Silversmithing and lapidary work in NC

Was: New Members for April 6, 2009

I recently moved to Durham, NC and have not been able to find
other jewelry hobbyists. I moved from Hendersonville, NC, where
instruction and studio space were available. I would appreciate
about this area concerning silversmithing and lapidary
work. Thanks, Marion 

Hi Marion. Welcome to NC. There is a hobbyist community here in the
Triangle. Your post is well timed. There’s a pot luck social planned
for Sunday April 19 with the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths.
The group has many very dedicated hobbyists and they would welcome
new members at the event. Visit their website for
directions to the pot luck. I’m a past vice-president of the group
and have taught workshops for them, so I know most of the members.

I’d love to talk to you about your experiences in Hendersonville. I
currently have work at Miya Gallery in Hendersonville and have been
curious about the metals community there. Don’t hesitate to contact
me off-line.

Cary, NC

Hi Marion. Unfortunately the web site is not up to date. Contact me
off line and I’ll send you details.

John Fetvedt

Hi Marion. The Florida Society of Goldsmiths is hosting 2 workshops
at Wildacres in NC this year. We have members all across the country
and several in N. Carolina. We are having a Modern Masters Workshop
in October and welcome hobbyists. Our non-profit education group was
founded by Phil London because SNAG wouldn’t let a hobbyist join.

Michael Boyd Stone in Stone
Patsy Croft- Plique a Jour Enameling
Arline Fisch Textile Techniques in Metal
Harold O’Connor Surface Embellishment
Deb Stoner Making a Spectacle
FSG Modern Masters Workshop
October 26 November 1
$900 for 5 days of
classes, meals & rooming for more details. I hope you can join us and meet your
neighbors too!

Jean Marie DeSpiegler

There are two other groups that teach jewelry-making workshops at

These are the Eastern Federation of Lapidary and Mineralogical
Societies (EFMLS) and the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical
Societies (SFMS). These are both members of the American Federation
of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) and you can find out about the
workshops by going to the web sites PLEASE NOTE NEW ADDRESS or
Redirect to the new SFMS website On either federation home page you will
find links to workshops. If you want to find out what Wildacres is
like, go to and look at the pictures.

Both federations allow non members to attend their jewelry workshops
on a space available basis but the best way is to join a local club
and attend as a member. There are local gem and mineral clubs in
Durham, NC and Chapel Hill, NC. Contacts are shown on the SFMS web
site or you might go to A significant
percentage of the gem and mineral clubs are interested in jewelry
making and some professional jewelers actually teach at
theirworkshops. Do check them out or contact me for more details.


By the way, Harold O’Connor is another master worth recommending too

  • Anything he teaches is worth the travel and expenses. His broad
    knowledge base and years of experience show in his abilities to
    communicate a virtual compendium of that exists within
    his brain to students. Courses taken with Harold O’Connor transcends
    the notion someone put forth a few years back in a discussion of
    metalsmithing and the proliferation of jewelry making schools among
    "professional" art jewelers and goldsmiths that attending
    metalsmithing and related schools at all simply serves to glorify the
    teacher rather than improving one’s actual skills.- In Harold’s case,
    (as well as Patsy’s) ego does not cross the classroom’s thresholds…
    all the usual disclaimers apply i get nothing for endorsing anyone or
    any school…rer