loading page

Welcome to Rio's 2016 Winter Workshop!

Winter Workshops

The Rio Winter Workshop is a celebration of jewelry and jewelry designers from the enthusiastic hobbyist to the passionate professional. We invite you to join the foremost experts in the industry for a week-long event full of hands-on classes, tool demonstrations, networking opportunities, tours of our facility and more.

Join us at the bench January 24–29, 2016!

Who Should Attend?

Workshop attendees are professional jewelers, hobbyists and everyone in between. Some are just starting out at the bench and some have been seated comfortably there for years. Some are learning how to solder a joint for the first time. Others are gaining insight into how arc welding can improve production processes. What ties them all together is a devotion to their craft, a love of making jewelry and an enthusiasm for learning something new. They tend to learn best by doing and thrive off the collaborative environment created by our instructors and their fellow students.

If that sounds like you, then you should join us at the 2016 Winter Workshop.

Why Should You Attend?

  • Gain access to some of the most renowned experts and teachers in the industry, all gathered in one place and focused on students like you.
  • Experience hands-on learning in small classes. You'll work at a fully stocked bench or workstation, so you don't have to worry about sharing tools or standing by and watching.
  • Forge connections with fellow jewelers and learn from your peers.
  • Test out new tools and equipment in the demonstration area.
  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at Rio during tours of our solar-powered facility.

“Whenever I meet other jewelers, I always recommend your workshops and classes. I learn more in two- and three-day classes than in months at college.”
–Madeline Algier

“Learning a new technique, along with the opportunity to try out new tools and share experiences with other jewelers, is inspiring.”
–Amanda Armishaw

“I love being able to arrive and have every tool I need in place at the bench. I always know that a class from Rio will be organized and taught by a true expert. It's always worth the investment of time and money.”
–Will Cervarich

Download At-a-Glance Calendar Now!



Blaine Lewis
Pioneer of the use of high-definition, high-magnification projection of fine, precision work being demonstrated in the classroom, Blaine Lewis brings a transformational zest and energy to learning stone-setting.…
David Swallow
David is a 3DESIGN software certified trainer and application engineer for Vision Numeric. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and specializes in 3D modeling and design. Add to that eight years of CAD jewelry-making experience, including…
Kate Wolf
The first time Kate sat down at a jeweler's bench she said to herself, "I could explore this field for the rest of my life and not run out of techniques to learn." Decades later, she knows she was absolutely right.…
Peter Gilroy
Peter Gilroy grew up knowing he wanted to work with his hands—metalsmithing, woodcarving, architecture. It all came together when he went to work for Bonny Doon Tools and began making jewelry. "Having all those awesome tools," he says, "got my…
Victoria Lansford
Five-year-old Victoria Lansford fell in love with Egyptian metalwork over a board game she got for Christmas. Ever since that day, she has been obsessed with intricate metalwork.…
Ricky Frank
For more than 35 years, master enamelist Ricky Frank has put his heart and soul into enameling. That's just what you do when you are captivated by an art form. His reason for becoming a jeweler? To have a way to sell his enamels. And every technique…
Joe Silvera
Ask Joe about his career path, and he'll probably tell you what a "crooked road" it's been; but, as crooked as it's been, it's given him a wide range of finely honed skills and a love of sharing those skills. As one of a "long line of jewelers…
Jayne Redman
Meet Jayne Redman: Inventor, educator, rule maker and breaker. Jayne began teaching jewelry-making even as she pursued her own education. She loves giving students the confidence to be inventive, to learn the principles of a technique, then…
Bill Fretz
Meet Bill Fretz: jeweler, craftsman, teacher and designer of remarkable tools. 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.…
Sessin Durgham
A fun, fresh and energized instructor, Sessin Durgham is a jewelry designer whose work has been recognized over and over for its originality and craftsmanship.…
Anat Silvera
Anat Silvera has been in love with jewelry since she was a little girl growing up in Los Angeles, California. Anat has taught and exhibited her work all over the United States.…

About Albuquerque & Where to Stay

Welcome to Albuquerque, Our Land of Enchantment!

Immerse yourself in the rich culture and heritage of the Southwest. Soak in our blue skies and year-round sunshine. Breathe in the high-desert air scented with sage and piñon, and you'll understand why New Mexico is truly the Land of Enchantment.

Where to Stay: Special rates are available to our students at Hampton Inn & Suites West, Hotel Albuquerque, La Quinta Inn & Suites and Best Western.

In order to get the corporate rate, you must call the local number listed below, and mention you are taking a class at Rio Grande. All prices are subject to change without notice.

FREE shuttle service to and from classes is available for registered students. Pickup locations are: Hotel Albuquerque, Hampton Inn, La Quinta Inn & Suites, and Best Western.

Hotel Albuquerque
Rate*: $96
800 Rio Grande NW
(*must ask for Rio Grande/ Bell Group rate when reserving rooms)

NOTE: Near Old Town Plaza.

