I have quite a mess (a technical term here in the south) of old Thompson leaded enamels. No, don’t have any of that radioactive yellow one :). I don’t enamel much anymore and need to rehome some of this stuff … I have lbs of some of it … like I can use lbs of enamel. Notably, I think I have a lot of red 674. I want to keep the Princeton orange and some of the reds. I anyone has a burning desire to obtain old leaded enamels please send me a query offline with the exact color you are seeking and I’ll see if I have it. No way I am going to catalog what colors I have … so just ask. I have carpenter and woods enamels too … think they predate Thompson. Anyway, if you need a particular color send me an email and I’ll look. I’m no spring chicken and I doubt Goodwill would have any idea what to do with these … ya know.
Well … that was fast :). Several responded and I gave it away. Glad to move it along to folks who can use it. It troubles me that sometimes I find really treasured items in yard sales, goodwill or an estate auction. I’m not that old quite yet … but when I get to a point I can’t really enjoy my “stuff” … I want to make sure it goes into someone’s younger hands who are excited about making jewelry or cutting stones or whatever. How do we pass these things along??? My children have no interest. How could I expect my kids to know what to do with cutting rough, equipment, rolling mills, stakes, … stuff … and we just die and it goes to auction? This isn’t intended to morbid … its not, but how do we pass along a lifetime of stuff (and joy) when no one wants it. Only someone wants it … some dirt poor student. Note to vultures … you’ll. need to wait a while. Its a hypothetical question … so don’t send me email saying you’d be able to use it. Seriously … but how do you pass stuff along to those who could use and love it … and not an estate sale. Case in point … I have a nice Durston mill … my kids don’t want a big ass mill in their basement. I love it and plan on getting years of use from it … but when I get old enough that I don’t want to mess with it anymore … how can I pass it along to someone who really does know what it is and would treasure the gift?? Thoughts?
The lapidary/metalsmith guild I belong to accepts equipment donations and then auctions them, keeping a percentage of the sales. Win-win for both the generous donor and for we who are eager to have new equipment or even more rough.
Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities
and maybe tell your kids to do the same. Here’s my story, short as I can manage. I was getting ready to retire and planning to pursue Lapidary and making jewelry. We had our neighbor friends over for dinner around this time. I knew her sister had passed away about 2 years before but knew nothing about her sister. I started talking about my plans, she told me her sister had been a jeweler, then told me she was going to give me her sister’s equipment. Months later when I did retire she had me pick up all the equipment. I fought and argued to pay her for it, but she wouldn’t accept it. I am eternally grateful and still am a few years later. The variety of her equipment pushed me to do and learn things I never would have otherwise. Every minute in my workshop is a pleasure. So when you reach the point when you can no longer enjoy your equipment, find that person who will really appreciate and benefit from it. They are out there.
I had tuns of not needed any more setting equipment and most of them were not used some were even duplicates… I donated them to a jewellery school north of where I live. In a few short days, all the $2,000.00 of setting tools were distributed to the newer jewellery students. “Why not donate them to some worthwhile person or schools”? Yes, I got a tax receipt, but in my mind, those setting tools are now being used again for the next generation.
The Enamelist Society accepts donations of enameling and jewelry making tools and auctions them off for fundraisers. So does the Society of North American Goldsmiths. If you’re not in North America, there are bound to be more local groups that do the same.
I’ve started hosting several Enameling Weekend Parties at my home and inviting people to come over and share what they know. I’m also teaching classes. I figure that I’ll know people to give my tools and supplies after a few years of doing that.