Home work and Mental Illness

Hi Preston, I was very interested in your response. My daughter
is manic-depressive and stable enough that she lives by herself
about eighty miles from us (her parents.) She does some volunteer
work but I know that it bothers her that she is not employed like
others her age (mid thirties.) I am so glad that you have found a
way to work and I hope that some day she will be as fortunate. I
think that you are also brave to talk about this to the Orchid

Marilyn smith

Hi Marilyn,

So nice to hear the kind words its encouraging it has really been
a battle just to stay alive. I think that you know what I mean.
But you see I feel driven to succeced. I have put up with so
much humiliation I feel success is the ultimate revenge and I
feel compelled to help the ones I left behind in the mental
hospitals. I am so very fortunate. -I actually developed my
method of wire sculpture in the hospital and tuned it up as time
went on. You see I can’t use a torch or saw or ruler since about
my third hospitalization. But God had bigger things in mind for
me. I have taught 800 people to be home jewelers many disabled.
I am now packaging my videos 11 and books 25 audio tapes and
other info as a home jewelers biz. I can show people with very
little skill how to make a good living at this.

Would you believe by making complicated wire settings through
the years it has actually REPAIRED some areas of my brain. Im not
kidding about thisThe brain is just like a muscle
and it responds the same way with constant stimulis. Doctors do
not encourage this enough but I know it is real because Im living
it. In other words it has rerouted nerotransmitters so
that damage that was done by psychossis has been repaired and has
enabled me to do things again. But its funny because like making
jewelry I do very well but I use no solder, no torch, and no
ruler 90% is all hands and the hands remember not the mind.

You should encourage your daughter to get into some type of
craft, art or whatever. When yoiu have this illness you need to
express yourself, its very important. As you already know with
this disease EVERYONE is a victim and that includes the family.

I am writing a book on living with manic depressives, hopefully
it will be out in 99

Your friend
Preston J. Reuther


Do you have a site on line? I would be very interested in
learning more about what you do. If not I would be very happy to
help you get one started and I am sure there are others who would


Preston, Good for you! Don’t ever let anyone else set your
limits: you are the only one who knows your capabilities and
capacities, and what you have to do, go through, to reach those
capability limits. I don’t know who said it, but one of my
favorite quotes is: “There are no limits. Live life to your
fullest capacity.” Please post some info about your
books/videos and, if you don’t want to put it on Orchid, send me
a direct mail at @bootsie. Would like a brief
description, especially on the videos–sounds like an interesting
aspect of this craft of ours. Sharon Holt

Hi Paul,

Well I have a site on my instructional videos, tools,books etc.
The webmaster is always adding to them I would love to see this
thing grow into a center for learning. You know there are lots
of folks out there, including myself that just cant quite manage
being a full fledged bench jeweler BUT can do quite well with
cold connections and the end product is getting better and better
every year. Frankly I feel this is one of the few American
art/craft forms in bloom.

I do some work on the computer mostly point and press, I get buy
and my wife can do a little more and is quite bright, god bless
her. But I have had to quite showing on the road because of my
illness. We did 36 shows at one time and did quite well. Now I
have one show scheduled in April the first one all year and a
work shop in june that I am hoping I can get through.

My real desire is to have a web site for all my work and I have
lots of it on hand… Currently people call from all over to buy
something and since I only do one of a kind pieces Catalogs are
useless and with a personal website I could direct them there.
My wife knows quite a bit and can take absolutely fantastic
pictures (we have two digital cameras) But she nor I can build a
websiteNow I can design it but cant impliment the
software and such to build it. Me and numbers or series of
numbers just dont seem to make it anymore. I am starting to
write,publish,video much info on the art I am involved and that
is sustaining us for now.And frankly I am getting to
enjoy it. But I really need a website for my art. A gallery
in cyberspace that I could maintain from home.

If I could get some help on that it would be
wonderfulland yes I could pay—I don;t want it for


I strongly recommend the currently available web design
software. I use Pagemill 2, and I think there’s a new version
of that one and some others that really make it easy to set up
a web page. Since you have good digital images, you already
have the heavy lifting done!

