Micro-Tools @ To Bead True Blue
Micro-Tools is a retailer of tools to the Beading, Jewelry Making, Wire Working, Chainmaille, Metalsmithing industries and a lot more. At Micro-Tools, we don’t just sell the tools. We first go for training to the manufacturers, so that we can match the right tools to the right person for the right task the first time. We pride ourselves on the fact that we don’t just offer tools from one supplier, but we offer the premium professional quality tools along with the entry level ones. Below is a list of some of the brands that we will have at To Bead True Blue in Tucson this year. We will also have some amazing artisans and manufacturers’ reps demoing the tools.
Fretz Design - Hammers and Stakes: Fretz tools are not only some of the best on the market, but they are pieces of art on their own. Fretz now offers 2 lines of tools: their original premium line and their Maker line. In response to the often “poorly made” copies of the FRETZ Hammers, Jordan Fretz has designed a new group of “original” hammers under the trademarked brand MAKER. These are quality hammers within an artist’s budget. The MAKER Hammers are made with their signature 420 stainless steel and have polished faces. The handles are North American ash with the logo on the handle.
Demoing for Fretz we have Melissa Muir.
Bill Fretz himself will be stopping by from time to time during the show to do some demos.
Pepetools – Rolling Mills & More: Pepetools is proud to be the only US based manufacturer of rolling mills used by jewelers and metalsmiths throughout the world. They provide high quality equipment at an exceptionally reasonable price. Pepetools manufactures their products using the latest CNC milling and turning machines available on the market. Based in Oklahoma City, Pepetools is known globally for consistency, quality, and reliability. Their products are true innovations that make a creative’s job easier. Their rolling mills, disc cutters, ring benders, mandrels, and many more products are in use by the most famous jewelry houses in the world. Household brand names rely on Pepetools’ products to create their timeless jewelry pieces and we are proud to extend these products to all skill levels.
Demoing for Pepetools will be Lindsey Stark and Melissa Muir. David Aizenman from the Pepetools factory will also be on hand.
Foredom – Flex Shaft Tools: Since 1922, Foredom has been manufacturing and advancing its line of flexible shaft power tools. From the start, they have been built to industrial standards and over time, the name has become synonymous with quality, reliability, and even the tool style itself. As a result, there are many counterfeit models in the marketplace that are hard to recognize, and it is important to buy the genuine product from an authorized distributor. Foredom flex shafts hang from the benches of professional jewelers around the world. Foredom has various tools that make up their brand; however, the flexible shaft continues to be their chief product. Selecting the right combination of key components for your specific application is not always easy, since they make several styles and many look alike. If you are new to Foredom, we recommend starting with a Prepacked Power Tool Kit or Power Tool Set.
Foredom Tools will be demoed by Lindsey Starck and Curt Fargo. Mike Zagielski from the Foredom factory will be around to answer questions and do some demos.
Wubbers – Wire Working Pliers: Wubbers are the premier line of tools that are “Made to Make Jewelry™.” Wubbers’ unique features and carefully engineered designs will elevate your jewelry making experience to a fun-filled, creative process that produces exceptional results. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a novice jewelry maker, Wubbers are the tools that will work for you.
They are developed by Patti Bullard, a jewelry educator and innovator who is experienced in a wide range of jewelry-making techniques. Through her own experiences, Patti became well-acquainted with the challenges and needs of jewelry makers and was surprised to learn that most of the tools used by jewelry makers were designed for other fields such as electronics or aeronautics.
Patti’s search for the “perfect” jewelry making tools led her to develop Wubbers. Her passion for teaching jewelry-making seminars and classes has helped her realize that the proper tools are integral to ensuring creative success for jewelry makers of all levels. Wubbers allow you to use your time and energy productively while enjoying the creative process.
Demoing for Wubbers will be Patti Bullard herself, along with her daughter Laura Scott.
Lindstrom – Precision Pliers & Cutters: For over 160 years, Lindstrom hand tools have been the choice of professional jewelry makers. Today, makers of bead and jewelry creations - and all manner of artists - choose to use Lindstrom pliers and cutters to realize their unique designs, to precisely bend wire and consistently execute flush cuts.
Comfort, balance and ergonomics are important to Lindstrom users. Lindstrom products are an extension of their hands, the means to bring their imagination to fruition, a tool they rely on.
Trust is crucial. Artistic creations often use expensive materials, and there is little tolerance for waste. So exacting users demand a flush cut that is truly flush, a joint that keeps the jaws perfectly aligned, and an edge that stays sharp.
Demoed by Rob Spindler from Lindstrom and Curt Fargo.
