Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

My Estate - After I Pop My Clogs

I really would appreciate the members of Ganoksin-Orchid putting their thinking caps on and finding me a solution to a problem,

I’m just over 70. In my 20’s I studied as both a psychotherapist and as a jeweler - one Is heads and the other hands. I retired from therapy some 10 years ago and successfully donated my library and monographs. Since then I’ve continued to make and sell a lot of “art jewelry” and I’m still going strong with two workshops, one for dirty work like casting and the other more of a studio.

My life expectancy is what? Another 10 years perhaps and I want to continue to work until I drop dead

When I do eventually pop my clogs what should happen to all my tools, equipment and materials? I can’t expect my partner to manage the sale of all this stuff - he knows little of the craft - and to be honest we are wealthy and the money is of no real consequence. The value of all my metals and stones is about $100,000.

When my great uncle died his watchmakers workshop was just shut up and everything basically rotted away (even though I unsuccessfully asked for his lathe) and I don’t want this to happen with my stuff. It can have a life after me I hope.

I’m about to draw up a new will and the workshop will not be included separately - everything goes to my partner - but it would be helpful if I could leave him instructions for its liquidation.

What do you, my colleagues, think about this? Remember that the finances are not important! Donate? Where? To whom?

I don’t lie awake worrying but I don’t want this to be a burden for others.

Can I persuade all of you to put on thinking caps and come up with ideas?

Is there a school that would benefit from your tools and supplies? Even if they could auction things they have no need for in order to fund stuff they do need.
You could ask that your donation be sold at auction to fund scholarships or bursaries.

I belong to a gem and mineral club and there have been several auctions over the years to liquidate materials of interest to our members.

I think it important to help young people starting out who need to build up their workshops.

I also admire Tim McCreight’s and Matthieu Chemineé’s Toolbox Initiative. They can surely use hand tools and sterling.

If you have a knowledgable friend who can help your partner decide what should go where or you can make a list of what should be donated where it will save your partner stress at a difficult time.

Here’s hoping you get another 20 years to work and play in your studio!



1 Like

Tony and all on Ganoksin

Last year I ‘donated’ 1/2 of all of my setting tools to a community-college to give to their ‘up & coming’ new jewellers. I got a tax-exemption for my income tax for $2,000.00. What happened to my tools? I hear that in just one month all of them are now being used. I’m using the remaining tools to assist me in my technical writings on my growing blog.

***I don’t want my tools to ‘sit & rust’***…I want them to be used continually, even while I’m still around. Maybe in another year or so, I’ll donate the remaining tools, but not yet! My tools are still be used in my bench, but I can see that some are sitting & sitting…“YUK & OY”

When the ‘time comes’, my son-in-law knows exactly what to do with the remaining items. I’ll donate as much as I can while I’m here, and being very careful to where they go and to whom. Sometimes I give some away little ‘not needed’ used items after each teaching session to anyone who ‘needs’ that one item.

Many times some of the students are in desperate need of some expensive setting tools. Now they have them!!!

This is not charity, but I’m extending the life of that setting tool! An interesting feature in my teaching class, is to ‘raffle off’ some of them, then the ‘fun and excitement’ starts…:>)

My other little problem is my collection of “Swarovski” CZ’s, I might put them into Ebay to sell in a ‘series of little sets’ at a low price. But do we need to spend much time messing around with the tools? I’ll just donate them and not have them (again) rusting!



How about the Center for Nonviolent Communication ( T

If it were me, I would look for a non-profit “maker space” or a school that has a place for young artists that need a hand up, and offer to make them the beneficiaries of the tools and supplies.

Ron Charlotte
Gainesville, FL or

Gee @gerrylewy18 u will leave with the same ethic that you live by. Hurrah to you
Regards RLW

1 Like


Forget that you will die, think of life, if you still breathe there is life … One day a child was stolen from your mother and when they found the child two women appeared before the judge claiming that it was the mother. claimed that he would order the death of the child and divide it into two equal parts for the two women.

One of them agreed to kill the child and divided it into two parts, the other thus opting for the child to be alive. Then the judge determined that the mother was the one who preferred the living child even if distant from her. Moral of the story, you should forward your workshop to those who really love them …

Regards direct from Brazil


1 Like

The Florida Society of Goldsmiths has a chapter in Miami that would benefit from any donations. I am happy to work with you or your loved ones. We put the tools in studios that are open to all members and monitored by experienced artists as well as used for teaching.

Feel free to contact me at

You can see more about us at and read our newsletter on-line. We have it open to all!

1 Like

all of these ideas are great honestly. love the term pop my clogs. heres hoping you live to be as old as moses. but that not happening. somehow have it stipulated in writing where your things are to go so theres no confusion. or find jewelers whove just graduated and invite them over to pick out some things for their shops. if they dont have anything., ive had to let go of most of my tooling dfue to circumstances, but they were gimmes and i had used them to the fullest. i was proud to have received those items. i treasured those more than the ones i paid decent money for.


Are there schools that follow Orchid’s posts? If so, step up and let us know what you need, and those who are approaching that certain age can then assign their tools and materials, etc. where they want them to end up. As a matter of fact, can Ganoksin assemble a list of those schools and what they might need, so that we can search Ganoksin for that information.

I am not sure why this post popped up as it is old, but had I seen it when it was posted, I would have replied. I too am in my 70s and beginning to think about how to dispose of my shop and material when the time comes. Tony, I am looking for at least 20 more good years. I have beaten two different cancers so far and hope to keep it that way. In the best of all possible worlds, you will have someone younger who is interested in following in your footsteps as Don and I have with our father. This is not the case for me. While supportive, neither of my boys are interested in doing what I do. I do have a grand daughter who loves all things art and she may be a possibility. I keep the boys up to date on what is in my shop, why and its value. My family has had a long time relationship with our local gem and mineral society. A small number of its members also do metal work. I have already given them much of my semiprecious rock rough, a 14" saw and will, if there is interest, pass on a lot of my metal shop. The boys know the value of my higher end tools and know how to sell things. I give a lot of my work to local charity groups, libraries and other non-profits whose mission I support for raffles. It s good to have a plan. Unfortunately the most valuable part of our art is us and when we are gone that value is lost. I started to make short annotated picture PDF documents to show in some detail how I do what I do. My thought is that if someone comes along with some interest in my tools and shop after I can no longer show them how to use them, the PDFs might help. I have posted some of them on this website. Meanwhile, I intend to keep making jewelry…Rob


Congratulations Rob, it’s good to talk about work and how to convey the experiences that everyone adds up to during their lifetime.

Regards direct from Brazil.


I have the good luck to have kids who are interested in carrying on with the family craft. One son is a whiz at taking existing shapes and manipulating them in to unique designs. My daughter is very sculptural and sees things in three dimensions. And another son is truly a mechanic who sees shapes in his mind and is capable of bringing those shapes to view. What ever talents one lacks the others carry on. Right now it is a treat to see them opening up into the craft jewelry world. And while I am not ready to step away from the bench anytime soon, I know if I should it will remain in good hands.


I have Rheumatoid Arthritis - I’m still in my 50’s for at least another year :rofl: but I have limitations as far as hand and finger strength. I am looking for power driven engraving equipment, particularly a Lindsay system. If you have such equipment, please count me as an interested party if and when you decide to sell. Thanks!

I will be donating my studio to a local college that teaches metalsmithing. If not, to a place like Wildacres in NC, Baltimore Jewelry Society, Florida Society of Goldsmiths, Metalworx, or some other non-profit that does metal work. Some of it is old and has been replaced by newer technology, but whatever group takes it can just pitch the unusable items.