Forums General Discussion USFG Franklin Faceters Frolic FFF9

  • USFG Franklin Faceters Frolic FFF9

    Posted by Ken Michalek on May 24, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Make your plans now to attend the Ninth Annual USFG-Franklin Faceters Frolic on July 28, 29 and 30, 2016.

    We are part of the United States Faceters Guild and have expanded to a 3 day format to include more speakers and programs along with a broad array of dealers.

    The Franklin Faceters Frolic is held at the same time as the Macon County Gemboree and several other gem and mineral shows in Franklin, NC. The Frolic will be at the The Factory, (formerly known as The Fun Factory: same location as FFF8) in Franklin, NC.


    Thursday, July 28, 2016

    Dealers open for business in the Depot Room from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

    This year, Robert Strickland will offer three GemCad classes: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The Beginner class will introduce you to the basic commands and features of GemCad. The Intermediate course will be a refresher on the basics and creating and modifying existing designs and creating new designs of your own. The Advanced course is for GemCad users who would like to explore the finer points of GemCad.

    The cost is $25.00 per class. To register and pay for the classes, go to the website and click on one of the PayPal buttons:

    If you prefer to pay by check, send $25.00 for each class you would like to register for, made payable to The Faceters Frolic and mail to Ken Michalek, PO Box 182, Greer, SC 29652. Any questions, email Ken:

    9:00 am to 11:00 am – GemCad for Beginners – For those who want to learn the basic How-To of GemCad Software. You should bring your Notebook with GemCad already loaded on it ready to go by 9:00 AM. You can down load a free trial of GemCad at 30 days before the class. If you do not purchase before you get there, you may purchase during the Frolic from Robert. Once you learn how to use GemCad, we believe you will realize the real value in this software tool for any level if faceting you do.

    1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – Intermediate GemCad – For those who need a refresher on basic GemCad and further operations.

    Friday, July 29, 2016

    9:00 am – 11:00 am – Advanced GemCad – Robert will go into advanced capabilities of GemCad for the experienced user.

    1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Lisa Elser – “Going Pro” –Internationally known gem cutter Lisa Elser of Custom Cut Gems will speak about how she got started in business and her experiences as a faceter.

    3:00 pm- 5:00 pm – Sue Lichtenberger – Kitchen Counter Rock and Gem ID. Sue will explain how to use readily available items to help identify gems and minerals. This is a hands on discussion and was a popular topic last year.

    6:00 in The Depot Room – The Faceters Meet and Pretty Stone Contest. Come and enjoy meeting with the dealers, speakers and other faceters from around the world. Pizza and soft drinks will be available for $5.00 per person. Bring a stone that you have cut and enter in either the Natural or Simulated Gem division. Prizes will be awarded to the winner in each category. This is a “Beauty Contest” and the winners will be chosen by those in attendance.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016

    Dealers open for business in the Depot Room from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

    10:00 am to 12:00 pm – Master Gem Cutter Jerry Call will discuss some of his cutting tips and techniques for Maximizing Your Rough. Last year, Jerry’s talk turned into a lively question and answer session covering a host of different topics. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the best!

    2016 Dealers

    Equipment and Supplies

    Marsh Howard – Lightning Laps and Polishes – – Marsh will have a good supply of all of his latest laps and polishes. The original Lightning Lap, The Beast Diamond Polish, and the Mag-Dop

    Tom Maxwell – Carolina Custom Gems – -Tom will have the Graves Mark 5XL digital faceting machine set up and available for demonstration and immediate delivery. Tom is also a representative for Ultra-Tec and will be demonstrating the latest Ultra-Tec V-5 digital faceting machine. In addition, Tom will have a complete line of Gearloose Polishing Laps and Polishing Products and fine facet rough.

    Ultra-Tec rep, Gerald Boykin will be demonstrating the Ultra-Tec Fantasy Machine.

