Archive for May, 2013

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Guest Column by Martin Taber

Ethical Metalsmiths’ NEW Ethical Sourcing Consortium will be purchasing certified Fairtrade and FAIRMINED gold from Peru later this month.

April was a pivotal month with many significant strides in developing the Consortium’s interests.

Christina Miller presented a compelling presentation on Fairtrade and Fairminded gold as part of the Gold Conference panel on Conflict Gold.
Christina and I scheduled calls to speak directly with the miners at the two mines from which we are planning to make our initial gold purchase. We are so excited to finally have the opportunity to engage them directly.
Our letter writing campaign asking ARM/FLO to maintain 100% traceability in the FT/FM gold standards was largely responsibility for those organizations overhauling their standards review process to account for the needs of artisan jewelers.
Ethical Metalsmiths was invited to send a representative to London in May to help shape the new Fairtrade gold labeling standards.
We have secured a working agreement with a major US refiner to provide Consortium jewelers with mill product in Fairtrade and FAIRMINED gold.
We unveiled our special one-time Circle of Founders campaign established to successfully launch the Ethical Sourcing Consortium.

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SNAG Announcements

Board Member Welcome

Please join us in welcoming Todd Pownell to the board of directors.

Todd Pownell

Todd began his jewelry studies at the Bowman Technical School is Lancaster, PA, where he gained an in depth exposure to all jewelry making techniques. He completed the GIA Graduate course in Gemology, and is certified as both a Gemologist and a Gemologist Appraiser by the American Gem Society. He and his wife Debra are the founders and instructors at TAP studios, Cleveland, OH. TAP is an active jewelry workshop where beginning students learn the fundamentals of jewelry fabrication and advanced students improve their technical skills. Todd was one of two recipients of the 2013 Seth Rosenberg Prize, awarded through the Creative Workforce Fellowship, a program of the Cuyahoga Community Partnership for Arts and Culture.

Todd Pownell

Volunteer Coordinator Welcome

Please also welcome Katie Poterala, SNAG’s new Volunteer Coordinator. We have needs for short-term and long-term help with SNAG projects, programs and other areas. And we have lots of members with various skills and interests who really want to get involved with the organization.

We want to find out more about you and find a volunteer spot that fits you. It can be as simple as helping staff a booth or table when we’re at a show, or working with the office staff on things that need an extra hand (even long distance), or perhaps you’d like to get more involved with a project. For example, just recently Katie secured a volunteer who will handle getting SNAG’s press releases out to the community trumpeting what we’re doing, someone who is making a Powerpoint presentation of work featured in our Maker Profile Pages for the conference, and other folks who are volunteering to work with SNAG’s Social Media Officer, Loring Taoka, to create a vibrant online social community that will serve the interests of the membership.

If you want to get involved, we have lots of ways to use your enthusiasm and skill. We have a page on the SNAG website where soon we’ll post current volunteer openings with brief job descriptions, and an email leading to Katie. In the meantime, if you want to get in touch with Katie, her email address is


Online voting in this year’s election opened on May 1st. There are open seats on the board of directors and the Nominations & Elections Committee, plus several ballot measures for revisions to the Constitution and Bylaws. We have three easy ways for you to vote: online voting, voting onsite at the conference, and mail in ballots. If you prefer to mail in a ballot, contact Tara Jecklin and she’ll get that to you asap. All mail in ballots must be postmarked no later than May 7th.

Voting is important. If you want a voice in the discussions and decisions made by the board, then exercise your right to vote. We strongly urge every member, including all student members, to take time to read what the candidates say and then VOTE.

See below for more information about the candidates and proposed amendments.