About 23 years ago, I was working for the American Friends Service
Committee, doing Middle East Peace Education (as you can see, I did
not "succeed," but I still have high hopes). Everything I did --
attending speeches, movies, TV, books, etc. -- was about that topic,
which is rarely an "upper," even though I got to know a lot of
fantastic people. I decided I needed to do something different,
occasionally. Since I love to make things, and I had written my M.A.
thesis on "Metals and Metalworkers in the Ancient Near East," I
signed up for an adult ed. course on jewelrymaking.
It was not a terrific course, but I learned what tools I needed to
start with. I checked out library books on jewelrymaking, read and
photocopied parts I found helpful, made notebooks on designs I like,
bought more books and just experimented on my own. On rare
occasions, I met someone with whom I could "talk metals," and that's
great! That's why I enjoy Orchid so much.
I only do this part-time, but I enjoy it immensely. I teach adult
ed. courses on jewelrymaking, which are loads of fun, and have
published at least two articles. I have finally learned how to do my
own designing without being nauseated by the results (I originally
believed that one had to be born a designer, but now I know that it
can be learned).
I love the visual and tactile aspects of jewelrymaking. I also
enjoy wearing my own jewelry -- years ago, I couldn't find much
jewelry I liked, and if I did, it was way too expensive. I love
selling my jewelry, too -- art/craft shows are great social
occasions, and I can often make a nice amount of money.
Jewelrymaking is even helpful in my professional field, as I have
written articles and book reviews on the Ancient Near East which
involve critiquing theories other scholars have proposed about metal
It's really serendipity, and it's made even more so by the
helpfulness of so many folks on the Orchid List! If I haven't
thanked you for your help in the past, let me do so now!