    Charlie Musitano – Jersey Instruments – Charlie will have the Omni-E and Patriot faceting machine on display,

    Faceting Rough

    John Garsow – John E. Garsow Gems and Minerals – John will have a large selection of fine facet rough from all over the world.

    Dan Lynch – Dan will have sunstone, ametrine, zircon, tanzanite, heliodor, amethyst, and tourmaline, plus what he finds on a buying trip to Africa in June.

    Lisa Elser – Custom Cut Gems – – Lisa will have a wide assortment of rough to choose from.

    You will find almost everything you would want in the way of faceting equipment and supplies along with facet rough not available anywhere else all in one place. These dealers are great people and have the highest ethical standards. Without their support, the Frolic couldn’t take place.

    Admission to the USFG-FFF9 is FREE again this year thanks to a generous support from the dealers and attendees.

    There will be DOOR PRIZES each day donated by the dealers along with a Grand Prize on Saturday donated by The Frolic. Raffle tickets will be $1.00 each and the more tickets you buy, the better your chances of winning some nice rough or faceting accessory. You do not have to be present to win, however contact information will be needed. The proceeds of the sale of raffle tickets goes a long way in supporting The Frolic and helping it grow. The Frolic is the only event of its kind for the faceting community in the Eastern United States.

    For more information, see

    Alan Balmer replied 7 years, 11 months ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Ken Michalek

    June 30, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Look, Look, Look!
    Only a month till the show.
    Seats still available for GemCad. If you don’t have GemCad sign up and we can get you a 30 day trial for free, all you have to do is bring a laptop computer.
    Free lectures, and these are interactive!
    Machines, laps, rough, demos!!!
    Where else can you find all this in one place except for Tuscon.

  • Ken Michalek

    July 8, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Only 3 weeks to go!
    Lisa Elser of Custom Cut Gems will be talking about:

    Going Pro.

    Lisa will talk about her path from hobby cutter with a day job, through ‘hobby that pays its bills’ to professional job that pays HER bills. This will be (we hope) very interactive. It’s different for every faceter. But she’ll talk about common mistakes and pitfalls, as well as things that have worked for her and others.

    FFF9 is an event you don’t want to miss!

  • Ken Michalek

    July 31, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Another FFF is in the books. A great time was had by all, great vendors and speakers. We had a surprise USFG member show up, Dave Woolley of the Beale/Woolley meter! He brought a modified Graves mast and base and a lot of great stories.
    This event is not possible without the help of the volunteers, so to Tom Maxwell, Norm Holbert, Sue Lichtenberger and our behind the scene guy Al Balmer, Thank You! A special thanks to George S. Ellis for driving one of our vendors MJ Awan from Atlanta to Franklin.
    Plans are in the works for FFF10, this is going to be a special one!
    Stay tuned.

  • Alan Balmer

    August 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Let’s not forget that the real credit goes to Ken himself. Fantastic job!

  • davewoolley

    August 14, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    It was an honor to met so many members of the USFG, and have my head swelled from the many kind comments. I think I have returned to earth from the North Carolina mountain clouds. I wish Mr. Beale and I could have participated together. He was very appreciative of the many letters he received those many years ago.

    Vender, Mr. Awan presented blue spodumene for sale. I was quite taken by the potential of this new to me material. Only in hind sight did I realize the significance. I failed to ask if the material was treated or natural. In any case, this material should be named in the tradition of Hiddenite and Kunzite. I have e-mailed him but have not received a reply. I have suggested to him the name Awanite. Clearly, I do not know the history of the new colored material and “Awanite” might not be appropriate, but there seems to be an opportunity to establish a new name. Any comments?

  • Alan Balmer

    August 14, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Dave, it was an honor to meet you. I hope to see you again at future get-togethers.
    I was too dazzled by the stones Mr. Awan had to ask any intelligent questions 🙂
    I did find a couple of references which may be pertinent.
    Does this look like the same material?

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