I would like to share my words to Orchid with those who did not make
it to the Tucson dinner. I had the rare privilege to meet face to
face 230 dear Orchidians! You were great. I hope to meet even more
Orchidians next year.
Thank you all for your support!
The 8th Orchid Dinner
Tucson, 6 February 2004.
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is difficult to describe how special it is for me to be here
again with you tonight. I feel privileged being with Orchidians and
friends with whom I share ideas, dreams, and goals. Thank you all
for coming and showing your support.
On my to Tucson, I was strolling down memory lane to times in my
small room in Bangkok; where this odyssey began.
An old Chinese phrase came to my mind. It says that with time and
patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.
Every type of community is brought together by regular events;
family dinners, weekly bridge games, monthly club meetings and
annual celebrations. These gatherings help to further define the
community and remind us what we have in common and what is our
community is all about.
Tonight we are not just having an Orchid dinner, we are celebrating
Orchid. We are celebrating our mission that we all share and
Last year, we had celebrations for Orchid at almost every major
jewelry show in the USA. What a tremendous achievement! These
celebrations are always organized by Orchidians for Orchid. I am
grateful to all the volunteers who worked hard to put these
celebrations together. These events strengthen the Orchid communal
sentiment, through bringing online and offline life together.
The Orchid celebrations, I think must be seen as part of the global
Orchid community bond. I want to thank all of you who helped to make
it a fundraising event for Orchid. Our community bond does not need
to be wealthy, but we must keep it healthy and strong.
Thanks to the efforts of Karen Christians of MetalWerx and Beth
Rosengard, anyone who is interested in organizing such a celebration
for Orchid, can use their compiled recommendations based on their
Now, you might ask yourself what is Orchid for me? Please let me
tell you. At the risk of sound mysterious, Orchid is my second self.
It is a space where I find my own identity; it is a magic space that
fills me entirely. It is the family I never had, and the friendships
I never forged. I believe that many of you also found this magic
space, and I hope it opened new paths for new creative ideas and
maybe some new perspectives on our trade for jewelers and
metalsmiths world wide.
In the past year we had about 30 percent increase in the amount of
our discussion traffic and we welcomed many new users from the UK
and Australia. Thanks to the improvement of search engines
translation utilities, we also were privileged to welcome many users
from non English speaking countries, like Brazil, France and
With such a technical and aesthetic diversity we worked hard to
foster our united Orchid bond. We are creating more strategic
alliances with major publications, such as AJM and Glass on Metal.
Authors of major jewelry books are coming forward and offering their
content to Ganoksin.
I read once that an online community has a life cycle; from birth to
maturity and from maturity to conclusion. With all of you, I know
that we are building a solid foundation, real life roots you might
say. The topics may shift but together we will work hard to make
sure of its survival.
Now before we are getting into the Tequila and Tortiya state of
It is indeed a long list of people and organizations that I am
Firstly I want to express to the entire Orchid family, that with
your love, support and dedication, your loyalty, endless brain
storming, and active participation makes Orchid what it is today.
My special thanks goes to Rio Grande for their valuable, continuous
support, your vision in promoting the education of both general
public and the professional circles, and sponsoring this event.
Thank Andrea Hill and the wonderful Bell family. Your donation of
the J2R casting machine is greatly appreciated.
I want to thank Frei and Borel, Indian Jewelers Supply and Metalwerx
for choosing to be a sapphire sponsor of tonight, and for the
generous donations from Lee Marshall of Bonny Doon and Cindy
Lichfield of Cloud Dome inc. and of course for all those who donated
to the silent auction.
I want to thank James Marquart, Rich Youmans and Tina Wojtkielo of
AJM for their generous cooperation and the important content they
are contribution, enriching Ganoksin's knowledge base. Thank you
also for donating a corner to Orchid at the upcoming MJSA show in
At the same token, my gratitude goes to all the publications,
organizations, guilds, and independent writers for providing
continuous, and not always effortless, stream of informative
articles to Ganoksin.
My special thanks to Charles Lewton-Brain and Karen Christians for
the countless hours of video conferencing, and for your day to day
support throughout the year.
I want to also to thank my assistant Ton, who over the last five
years working with me learned how to screen the thousands of emails
that come through daily. Without his assistance orchid would never
have grown to be the efficient and secure forum that is today. Ton
Last but certainly not least, I want to thank Sam Patania and Pat
Kulla for your hours of dedication in making this event a
Thank you Pat Glover for your outstanding efforts in arranging the
silent auction. Volunteers are often asked to do the impossible, but
the Tucson group goes above and beyond.
Thank you all for this great dinner celebration. I am already
looking forward to seeing you next year. The Tucson Gem Show is an
exciting event which I really enjoy.
I will be here for the rest of the show; I would love to spend some
more time with each one of you if possible. Look for me at the
Hilton East, at Rio Grande's Catalog in Motion. I will be at the
lobby all morning tomorrow.
Good night and don't forget to "Put an Orchid on your Bench"