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In Praise of Orchid and An Invitation

I wonder if Orchid really gets the recognition it so rightly
deserves. I know that we who have been here for quite a while
understand the value to us, but there is far more than we see.

Yesterday at Jay Whaley’s Rolling Mill Workshop, a student came in.
I did not recognize her or her name, so introduced myself. She asked
me if I was the Terrie on Orchid who signs Hugs. I said yes, and now
here is the hug.

She smiled and told me that she reads Orchid every day, and has
learned so very much from the freely given posts. She felt she did
not have much to post, so she simply “lurked.”

These are the people who are benefiting, but we are unaware of how
much of what we share here on Orchid is of value to them. Perhaps we
need to find a way to reach out to all Orchid readers, and invite
them to participate, tell us online what worked for them, and ask
some questions we will be happy to answer.

At times we may appear to be at odds with one another, and that may
be a bit of a risk to a new poster. It is very important for us to
respectfully disagree, but with humor, and make certain we are not

Right here and now, this is an invitation to those who read Orchid,
and have not yet posted, to do so. We would like to welcome you and
your words and questions, take the time to test the waters here,
they are warm and welcoming.

I made a new face to face friend yesterday with one who knew me, but
didn’t. Now I know her as well.

During the Workshop I overheard Jay speak of how long Jewelers were
somewhat secretive of what they knew. I popped in and said “Orchid
is directly responsible for changing a lot of that.” It is so very
true, so much was a mystery before Orchid opened doors and allowed
open sharing of “secrets.” For that I am eternally grateful. I also
value the many friendships I have developed right here on Orchid, and
at Orchid gatherings.

To Hanuman, Ton, Charles, et al, A Giant Bear Hug with my sincere


Hi Terrie,

I really enjoyed this post and wanted to say I use to be one of the
many people who would look on Ganoksin only when I was having issues
with a project or if I didn’t see what I was looking for I would post
the question.

It wasn’t until recently that I started to participate in the
threads. I use to concern myself about what others would think or say
about my postings, but the older I get the less I care. I do not feel
I have to respond to every single posting, but if I don’t see anyone
addressing the issue the same way I would then I will go ahead and
post my thoughts.

The Ganoksin website has been a wonderful place for jewelers of all
stages to learn and teach each other. I am always interested in
seeing how other people do simple to complex tasks and how they get
to the same result but by different methods. I find that if you read
the threads with an open mind and willingness to experiment, you can
really grow. It is great to see how people who have never met in
person genuinely want to help each other succeed in their craft.

Michael Andrews

I joined Orchid over the summer and a am a ‘lurker’. I read the
emails every day too, and am full of gratitude for the generosity of
those who are willing to share and mentor. I don’t feel confident
enough to give advise as yet. There are so many who know so much
more than I do here. But thank you Terrie for the encouragement to
speak up! And I second your thank you to Hanuman, Ton, Charles, et al
for creating this wonderful place called Orchid!

Diana Hara

I love Orchid, I will aways be glad I got involved with Orchid.
Orchid is the first thing I talk about when I hear that someone is
interested in jewelry or metalsmithing. I give them the Ganoksin
address on the back of one of my business cards.

I have had the opportunity to meet so many fantastic metalsmiths
through Orchid. Hanuman, Charles and Ton have really given much to my
life and career by starting Ganoksin. Thank you

Sam Patania, Tucson

Hello Terrie

Just a note to say thank you for the invitation to those of us who
are a bit timid. I have posted from time to time but am mostly in
awe of the folks on Orchid who are so knowledgeable and so generous
with their time and expertise.

What have I learned from Orchid? That without people like Hanuman,
Ton and the people who run Orchid we would be so much less. A huge
thank you to them all.

That without the links to your wonderful sites I would not be able
to see so many beautiful pieces and know that there are so many
people who can do such beautiful work.

That those of you who are real jewelers also have problems from time
to time and need to figure things out, and yes…even admit to
making mistakes.

That there are classes that could be attended if I am ever in the
position to do so. Dreams and hopes kept alive.

That when I run into a problem, there are people that could and
would help, even though they don’t know me.

That there are other Canadians out there who can and do create
beautiful things.

That there is no shame is failing at one venture and having the
courage to try something else in a different direction. If you love
something keep going til it all falls into place.

That people have good advice and ideas on business and how to make
that process work. Not to mention the discovery that so many of you
do not like the sales or the dealing with customers aspect but learn
how to do it anyway. That is a big problem for me. Many thanks for
some informative reading on those subjects.

That there are new friends in the world…Hi Helen.

Most of my work is with polymer clay, with dreams of eventually
getting into the metal clays. Therefore, I work mainly in silver,
copper and brass, but I can make bezels, chains, do wire wrapping and
make my own findings. I am learning to do filagree, thanks to
Jeanne’s wonderful book “Silver Threads”. I cannot afford to work
with gems and the high end metals, but that may be because I love the
clay and its possibilities too much to give a proper try to the gems.
The clay is so forgiving and it’s pretty hard to make a mistake.

So…I’ve rambled enough… Just thank you all, many
times over, for the help, support and encouragement given to the
people you don’t even know you have touched.

Sheila… In cold and wet Ontario, Canada.

Orchid gives me my daily dose of common sense advice from people who
are far more technically advanced in the field than I am. It gives
me hope that my skills will also progress to the point where I can
construct items as wonderful as many I have seen coming from these
people. It is the best monthly monetary donation I make - easily on
a par with my public radio donation. Without Orchid my days would be
bleak. All hail to Hanuman, Ton, Charles and all of the
participants in this wonderful forum.

Sandra Graves
Stormcloud Trading Co

Janet wrote precisely what I was thinking. Altho I don’t comment,
I’ve read your posts for a long time & have seen a group that is
generous, kind spirited and sharing. The community represented by the
posts I read daily is truely brilliant. So another silent fan would
like to say thank yous & congratulations all around to Orchid
members, you should all be proud of your creation. Best Wishes to
All…Sharon T

That there are new friends in the world.....Hi Helen. 

Hi Sheila. It’s great to hear from you again. I hope things are going
well with your polymer clay, etc, and I agree, Orchid is fantastic. I
sure do miss it when the posts occasionally don’t arrive for one
reason or another. It feels like the world has stopped spinning! And
it is great to meet so many “virtual” friends.


Hi Folks…

What I find amazing about Orchid (and Ganoksin) is that it is the
epitome of the communications power and potential of the

Hanuman’s idea (Thank You, Hanuman) was to create an online
repository of of interest to jewelry makers and allied
fields…Actually to anyone who has interests in jewelry making…

To enhance sharing, the Orchid mail list is avalable to
all who wish to sign up…

Communication and sharing is what Orchid/Ganoksin is all
about…It’s a dead on match to what the Internet is all about…

The archives, articles, online magazines, videos… Lively postings
on Orchid……and now BLOGS

Freely available to all…and available to all for FREE…

Orchid/Ganoksin is supported by leading industry vendors and

Individual donations are welcomed also…in fact,

Gary W. Bourbonais
L’Hermite Aromatique
A.J.P. (GIA)