Tronex – Precision Pliers & Cutters: Founded in Napa, California in 1982, Tronex Technology, Inc. currently resides in Fairfield, California and has become a world leader in the design and manufacturer of precision hand cutting tools and pliers. Their pliers and cutters are made in their factory just 10 miles down the road from Micro-Tools in Fairfield, California, USA.
Tronex offers most all of their pliers and cutters in two different handle lengths. The shorter handled cutter is their "Standard" handle and the longer one is their "Ergonomic" handle. Finding the right handle to fit "YOUR" hands is something that your hands will thank you for. Tronex is the only premium brand to offer their tools in two different handle lengths.
Demoed by Curt Fargo.
Xuron – Pliers & Cutters: Xuron Corp. is pleased to bring you an assortment of the same high-quality Micro-Shear® Flush Cutters and Pliers they have supplied to the civilian and military electronics and aerospace industries for over 40 years. They are confident you will find their quality, performance and value to be of the highest standard.
What makes Xuron® Micro-Shear® Flush Cutters so unique? It’s the blade by-pass cutting method – put simply, the blades cut by shearing as opposed to compression. The result is a clean, square cut requiring little, or no, post-cut clean-up.
Along with a selection of Micro-Shear® Flush Cutters, they also manufacture a variety of Pliers, Scissors and Specialty Products for consumer applications, ranging from model railroading to plastic kit building to jewelry making to home do-it-yourself projects.
All Xuron® brand products are manufactured at their factory in Saco, Maine USA.
Demoed by Ashley Bunting from the Xuron Factory in Maine.
Garland – Rawhide Mallets: Since 1866, Garland Manufacturing has been supplying America with top-quality products made from the finest water buffalo rawhide. Today, they are the leader in the manufacture of soft-faced mallets and hammers of unsurpassed quality.
All Garland products are manufactured in the U.S.A. to ISO 9001 international quality standards. They combine superior craftmanship with the best materials. They then field-test their products extensively on a range of surface finishes to meet the requirements of the industries in which they are used. Industries ranging from foundries and electrical manufacturing to jewelry and woodworking. Their mallets and soft-faced hammers are preferred by both craftsmen and production workers.
The breadth of their line makes Garland the only source you need for mallets and soft-faced hammers.
Demoed by Melissa Muir and Lindsey Starck
Beadsmith – Wide assortment of entry level tools: Thirty-five years ago, The Beadsmith came into being. From its roots as a one-man operation run from a garage, The Beadsmith has grown to become an 85-employee, family-owned and operated company which is housed in a 50,000 square foot warehouse in Carteret, New Jersey. The Beadsmith is dedicated to providing bead resellers, bead stores, jeweler supply houses, and qualified manufacturers in over 100 countries with a wide array of tools, beads, components, stringing materials and other jewelry making supplies. They source their product range from all over the world to give our customers a ONE STOP SHOPPING experience.
HyperLynks – Chainmaille Rings & Kits: Home of top quality Chainmaille jump rings. All of their rings are professionally saw cut with the thinnest of blades for perfect closures, tumbled, and hand polished. Each ring is then closely hand inspected; if a ring has the slightest imperfection, it is discarded. Their mission statement is simple: we refuse to sell a ring that we wouldn't use in our own Chainmaille.
Demoing for HyperLynks will be Sonia Sparling.
Staff & Demo Personnel
Patti Bullard and Laura Scott: Patti Bullard and her daughter Laura Scott established the Wubbers line of tools in 2007. At Laura’s urging, the mother-daughter team began making jewelry together in 2006. Though the roles that Patti and Laura have played with the company throughout its development have varied, their love for making jewelry together has been the foundation of the Wubbers brand.
Patti is a jewelry maker, educator, and innovator who is experienced in a wide range of jewelry-making techniques. She has been the primary designer of Wubbers, and currently holds 15 patents. Through her own experiences, Patti became well-acquainted with the challenges and needs of jewelry makers and was surprised to learn that most of the tools used in the jewelry-making industry were designed for other fields such as electronics and aeronautics. Patti’s search for the “perfect” jewelry-making tools led her to design Wubbers. Her passion for teaching jewelry-making seminars and classes has helped her realize that the proper tools are integral to ensuring creative success for jewelry makers of all levels.
Laura is a talented and creative jewelry maker as well as a gifted business administrator and entrepreneur. Laura specializes in customer service and social media. She has played an integral role in establishing and maintaining Wubbers University, a FREE online jewelry-making school. With more than 100 of the top instructors in the jewelry-making industry, Wubbers University offers over 700 classes and tutorials to nourish and inspire your creativity.
