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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!




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



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



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!


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 totally understand your line of thinking. Although I am a bit younger (52), you just might outlast me! :laughing: In 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer with metastasis to axillary and hilar lymphnodes and multiple hepatic (ie: liver) tumours in both lobes. Being in both lobes of the liver as well as having “more than 10 lesions” meant it is unresectable. 4 previous mammograms missed it as the structure of the original tumour is of a type that doesn’t form into a tumour-more like thin sheets within the tissue (30% of cases are Lobular, like mine). Remember this the next time you judge someone for “not catching it early”. Statistics said 20% of patients live past years. I have very few associated “risks” - not obese, get regular exams, no family history…yadda yadda yadda. Well…Its has been 7 years and I’m still here. YEAH ME!!!

As a result of this major and totally unexpected swerve in life, I had to take a medical retirement from my carefully crafted career. Fatigue, associated pain and side effects from agressive chemo and radiation, as well as ongoing treatment until I finally “pop the clogs” forced me to slow down. The spectre of an early death also meant I had to confront what most would rather put off for another day, year, decade. My point being: EVERYONE, regardless of age, should have a will of some sort even if it is just instructions scribbled out and signed by a non-interested witness. Once your gone, without any instruction, will or directive, it is truly out of your hands. I must say, discussing such issues with the people important to me has brought us closer.

Ultimately, I decided to have all of my metalsmithing tools, objects, debris :laughing:, donated to my alma mater. I contacted the head chair of the art department and, with her assistance, we drew up a plan for them to acquire my things with as little disruption to my family as posible. Of course, I also have shown my husband where the metals and gems are so he can keep, and sell, as he desires. All he has to do is notify the university of my passing and they will take care of the rest. Who knows…maybe they will put a dedication plaque on my bench.

It feels really, really, really good knowing such plans are in place. Knowing the tools that have brought me so much joy and learning will continue to do so for others, and truly, the peace of mind knowing that the onus of dealing with everything won’t send my hubs into a freaking out spiral is comforting. We have been together for 30 years. Losing me will bring enough grief. After all, the rest is just “decoration”. :purple_heart: