[Improve Orchid] Encourage those new to Orchid

As a result of a couple of recent threads, I wanted to ask that we
continue to encourage those new to Orchid and metalsmithing. When I
first joined Orchid - and ever since then - I was made to feel very
welcome, and my questions were answered respectfully. However, I am
in contact with a number of newcomers to Orchid, and it has become
apparent that some of the recent comments made by highly respected
Orchid members, are literally putting off such folks from
participating fully in Orchid.

One lady said to me last week “I posted once, was mocked, and I will
never post again”! That is very sad. I have had quite a few similar
comments from others, who are too afraid to post for fear of being
ridiculed by those at the top. No matter how high up in the field
some people are, it’s important not to forget that they were all
beginners once, and probably had similar questions to today’s
newcomers. There’s really no need for comments which smack of any
sort of arrogance, or which may make new people feel woefully
inadequate. Everybody here has a valid contribution to make. A simple
question may be a simple question to some, but to others, the answer
to that question will be invaluable both to its poser and to others
who may have wondered but not had the courage to ask. Everybody here
is making jewellery, whether or not it’s to the taste of some at the
top of their craft.

Please can we be encouraging, without any defamatory comments about
people’s jewellery or how they are learning their craft?


Helen - I agree completely! This forum has been invaluable to me as
I have developed, and will continue to be invaluable as I continue to
develop. It would be a shame if “newbies” felt uncomfortable asking

My theory is always that the only stupid question is the one you
didn’t ask - so ask away!

And just ignore any unpleasant attitudes. Assume they are having a
bad hair day :wink: We all have those from time to time.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio


Thank you for this post! This is the 1st time I have written
anything here.

I was thinking of posting a question I needed help with a few days
ago, however, after reading some of the comments lately I decided to
get help elsewhere. I actually told my husband that I might have had
a place to get more help, but, I was afraid of the comments I might
get from some people.

There has also been something else I’ve wanted to ask. I didn’t
because I have seen similar questions either get put done, start a
heated discussion/argument on the topic or even get turned around and
start an argument in a totally different topic. I know it’s not
always this way, because I read everyday, but, I could just see my
"simple" questions going that way.

I may get up the nerve to ask anyway because I really need some
advice, as I am only just beginning in making jewelry.

I just wanted to say thanks to you Helen, for bringing this up, and
to everyone else who has the patience for the ones of us who need
small questions answered, or just a little advice to add. And…if I
do get up the nerve to ask my question…and get made fun of or
put down, I might not run away. You might be stuck with me here for
years and years to come. .)

Shae :slight_smile:

Shea, Please don’t hesitate to ask questions, no matter how basic
they may be. We all were beginners at one time, and you will find
that 99.9% of the people on the forum will be glad to be of

Once in a while I have asked a question, which I am sure was very
basic, and several members were kind enough to send me very very
detailed off line. to supplement what had already been
covered by others.

So please post your questions, and don’t feel intimidated by the fact
that a number of members are experts in their fields. In fact, it has
often been the ones whose work is considered outstanding by others in
the jewelry community that have been the most generous with their

So welcome to Orchid.

Alma Rands

Hello Shae, If you have a question about jewelry making or repair,
please ask it. Either of orchid or e-mail me directly. You will
recieve a polite answer.

Tom Arnold

I hope that as a newbie here I have not offended anyone and if I
have I wish to apologize. I first came here scared to death
especially after examining the jewelry work of a lot of the members
here, then it dawned on me by reading the threads that I had struck
gold in a wealth of honest and forthright people with experience and
advice. at first a couple of my questions weren’t paid heed, but
then when I dove in head first and worked up the courage to offer an
opinion, my questions became answered, I am neither defending nor
accusing, just giving my experience.

You have been wonderful to me as well as actually everyone. What I
want the others who are new to understand maybe is my take on this,
so please indulge me and consider this: it isn’t that you or I am
not worth the time, but sometimes people are busy, emails as well as
texts have caused more fights in my house than face to face
conversations, granted, outright insults are hard to misinterpret
Sigh, participate, offer your views, even if you think you have
nothing to offer. I have surprised myself at times. We all have
different views points, sometimes there will be clashes for whatever
reasons. But don’t let your desire to learn and grow be deterred from
happening, develope a thicker skin, it will help you go further as a
successful artist ( and person). If the person you are questioning
doesn’t give you the answer, assuredly someone when they get the time
to check emails will eventually.

And read the threads, sometimes things pop up in threads that may
wander from the original context or just get thrown in, and you find
your answer there. If you are easily discouraged, then you are
wasting your time ( which is valuable) and with all due respect,
maybe you should get out and create and expose your work to display
or sell so you gain more confidence. while everyone here can
encourage and flatter, you will never advace in your art till you
create it, even if it starts out a rough drawing on paper. IMHO. I
was told all my life I would never be anything but a problem and not
amount to any thing, my father set me up to be abused early in my
life because he didnt come off as protective but asked guys I went
out with to pity me (yeah)

Thank God for my genetic makeup, or God, whatever is in me could not
be extinquished. If your fire burns for anything, then nothing will
stop you from achieveing it, whether you are 12 or 99. If you are
intimidated then study that persons work, if they are published then
read their books, what can be considered a negative feeling can be
reversed into an education and a positive work. beauty IS DEFINATELY
in the eye of the beholder. I have made somethings that I would have
trashed, and then here comes someone who sees a thing of beauty.

