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Best Hobby Ever!


I learned to cut cabs and work with torches and silver 12 years ago by taking classes in Tampa as a member of the Tampa Bay Mineral and Science Club (thanks to all of my instructors). I’ve moved to the mountains of North Carolina where I’ll retire in August 2017 and enjoy my hobby. I have a new studio space which I’m slowly organizing. There’s lots to do before it’s practical, but I manage to find what I need and I’ll continue to work at the dining table until all my tools, shelves and storage bins are in place.

In particular I enjoy the serenity of seeing a beautiful cabochon emerge from a rock. I’m intrigued by opal because it’s always a surprise. I have a Genie cabbing machine, UltraTec facetor, an old Foredom with a mysterious top-knot (reduction gear?), rolling mill and a double polisher. Now I just need TIME.

I only work with Argentium for my chains, bezels, etc., which I purchase from Rio Grande along with clasps, Burlife, 3M polishing discs, and many miscellaneous items. I’ve been a happy and loyal customer since they sent me a catalog as a student, along with my first polishing cloth. I appreciate their generous help as I continue to learn, along with all of the wonderfully generous people on the Orchid Forum.

Mary Bradt
“Merry Mary”