Hampton Inn
Rate*: $85
6150 Iliff Road NW
(*must ask for Rio Grande rate when reserving rooms)

NOTE: Limited walking-distance access to restaurants and other conveniences.

La Quinta Inn & Suites
Rate*: $60
6101 Iliff Road NW
(*must ask for Rio Grande rate when reserving rooms)

NOTE: Limited walking-distance access to restaurants and other conveniences.

Best Western Rio Grande
Rate*: $63 (M-Th), $73 (F-Su)
1015 Rio Grande NW
(*must ask for Rio Grande rate when reserving rooms)

NOTE: Has restaurant, bar & grill, pool and complimentary airport shuttle 7am–10pm.

shuttle Rio shuttle vans run before and after classes—from hotels to Rio and back again!

Rio Grande

Jewelry Supplies

7500 Bluewater Rd. NW

Jewelry Making Supplies / Findings. Rio Grande jewelry findings & more

Tour Rio Grande: Discover Where It All Happens!

Tour Rio Grande: Discover Where It All Happens!

Visitors to our 180,000-square-foot solar-powered facility have raved about our guided tours for years. Workshop Series attendees are offered daily tours during their stay in Albuquerque. Take a peek behind the scenes and meet the people responsible for crafting the thousands of American-made findings found on our website and in our catalogs. Hear about the early days as our founder, Saul Bell, laid down roots in New Mexico. And experience the rapidly evolving future here that includes our one-of-a-kind solar farm and innovative work environment.

Tours are held at 4pm Monday through Friday during our Winter Workshop Series. If you'd like to tour at a different time, call us at 866.246.2698 or submit a request.

Our Demo Area: Take a Peek at What You'll See!

Jewelry-Making Tools, Equipment & Techniques

While at Rio, check out some of the latest & greatest tools and equipment from the best names in the business in our FREE demo area! Watch these remarkable tools in action and take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions about new processes that can broaden your design options as a jeweler. Held all day, every day, during Rio Grande’s Winter Workshop series!

Stone-Setting with the GRS BenchMate™
THE work-holding system for jewelers! See how easy it is to do the precision work required in stone setting using this stable and versatile system.


Propane/Oxygen Advanced Soldering Kit
Watch the experts demonstrate soldering techniques using our everything-but-the-kitchen-sink advanced soldering kit!


Wolf Wax Carving Tool Set
Once you try Kate Wolf's "wicked sharp", customizable wax-carving tools, you'll see how easy it is to create beautiful, precise carvings.


The number one choice for rotary tools. Watch Foredom®'s versatility at the bench in action and see why it's an ideal choice for stone-setting and other precision tasks.


Bonny Doon Hydraulic Press
Let's just say you have to see it to believe it. Discover what the strong-arm machinery can do in creating gorgeous metal-formed designs!


JoolTool™ Systems
See the innovative JoolTool™ sharpening and polishing system in action! Its See-Thru™ Ninja Discs™ let you work from the underside with a clear view of your workpiece the entire time.


Nimbus Cloud Dome
Lightweight and portable, the Nimbus Cloud Dome turns your cell phone into an on-the-go photo studio! See just how amazingly simple it is to use, how many options you have in showing your work at its best, and how incredibly crisp and clear are the photos you can produce with this little wonder!


Jewelry MANAGER™ Software
The Jewelry Designer MANAGER™ software helps you get organized like nobody's business. See how much it can do—and how easily you can do it—to get your inventory, pricing, costs, reporting, customer lists and so much more accurately and effectively under control and at your fingertips.


Hand Tools
A special bench, set up with a wide range of the jeweler's bread'n'butter tools, manned by Rio's peerless jewelry techs, provides the opportunity to gain expert tips and tricks on getting better, faster, more dependable results when you use these tools. Play with CraftOptics® visors, tube-cutting jigs, saws, files, hammers and more.


Swanstrom Pliers and Cutters
Think "Swanstrom," think SUPERIOR QUALITY. Discover why these incredible tools are the go-to for jewelers for everything from bead stringing to metal forming.


Durston Rolling Mill
Watch all the cool things you can do to metal using our most popular rolling mill from the one and only Durston!


Pulse Arc Welding
Discover the pulse arc welder that will help you increase production and efficiency in any size business…and with incredible precision!


Have you tried PMC® yet? Once you do, you'll be hooked. See how easy it is to create silver jewelry designs without casting or soldering.


Displays and Packaging
While in our demo area, check out Rio's different jewelry display and packaging components and ideas for showing your work at its best!


Class Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

With written notice, registration fees are refundable at the following rates: By Dec 18, 2015 100% ; By Jan 8, 2016 50% ; After Jan 8, 2016 0% ; Depending on class availability, you may be able to transfer your registration fees to another class. You may also transfer your registration to another person. If you are interested in these options, please call us at 800.952.6222 or email us for details.

© 2016 A Berkshire Hathaway Company. All rights reserved.