If you are more passionate and sensitive about what people say to
you than getting what you want out of this, you may need to go and
re-examine what is you are yourself searching for out of this. I
did. I was hurt for a second,lol. that Ihad written 2 emails in a
thread that werent answered, but I persisted and showed the vets
here I am serious. I have received respect, invitations and hands
offered in friendship. Maybe my slap has yet to come, but if and
when it does, i still won’t be discouraged, because this IS what I
love since the very first day I picked up and spit on my first rock.


Ask away, even off line is OK

No question too small nor basic. We all started at the beginning. I
might be a sarcastic son of a female dog at times (maybe often) but
usually aim at higher up the food chain.

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

So please post your questions, and don't feel intimidated by the
fact that a number of members are experts in their fields. 

Wherever I may fit into that equation, I just want to say that I for
one answer ALL personal Orchid mail as a matter of courtesy and
policy… Even if it’s just to say thanks for the thoughts…

I just want to say Thank You, to all of y’all in this post and
through my e-mail who have have been kind and encouraging. Thanks
again to Helen for starting it off. I will try to make this the
little push that keeps me involved, instead of “lurking” in the
shadows and just reading. lol

I know that everyone has their own opinions, and disagreements are
bound to happen at times. It would be a very boring world if we were
all like minded about everything. And, I don’t mind if someone
disagrees with me. I do try to avoid any argument that may get too
heated or ugly…gives me a migraine. But of course, like anyone, I
want to defend myself or my friends when needed.

I hope that the other new people mentioned will see this post, and
what y’all have written, and they will be able to ask the questions
they’ve been afraid to. They can be sure that even though there are
disagreements, there are people willing to help.

Thanks to all of you. I’ve learned a lot just reading and hopefully,
I’ll learn even more by talking with y’all.

Shae :slight_smile:

"sarcastic son of a female dog at times" - "usually aim at higher
up the food chain."

OMG, I spit my coffee all over my desk! lol Never heard it put quite
like that before. We always say son of a biscuit eater. I was
laughing so hard. But then, I also got a little worried…wondering
about where dogs might be on your food chain? lol :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you, y’all have been very nice. I have been looking through the
Archives to see if my question has been asked, and I can’t find
anything specific. But, I thought I might look through, and see if
there is something on the same subject that I can add my question to.
I think that it would be better that way, to save space and at the
same time maybe help another question get more input.

Take Care,
Shae :slight_smile:

Great post - when I scanned it, I thought you wrote, “since the very
first day I picked up and spit OUT my first rock” and I envisioned a
toddler eating rocks. This person REALLY started early! Great name
though - Rock Spit Productions! Lol

I try to search the archives before posting, so as not to waste
others’ time - I have posted questions that didn’t get responses -
don’t take it personally, but also I don’t think you have to prove
you are serious and offer opinions before people respond - it’s just
a thang, you know? Maybe you posted at the end of the week and
people were busy - maybe no one felt they had anything to offer on
the topic. I have hesitated to post when my advice seems obvious or
silly - I’ve gotten braver and post it anyway, maybe offline, but
sometimes I just think, "oh, lots of people will post that advice"
and forget about it. Maybe everyone else is thinking the same.

I will say that I have never found such a wealth of knowledge and
generosity of spirit in any other venue in my entire life, and
whether I get responded to or not, I will read this blog until I

Susan “Sam” Kaffine

I guess at least two things are necessary for Orchid to work.

No one should be afraid to answer any question. If a question is
never asked an answer may never be found, or as someone once taught
me, “If you don’t ask, the answer will always be ‘No.’”.

The other thing necessary is people willing to share their knowledge
and not hoard it. Orchid benefits from a great number of talented
individuals more than willing to spend time sharing what they know.
I recall my father telling me how much he despised the people in his
workplace that kept knowledge to themselves as if it was a way to
ensure no one else would eclipse them. My father believed in giving
away knowledge to anyone that asked, and I think he’s right.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV

I’m one of the recent crop of newbies- and I’d like to also say
thanks to the people on this list. Thank you for making the Orchid
list open to everyone, and not ‘pros only’- I appreciate that there
is a dilution of master-class intensity perhaps in letting us in-
but we do appreciate it. Also, posts on suvjects that are beyond me
now will exist forever in the archives- and that too is awesome. In
return I try to search before I ask, and do my own legwork from
books and other sources before running here with questions.

As I said to Helen the other day, no amount of strong opinion would
drive me away from here, I feel quite lucky to be allowed to listen
while the grownups talk. The debate, opinions and argument is so much
more stimulating and broadens even the horizons of the most amateur
hobbyist (me) than bland agreement on everything would. Helen and
other aspirational “old newbies” have also been fantastic, and thanks
for that as well.

so you know, thanks.


don't think you have to prove you are serious and offer opinions
before people respond - it's just a thang, you know? 

Speaking for myself I could reply to every thread on Orchid,
but I don’t. That doesn’t mean I’m some kind of super-expert, just
that ~everybody~ has an opinion. Often I’ll let a thread pass,
saying “Let somebody else take that one…” And sometimes nobody
else does and it falls by the wayside. I enjoy Orchid, but I don’t
want to be a busybody either…Just speaking for myself…