I had hoped to attend this dinner, but unfortunately time and
circumstances have made that impossible. Thus, I am conveying this
message to you via Email.
It is a pleasant thought knowing that all of you have gathered here
for the 6th annual Orchid dinner at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
I would like to help welcome all of you who made it here, and to
thank all of you who invested time, energy and resources into
putting this event together, and special thanks to all of you who
contributed to the Orchid auction. And, I want to thank you all for
your ongoing support, for your participation, and for the interest
in taking part in Orchid every day.
Modern communication is powerful, but still human touch has no
substitute. Since Ganoksin is a virtual community, it is important
for us to make an effort and meet face to face at least once in a
while. This event is the proof of the importance of human contact.
From the early days of humanity, craftsmanship, including the
techniques of metal work, and jewelry related knowledge were kept as
tightly guarded secrets within small and closely related groups. In
many instances, this knowledge was a powerful secret, with economic,
political and social implications. From father to son, from old
masters to chosen apprentices, knowledge and techniques were passed
down, generation by generation. This continued throughout history,
as the goldsmith’s art was refined and developed in the process.
As long as society was stable, those pools of knowledge were
relatively secure, but in many cases, especially during upheavals,
natural or man made, chunks of ancient techniques disappeared
forever. As our humanity evolved and became more transient,
traditional cultures changed; ornaments turned into products, with a
new emphasis on their economic value and less on their religious,
political, social and mystical powers. For the industrialists, cost
was the magic word, which went together with profit. In this brave
new world, the importance of craftsmanship was threatened by a
fascination with how technology and science could provide more
profit than hand work.
And, at the same time, traditional ways of learning disappeared. How
many of us learned jewelry work from our grandfathers? These days,
if we are lucky, we learn from knowledgeable teachers, but few of us
will be lucky enough to meet and work with a great master. And so,
even more than ever, sharing and communicating between us is the
only way for us, as modern humans, to learn and progress. And then
along comes the internet, the explosion of communication through the
super highway. The blossoming of Internet communication
offers us an unprecedented opportunity to recreate these lost pools
of knowledge, and make them permanently accessible to everyone. This
is what The Ganoksin project is all about. Communication and sharing
to preserve the current knowledge of metal working, and hopefully
rebuild its fine traditions.
As you may know, within these past six years, Ganoksin has become
one of largest and busiest sites for jewelry related subjects, in
the world. The Orchid community has grown to more than 5,000 members
from all walks of life and from around the world, with an additional
15,000 members who are registered to receive our information
bulletins. Our site’s track record is very solid; steady growth,
high and increasing visitor rate, ever-expanding professional
content, and the most active community in the world for jewelers.
Each month Ganoksin receives over 1,500,000 hits, as we serve 50,000
individuals. Our community ‘group mind’ has tackled an incredibly
wide range of subjects, so vast in fact, that the list is too long
to summarize. We are now uniquely positioned to coordinate and
create the most important educational reference site for the future
of our field. This sharing of real life experience and the
communication of valuable continues to accumulate over
four years of electronic brainstorming. The result, to which many of
you have contributed, has been edited and documented into a large
searchable archive. Together we are building a great profile and
Ganoksin is now well established in the field. Our discussions are
even quoted in trade magazines.
Ganoksin’s goal was, right from the start and remains, to meet the
needs of the world’s jewelers. The idea of getting
smarter together, learning and improving production, expanding
business, attending to safety, and increasing efficiency through the
flow of ideas and experience, is quite unconventional. We are
breaking the restraints of secrecy that have so long impeded those
who wanted to know more, learn more and do more. This openly free
and sharing forum has found its audience, and that appeal is ever
In order to reach these goals, we are currently completing a total
redesign of the website. Ganoksin is rich with and we
have extensive plans to make the site’s content many times larger.
We are already a data resource for the jewelry field unlike anything
in human history, and we are just beginning.
Reflecting the dominance of English on the internet, most Ganoksin
users and Orchid participants live in North America. However, we are
seeing an increasing number of participants from other countries,
almost daily. And so, we at Ganoksin, are also working on an
unprecedented multi-lingual on-line jewelers’ glossary and
dictionary. We are installing a translation engine on the site to
encourage global usage of its educational and networking
This is our website. We are building it together. It is extremely
rewarding for me to know that you Orchidians appreciate the website
and see its boundless opportunities as your own. I am here because
you are there. Your daily involvement and participation are
essential. And your assistance in helping cope with the financial
burden of such a project is acknowledged and greatly appreciated. In
reality, your financial support is key to determining the future of
Ganoksin and Orchid.
I see myself as something of a guide, a facilitator, a medium. I see
you Orchidians as the source of and also its
destination. Together we have built something very dear, in fact
even more valuable than the precious materials we discuss and work
with. For we are the caretakers of valuable for
jewelers. And because of our coordinated and collective efforts,
that vital pool of knowledge is building and will live for future
generations, rather than wither and disappear as most other
technologies have over the ages.
I would like to leave you with one thought, as together, we
contemplate the future and our place in it.
“Gold has its value,” begins an ancient Chinese proverb, “but
learning is priceless.”
And so, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for
allowing me and trusting in me, as your guide, to preserve something
so important and vital to so many.
Hanuman aka Dr. Hanuman Aspler Dr. E. Hanuman Aspler
[ G a n o k s i n . C o m ]