a deep dive into critical issues in responsible practice, sustainability, luxury, and artisanry at the Gold + Diamond Conference. The conference includes podium presentations, panel discussions, conversations, and more. Keep an eye on their website for up-to-date conference information.


The Jewelry Symposium:

Dates: Mid-end of May

Minneapolis, MN

The Jewelry Symposium for the Advancement of Jewelry Manufacturing Technology is a passionate, collaborative, non-commercial, global community inspiring creativity, fostering innovation, and encouraging the further development and advancement of all facets if the jewelry making family. Organized by the committee who organized the Santa Fe Symposium.  


Written By: Ashley Maldonado
Ashley is the Content & Digital Marketing Specialist at Halstead. She grew up in the Prescott area and holds degrees in Strategic Communications and International Affairs. She and studio dog Mavis enjoy spending as much time as possible in the employee studio at Halstead.