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Introducing - Rachel Rose


#1

To my fellow Orchidians -

I’ve only been on the Forum a few weeks and everyone has been so
helpful to me. Today, as I emailed a few of you offlist to ask
further questions about the ferric nitrate etch, I realized I really
ought to have introduced myself properly in the beginning, because
it will explain my (possibly annoying) tenacity re chasing down
info.

I am a self-taught jeweler, although not self-taught by choice. For
twenty years I was a school librarian, but was forced into early
retirement by the onset of severe fibromyalgia. I would love to
attend actual course work in jewelery, but there is nothing even
remotely near where I live, and travel is extremely difficult for
me. I began my metal-smithing “career” (not really a career, of
course, but an avocation, and one I do at a very slow pace because
of the fibro and the limitations it places on me, pain and
stamina-wise) when I began dating a man who does copper sculpture
and he taught me how to use an oxy-acetylene torch. I played around
with that for a year, (very slowly) making some abstract mobiles,
and then decided I would rather be making jewelry. And so I began to
learn. I started by deciding what I wanted to make and then got
books and figured out how to do each fabrication I needed. I wrote
to book authors and asked questions. I bugged tech support at Rio.
Now I have you guys to bug. I hope you don’t mind. Believe me, if I
could go learn this stuff from a teacher, in person, I would. Maybe
someday I will. Hope springs eternal.

I just felt I needed to post this. I’m NOT looking for sympathy -
it’s been thirteen years since my fibro onset and I’ve gotten good
at functioning within my little envelope and honestly there are much
more awful things that can happen to a person physically than fibro,
I know that! I simply thought it would explain why I have had (and
will continue to have) so many questions!

Thanks for all your help so far. Guys, you are awesome.

Rachel


#2

I too am new here.

Briefly, I started making simple Jewelry when I was 17 (this would be
about 30 years ago) because I wanted to get girls attention (it
certainly got their attention but didn’t win their hearts.) From
there I taught myself, asked a lot of questions, read a lot and
attended a few workshops. After being rear-ended by a drunk 8 years
ago and breaking my neck, I developed fibromyalgia and like Rachel,
have to work slowly. Fortunately, jewelry making is something I can
do on my own time and as I feel up to it. I appreciate that I can
still be creative in spite of the pain. I try to keep my brain
active by learning new things, and this list is valuable in that
respect. Thank you all.

Jeff
JeffreyDesign Jewelry


#3

Rachel, When you say you would learn from a teacher but there is
none anywhere near you, what did you mean? You know there are gem and
mineral clubs all over the world and many of them don’t just do gem
cutting, they also have many very talented people doing metal work.
Have you looked for a club near you? If you go to afms.org you will
find a complete listing of clubs nationwide.

You can also check with snagmetalsmith.org for about the
Society of North American Goldsmiths. They have chapters all around
the nation.

Glad you are a member of our huge group and the important thing is
that you continue to learn and grow. As you do, remember the famous
Sir Winston Churchhill quote, " The secret to success is to go from
failure to failure without loosing your enthusiasm." That is advice
worth knowing when working with jewelry!

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!