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Long overdue introduction

Hi all,

My name is Mike O’Toole and I have been lurking on the list for over
two years. (golly sounds like I’m at a “twelve-step” meeting :slight_smile:

I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and have been metalworking at the
hobbyist/amateur level for about twelve years. On the billpaying
side I’m a System Support Specialist in the computer/IT industry.

I started out making mail armour and progressed to jewellry with
piercework pendants, wire earrings and have taken a couple of
silversmith classes locally and even took a blacksmith class last
fall that let me swing a big hammer. :slight_smile:

My current interests are learning and figuring out historical
techniques for jewellry manufacture. Ancient/medieval/early
rennaissance pieces from Northern Europe get “my motor running” so
to speak. I find that learning something new and making a tool is
half the pleasure of finishing a piece.

I’m also a member of the Calgary Rock and Lapidary Club, sit on the
Board as Parlimentarian, look after the club library, and also a
member of the Show committee.

I have met several members of the list already, Karen Bahr taught
one of the silversmithing classes and I have seen Charles
Lewton-Brain though other responsibilities (like work and duties at
our annual Show) conspire to keep me from meeting him. :slight_smile:

There are many on the list that have helped me understand different
facets of the jewellry making process but there are a few that I
would like to thank in text:

Peter Rowe and John Burgess for providing clear and concise
explanations of chemistry topics like pickles, fluxes, fire-scale
and fire-stain preventions.

Ian Wright for descriptions of graver polishing and annealing

Charles Lewton-Brain for all sorts of good advice from Cheap Thrills
in the Tool Shop, to Small Scale Photography, more info on
fire-stain and its prevention. One of these days I track you down
and thank you in person. :slight_smile:

Thanks again to the entire list for helping me learn more about my

Mike O’Toole


Jerry in NYC posted this awhile ago…thought you might find it
interesting. (it stayed in my “to-do” folder…see it below!)

I personally am continually amazed at the talents of those many
years ago who didn’t have the neat-o tools that we do!!! I am a big
fan of SCYTHIAN gold work…truely amazing. 

  Jewellery Studies, the journal of the Society of Jewellery
  Historians (London) ISSN: 0268-2087, is a wealth of articles
  of value to the SCADIAN or other historical jeweler. 

  Publisher: Society of Jewellery Historians Publisher Address:
  British Museum, London WC 1B 3DB united Kingdom Publisher
  Contact Information: Fax: 011 44 1588 620558 

best of luck…and nice to meet ya!

-julia potts
julia potts studios

Continue from:

Hi Julia,

Thanks for reposting the link. I missed it the first time and am
definitely interested enough to try and get a couple of the volumes
through inter-library-loan.

A friend of mine also into medieval recreation is fascinated with
Scythian culture and had approached me about making some of the gold
triangular plates that adorned their clothing.

I only had one or two photos in one book so I sent her back to find
more examples. Someday I’m sure she will return with about a pound
of photos then we’ll get to work. :slight_smile:

Some of the work of ancient cultures is truly amazing, but then
again our best tool for the last 60,000 years has been our brain.

thanks again for the link, I’ve got it on file too.

Mike O’Toole