Janet Kofoed
fine handcrafted jewelry

Preston, I’ve seen your web site and a fair amount of work by
your students. You have a very beautiful and distinctive style
of wire wrapping, but I can’t see why that would prevent you
from establishing some standard pricing.

I’ve been wrapping for several years (I wrap and fabricate - I
make my own cabs and give the backs a high polish - wrapping
really shows them off) and I can judge the price of a piece
before I make it as long as I know what my time and material
involvement will be. It’s true that half way through a piece I
may decide that dripping pearls from it would be neat, and blow
my cost estimates out of the water, but by and large I can
predict price. Most people accept that hand made work will not
mirror the pictures they see, but will be equal in craftmanship
and beauty.

My point is that a catalog (actually I would recommend a single
sheet, four color printed mailer) could be used to sell your
products. Your cameos and a representation of your stones could
be shown on the color side of the sheet with a description of
what goes into making a wire wrap piece on the single color
side, along with a price list or an approximate price guide.
Sales would probably be made following a phone call with the

One other note. I am becoming a full time jeweler due to going
through my second round of chemo therapy. I am disengaging from
my job and will work at home (where I have all of my equipment).
I would not be able to keep my head up and keep going with
enthusiasm were it not for Paxil, a wonderful antidepressant
which works as well for situational depression as it does for
psychiatric depression (clinical depression for which there is
probably a physiological basis). I’ve seen several folks
mention similar issues on the Orchid list, it’s one of the
features of the list which makes it special to me.

You do great work and your students were in evidence in Tucson
this year, selling pendants which were clearly derived from your
scroll style of wrapping. Keep up the good work.

John E McLaughlin jemstone@amug.org

Hi, Preston Check out this website. They are offering to do
free website and other services. Good luck

Visit me or “beam me up” at:


Have you considered joining MJSA (Manufacturing Jewelers and
Suppliers Association)? They give all members a free Web site
through a partnership with Polygon (the jewelry network). The
free site is kind of basic, but you can fix it up as much as you
like through Polygon, although the extras are, predictably, at
an extra charge. (You can change the basic page once a month at
no charge.) Still, getting started that way is as easy as writing
up a little bit of info about your work and taking some pictures.
You don’t even need to own a computer.

MJSA has a special membership category for small one-person
design shops, as well. The membership cost is very reasonable,
and it gives you access to all the other MJSA benefits, such as a
free subscription to AJM and the association’s insurance and
education programs. You might look into it: their website is
http://mjsa.polygon.net and they have a form you can fill out to
get more about membership. (They also have a link to
tell you about the free web sites.)

Suzanne Wade

John, I really laughed when I read your heading… I pictured
myself doing homework at the kitchen table with my three kids (as
I usually do, admidst all the junk, fruit basket, art projects,
misc.), feeling quite mental! You must be peering in my window!

Gail :slight_smile:

Contact me off line and give me an idea what you would like to
do. I mostly do sites for fun but if they get too involved I
charge a small fee. I would be glad to help. My email is :
@Paul_Holland I’m sure we can get something together.


Be sure to let me know when your book is out. I want a copy. My
daughter did a lot of clay while she was in California and had
been diagnosed. It got her out of bed and out of her apartment.
We live in Indiana and she was an adult. . . it was awful not to
be able to take her for help somewhere. She is back in Indiana
and with a lot of medication and therapy has a pretty good
quality of life. She doesn’t seem to be interested in the clay
anymore but I think that she is journaling. I have boxes of her
small hand formed slab bowls. I know that the activity was good
for her. When she first became really really ill, she disappeared
without telling us. Although she contacted us within the month,
you can imagine all the terrible things that we thought might
have happened to her. At any rate, my husband finally stretched
some canvases and told me to paint. I did and it helped. Have I
asked if you belong to NAMI? More power to you and stay in

Marilyn Smith

Paul Thanks so much for your offer of website design and if you
have time I will take you up on your offer only if we trade. In
other words come up with a nominal hourly rate for building my
site and I will trade with you dollar for dollar. I am loaded
with supplies, gemstone,cabs,tools,carvings,oriental gaming
chips, and more.

I wont accept it for free although your offer is quite
appreciated so let me know about the trade and I will let you
know what I need built.


Preston J. Reuther Master Wire Sculptor
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