Ashley Bunting: Ashley is a maker, designer, teacher, jeweler, and tool expert. Her skills and accomplishments include: how-to classes and videos, community building, product development, and television appearances. She is well versed in a variety of artistic mediums and delights in finding new and exciting ways to use everyday materials. She is an author and has a book, Fiber & Cord Jewelry, published by the well-known craft and hobby publishers, Kalmbach Publishing. She is currently the Manager of Marketing Communications and Brand Development at Xuron Corp., a precision hand tool company in Saco, Maine.
Curt Fargo: Curt is the President of Fargo Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Micro-Tools. In regard to the Jewelry Industry, he takes classes in all areas so that he can learn how the tools are used to help learn what tools work best in what applications. Curt’s specialty is pliers and cutters and he has even designed some that Tronex now produces. He may not be an artisan in Jewelry, but is an artisan in Photography, teaching with a specialty in Landscape Photography. Curt has been photographing professionally for over 40 years. Curt has been in the tool business for over 30 years. When Micro-Tools brings on a new line of tools, Curt goes to the manufacturer to get proper training on the items. He feels that you are never too old to learn and loves to freely share his knowledge.
Bill Fretz: Fretz Design evolved from a jewelry business started in 1970. Marian (Jordan) Fretz, having recently graduated from the University of Maine with a marketing degree, was working in Boston. Bill Fretz was teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Art, having graduated from the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester, NY. They joined forces to start Fretz Goldsmiths in St. Peters Village in Pennsylvania. They moved the business to Kennebunkport in 1974 and expanded into a gallery including their jewelry. The tool designs started with small stakes to set the unusual Maine tourmaline that they were commissioned to set.
Jordan Fretz began a jewelry business of his own while in grad school and sold craft fairs in the early 1980’s. This evolved into a custom jewelry business making fabricated gold and platinum jewelry marketed in New York.
The bezel stakes were first introduced to the jewelry community at SNAG in 2003. The business was renamed Fretz Design LLC to better reflect the company’s expanding design interests. Jordan moved to Vietnam and took over the tool production and made the first Fretz hammers in 2006. The Fretz tool line has grown to include a wide range of hammers and stakes. Fretz tools are designed with multiple uses so each metalsmith can pursue a unique vision.
Melissa Muir: Melissa’s jewelry-making journey began in 2004 as a creative outlet while working as a professional computer trainer in the Washington, DC area. She started by playing with wire and a cheap pair of pliers from a local craft store. Her first formal jewelry-making workshop was in the summer of 2005 where she was introduced to basic soldering techniques. From that point on, she was smitten!
While she enjoys creating unique jewelry items, her passion lies in teaching. Her classes are filled with energy and an easy-going atmosphere. Her goal is to have students walk out comfortable with new techniques and confident in their own jewelry making ability. Working as a professional computer trainer for 10 years, she learned that there are many ways to teach, and each person learns differently. She strives to use that knowledge to benefit her students. When you take a class from Melissa, she won't ever "leave you in the dust". She will do her very best to make sure you understand the concept and technique she is covering in that course.
Today she has a very active YouTube channel where she shares her passion for tools with her weekly “Tool Time Tuesday” and “Weekend Jewelry School” shows. Melissa also offers many on-line classes.
Sonia Sparling: Sonia is a young jewelry artist who has a passion for making and teaching Chainmaille jewelry. She started making and selling her jewelry at the young age of 14 and is now in her final year of college studying Goldsmithing. As a representative of HyperLynks, Sonia hopes to teach others just how easy Chainmaille can be!
Rob Spindler: Rob is the General Manager for Lindstrom Precision Tools. He was born and raised in Southern Indiana and has resided in Southern California since 1985. He is a United States Naval veteran and has attended Louisiana State University and California State Polytechnic University and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with honors and majoring in Operations Management. Rob’s diverse career includes holding executive management positions within the Aerospace, Oil and Gas, Medical and Electronic Packaging, Electronic supplies and equipment distribution and Precision Hand Tool industries. Rob joined Lindstrom Precision Tools in the year 2000.
Lindsey Starck: Lindsey started making jewelry in 2010 when she visited her grandmother who is a multi-media artist. Her grandmother sparked her interest in metalsmithing. She began taking metalsmithing workshops with many well-known jewelry artists and hasn't looked back. Five years ago, she began her own business called "LuLu's Jewelry" where she sells her own unique pieces at various art shows.
Mike Zagielski: Mike Zagielski has been the sales manager of Foredom Electric since 2002. Prior to Foredom Mike has worked for Neycraft and Raytech and has been serving the jewelry industry since the mid 1980’s. In his free time, he does stone carving, cabbing and faceting and teaches lapidary classes at his local rock & mineral clubs.