JTV Experts

JTV is proud to present our distinguished panel of experts. With decades of diverse experience in the jewelry, jewelry making, and gemstone markets, our experts are uniquely qualified as well-respected leaders in their industry. Take a few moments to get to know them better.

Aimee K. Sweet-McNamara

Jewel School Expert

When people ask me, “Why is your art-business called ‘Amee Runs with Scissors?’’ I usually just laugh and say that it sounds a whole lot sexier than “Amee Eats Paste.” In truth, it has more to do with my creative process than I can usually articulate in a five-minute conversation without sounding like I might need a jacket that ties in the back. You see, in my day-to-day reality, I am actually a bit of a rule-follower… a box-checking, i-dotting, t-crossing, ultra-responsible kind of girl. My creative spirit, however, seems to be about as predictable as a sugared up six-year-old. I know this because when I am truly immersed in something really creative, coming up with something wholly new, I become aware of strange, inexplicable sensation of surreptitiousness… an “almost-guilt…” like I’m getting away with something sort of mischievous and I might – at any moment – be… caught! Doing what, you ask? I have no idea.

But I have come to trust this feeling – to listen to this wild-eyed, slightly-manic inner-child who might whisper something as wacky as, “I wonder would happen if I mix Tang and chocolate milk,” because she’s just as likely to say, “Hey! Let’s put some Ultra-suede in the Sizzix machine!”

I work out of my home in New Hampshire making one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable-art textile-jewelry. I teach private and group classes and my technique, Soutache-and-Bead Embroidery involves hand-stitching yards and yards of soutache braid and hundreds of tiny beads.

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Aimee K. Sweet-McNamara

Anie Piliguian

Jooltool® Developer

Anie's passion for perfection grew since her early teens as a bench jeweler for her father's renowned business. Having to combine work with homework, she constantly searched for quicker, better and safer ways to get excellent results. Anie's philosophy eventually led to the development of the most innovative polishing and finishing system: The JOOLTOOL®.

The JOOLTOOL® uses its own patented see-through disks to make polishing and finishing easy, fast and safe. Partnering with abrasive giant 3M, the JOOLTOOL® achieves oustanding quality finishes that would satisfy the most discerning jewelry experts. In fact, world famous designers consult with Anie for manufacturing ultra-high-end jewelry lines. Their best kept secret, the JOOLTOOL®, is now available for all artists to enjoy.

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Anie Piliguian

Anne Bever

Guest Expert

You can say that Anne Bever was raised with a turquoise heart. She was born in the heart of Turquoise country, Phoenix, and was influenced by the people who first celebrated turquoise. Anne’s father was the first non- Native American ever allowed to dance in a Comanche ceremony. Anne's father was an architect and connoisseur of anthropology; he raised his daughter to have the appreciation of the same knowledge and crafts. Anne fell in love with turquoise the moment she was given her first piece of jewelry at age 3. A Navajo cuff with five pieces of Sleeping Beauty turquoise artfully set by a native hand. In downtown Phoenix, the Hopi and Navajo artists would sell their goods to the passers-by from hand weaved blankets on the ground. Many of those artists now have galleries in Old Town Scottsdale and permanent exhibits at the Heard Museum. During this time, Anne’s house was opened for the invited Hopi artists, Apache dancers and Navajo weavers to stay during their museum exhibits and fairs.

Exposure to the rich cultures and fine arts of America’s Natives, gave her a profound love and appreciation for these artists, their culture and their crafts. These cultural connections lent her the opportunity to learn how to ride horseback from the Navajo at Canyon De Chelly, in northeastern Arizona, and herd sheep during the summers on a ranch in Texas. All the while, her mind was chasing her own desires and designs to adorn her life with turquoise jewelry from her roots and adopted heritage. Remembering her 16th birthday, she was given her mother’s engagement ring – a Zuni-inlayed turquoise heart - after which, she stated with joy “Some girls get a car – but I got my mom’s turquoise heart.” Anne was indeed raised with a Turquoise heart.

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Anne Bever

Anne Dilker

Jewelry Designer

Anne came to jewelry design via ceramics. A studio potter for 25 years, she started making porcelain beads and pendants in 2005 and has been making beads and designing jewelry ever since.

A need to showcase her beads and pendants in finished pieces inspired her to use kumihimo braiding in her pieces. The interplay between the soft textiles in the braids and the hard surface of the clay created a juxtaposition that she finds appealing.

Anne began teaching kumihimo in 2007 and realized that the answers to many questions from her students were unavailable in print form. This lead to the book Braiding for Beaders which has quickly become the definitive book for jewelry designers who want to use braids. It is a “how to” book for jewelry designers who are interested in learning how to incorporate braids into jewelry designs.

In 2011 she has been working on 2 new booklets for the BeadSmith, one about kumihimo and the other about working with anodized aluminum as well as consulting with them about products and projects specific to kumihimo.

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Anne Dilker

Antoinette Matlins

Pearls Graduate, Jewelry and Gemstone Expert

Antoinette Matlins, P.G., is an internationally respected gem and jewelry expert, author and lecturer. Recently honored with the international Accredited Gemologist Association’s highest award for Excellence in Gemology, Ms. Matlins is the author of many books that are widely used throughout the world by consumers and professionals in the gem and jewelry field.

Former Gemology Editor of National Jeweler magazine for almost a decade, her articles and comments on buying and selling gems and jewelry, and on gem investment, have appeared in many national and international consumer and trade publications. She is also the author of the “Gemstones” chapter in the Encyclopedia of Investments.

Ms. Matlins has gained wide recognition as a dedicated consumer advocate. She has spearheaded the Accredited Gemologists Association’s nationwide campaign against gemstone investment telemarketing scams. A popular media guest, she has been seen on ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN, educating consumers about gems and jewelry and exposing fraud.

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Read pearl articles by Antoinette

Antoinette Matlins