Apprentice questions

I need to ask apprentice questions, but I don’t want to be attacked.
I went back and read about your experiences with apprentices and as
apprentices. very insightful.

I really appreciate all the tips on the Orchid website and I really
need advice. Can someone please convo me so I can ask questions
without being crucified.

Thank you.

Hi Denise,

Err. What makes you think you’re likely to get crucified?

To be honest, I think it would be good for you to ask whatever
question you have publicly. If somebody jumps on you, it’s best we
know who the poor houseguest is. I know Hanuman has worked mightily
over the years to make sure the Orchid list is open and supportive,
especially of beginners. There are several of the regulars who make
a point of reining things in if they get out of hand with the
newbies. We all started somewhere, and lord knows I had lots of
what now seem to have been stupid questions. A great many people
were tolerant with me, so now it’s time to pay that forward.

You’ll find that most of the people worth listening to have learned
that lesson.


We need to know from you first, if you have done what all
apprentices need to do, that is read up all you can on this subject,
to get the theory into your head, AND, what experiments you have done
and where you are getting stuck.

Then, when we know the above, come back here with your questions and
we will treat you kindly.

Its apprentices that expect all the answers without any effort on
their part that get crucified.

hope you follow.

It was always thus.

I suggest you ask them openly, Orchid members are always very open
and helpful,

If it wasn’t for this forum I would not have found my own
apprenticeship opportunity…

If somebody attacks you we’ll make sure to put him or her in line



Ouch. We are not all ogres here on Orchid, we clear them out once a
year, whether we need to or not!

Ask away, I will invest some of my time to answer specific
questions, as will the majority of Orchid members, out of respect
for the professionals who taught us when we were newbies. This is a
public forum, and no one should be afraid of asking for help.

When beginning to play with fire, there are never any dumb

To any Orchid members feeling ogre-like, remember, please don’t bite
the newbies!!!

Michelle Bernard

I need to ask apprentice questions, but I don't want to be
attacked. I went back and read about your experiences with
apprentices and as apprentices. very insightful. 

I will start by asking you a question, Denise. Do want want to be an
apprentice yourself? Or are you the “master” in this situation,
taking on an apprentice?

The concept of apprenticeship has gotten pretty fuzzy in our
business, at least in the US. (Oh yea! What country are you in?)It is
everything from a full time, rigorous job with pay, to casual
mentorship or shop-buddy relationships. You can do it anyway you
want, as long as both parties agree. But be sure you both have as
near the same understanding of what is expected.

Steve Walker

I need to ask apprentice questions, but I don't want to be

Goodness, don’t worry about being “attacked”! Remember that people
who send nasty messages are generally writing out of their own
problems. Just ignore the nastiness, perhaps offer a prayer for that
person, re-word your questions and send them again. Life is too
short to do otherwise.

Judy Bjorkman

Can someone please convo me so I can ask questions without being

No answers unless you’re brave and ask on the open forum! :slight_smile:

Don’t be afraid, just ask. There was a period when Orchid was less
friendly, but it seems to be back to its old friendly, supportive
self now. (Please don’t moderate that line out, Hanuman and Ton.)


Hi Denise,

The best advice I can give is to ask your questions, take the advice
and try it the mentors ways, if you have a different way you want to
try it after trying it the mentor’s way state your view, but don’t
argue. I have always had the policy that the only stupid question is
the one you don’t ask, but I do get a little angry when an apprentice
argue with me about how it should be done. There is nothing wrong
with having an idea, but try it the mentor’s way first.

I also tell my students that I don’t know everything but I will do my
best to find out.

Good luck,
Ken Moore

Denise- I feel your pain and I’ve been doing this for a livelihood
for 35 years. I’m on a few forums, two for work, two for hobbies. I
notice it’s easy to forget two things:

  1. In learning a craft, everybody starts at the beginning. Explaining
    or TRYING to explain, with good will and patience, helps us be better
    at what we do.

