It’s been a year since I proposed a workshop on Orchid: “Making Money
Making Jewelry”. Should I copyright that title?
I thought the workshop was a great idea; one I would like to have
taken had it been available. The title has a nice ring to it. I
started to explore the ramifications: where would it be held; what
would be covered; business aspects, filemaker, Quicken; computers,
etc. Then, what would it cost to setup and do this workshop. What
would be my compensation; what would I charge each participant? What
could one expect to gain from this experience?
It became apparent as I continued to process, all that would be
involved to make it a success; how complex it would be.
I’m very demanding of myself and others. I’ve taken classes and
workshops that were very disappointing. I’m talking of classes in
metalworking technique. A few were rewarding.
I came to the decision after thinking things through and bouncing my
ideas for this workshop off some other people that it wouldn’t work.
In a workshop setting a participant would not come away with what I
feel is necessary to succeed. Keep in mind, as I’ve said, I’m a
person of strong opinion, not always right, but of strong opinion.
I’ve been doing ‘art fairs’ (I won’t get into the term art at this
point) successfully for more than twenty years. In the process I
learned some things about what it takes to do this. What I’m talking
about doesn’t extend beyond ‘art fairs’; I know only a little about
brick and mortar places. I know very little about production jewelry.
I began soldering chains, whatever, for jewelry stores. I now earn my
living designing and making and selling jewelery exclusively. I’m not
a wunderkind. I don’t even size my own rings Jo-Ann Donivan does. And
in the interest of full disclosure John Donivan and I also interact
commercially. John, given materials, can make anything. Without these
two, my work would be less than it is.
My focus is individual work; one- off designs and limited production.
These are things I know about. I also know about selling and personal
interactions, as in dealing with customers. I know about
Finally, after thinking all these things over I decided what I
envisioned as "Making Money… would work only one to one, more of a
I could only do this for a person whom I thought had promise. I’m not
being judgemental; but I could only do it with someone whose work
generated enthusiasm in me. I don’t want to critique any work other
than my. The ego can be a fragile thing. The first time someone, a
jewelry store person said “You want how much for that crap” it took
me a week to venture out again.
While going through the intellectual process I met a woman selling
jewelry at a fair I’ve done for a while. She saw that I was also an
exhibiter and asked me for feedback. She had been doing another
medium for some years and had just switched to jewelry. I liked her
work and thought she had the personality to be a successful jeweler.
Just my personal opinion.
After the show I thought, that’s the way "Making Money… could work.
It would take time over a longer period for the plan to be
successful. A workshop for a period of a week wouldn’t work in the
way I envisaged it. I just couldn’t take the money do a week’s
workshop and let it go.
It would take a longer period. It would take me being at a show and
seeing how the “protege” works the show, etc. As some of you know, I
have strong opinions about teaching and learning. I couldn’t do what
I originally proposed in a halfway manner. I apologize to those who
emailed me expressing interest that it took me so long to figure this