  2. “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground”, as Rumi
    says. Lots of ways to solve the same problem.

Absolutely. Please feel free to ask anything. I’ll offer help or
direct you to who can answer your questions. Regards, Margie

There are never any stupid or silly questions. If one does not know
how to do something they learn by asking questions.

When I posted about polishing and lungs, someone messaged me and
said he’d fire me if I worked for him, and that I was the kind of
person who went around ruining lives. Just trying to avoid that.

Hey! Thank you all so much.

To explain about being attacked. a few months ago, I posted about
polishing and your lungs. One member emailed me privately and said
that if I worked for him, he’d fire me and that I was the kind of
person who went around ruining lives. I really don’t appreciate that
kind of thing. I know that, as independent jewelers, you all had to
pay your dues but I’m only interested in helpful advice, as are you
all. That being said, you have all been very encouraging and I
really appreciate it.

Sorry I missed the first post. Have been traveling…

Please ask any questions you have. Most of us have started without
knowing much and have learned through hard work, mistakes and asking
questions… I am so old that this form or anything like it did not
exist. I am so glad that I can have the opportunity to save someone
from doing all the mistakes Ihad to do because there was no one
around to teach me when I started. After43 years making and
designing jewelry it is so nice to give back to the Newbee’s who I
hope will someday out do what we were able to do in our time. Ask
away and those who care will share freely. Those are the only one’s
thatreally count any way:-)

Panama Bay Jewelers

One member emailed me privately and said that if I worked for him,
he'd fire me and that I was the kind of person who went around
ruining lives. 

As hurtful and ignorant as that comment to you was Denise, I find it
helpful to remember that humans and chimps share a surprising 98.8
percent of their DNA. I sometimes wonder why it’s not humans in the
Zoo’s? We really have to expect a small percentage of nitwits in any
large group and then try not to let them ruin our day. Don’t let
their personal hurricane effect your weather and don’t let a few
people out of thousands prevent you from using this great resource.
I’m sure your apprentice question would be a great thread, nearly
everyone likes to talk about their career path or their training

I thought your polishing dust question was a really good one. It’s
something we all deal with and need to think about. Most of us who
have been at it awhile just throw up our hands and accept it as
unavoidable. I don’t know if you are new to the jewelry making
business or not, but it is the newbies whose fresh eyes tend to
question the questionable things that the old timers don’t even see

Please continue to post, we value your input (at least 98.8 percent
of us do).


Vernon, our stories are very similar. Your generous attitude and
skills are greatly appreciated. Chris

It was not an attack done in the general forum. Who ever it was, you
might look beyond just the attack and think of why that person felt
the need to attack you in private. If it had been in the general
forum, they probably would have sparked an outcry against them. Or it
could be as simple as it is just their bias, and they know it would
not be received well in general. Yes it happens. I’ve been on the
receiving end, both via email direct and in the forum. That said,

THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS! only unasked question. If you don’t
know, we may shake our heads at it being asked again, but you on the
other hand need to know. Hang in there. a vast majority of people on
here are wonderful and very helpful. Ask, Learn, Enjoy.

Aggie The old ornery lady in F.

I recently asked a question about titanium and it’s cost and where to
find. I never got an answer. Of course I could have googled it but
thought it might start an interesting dialogue about titanium and
it’s limitations. There seems, at times, to be an exclusivity on this
forum so I do understand why novices would feel cautious about asking
questions. I do not believe that there is such a thing as a stupid
question especially if the question will further knowledge or save
someone’s health.


attacking a Newbie offline is no go. If I find you life will be
grim. So be warned bully and NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

Or I will report you to the authorities. In Australia what you did
is a criminal act. You would be arrested, convicted and jailed.

Hanuman you should look into this person. Old farts like me arguing
is one thing but attacking a Newbie is seriously wrong. We were all
new and “dumb” once.