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Supply shops near Chicago?

Hi everyone, I have done most of my shopping for supplies online and
I was wondering if anyone knows of any walk in supply shops in the
Chicago land area (and if there really good anywhere in Illinois, has
to be worth the drive though). I found Bartlett & Co inc ( ) I have never done any shopping with them but
they look good, they are only about a 45 minute drive from me but
every time I call there number no one picks up and there voicemail is
always full, has anyone done business with them ? It would certainly
save me some money on shipping and I wouldn’t have to wait for it to
be mailed. Any would be appreciated.

Michael Woltmann


There are supply shops in Chicago. You might consider SEP Jewelry
Tools of Chicago. They are located at 5 S. Wabash in Suite 514 and
their phone number is (312)541-4554. Robert or Gabby should be able
to assist you with your needs. They have a full show room and supply

Marti Hunyor
Marketing Manager
Ransom & Randolph

In downtown Chicago we have:

Newell Mfg.
30 E. Adams St. 12th floor
Chicago, IL  60606
(312) 236-2789

5 S. Wabash
Chicago, IL

Charles A. Dworkin and Co.
5 S. Wabash
Chicago, IL

SEP Tools #514

(they have a website, but it doesn’t show everything they carry) 5 S.

Chicago, IL
(312) 541-4545

SEP gives a 5% discount to members of the Chicago Metal Arts Guild,
by the way.

Have I missed any area suppliers?

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Studio 925; established 1992

I did a fairly thorough search last winter. There are few if any
Chicago area Jewelry material suppliers with a storefront anymore. I
used to buy from Bartlett’s when I or my husband worked downtown. I
did reach them on the phone last winter and was told that they no
longer do any walk-in sales: everything is mailorder or internet
sales. Apparently it is not cost-effective to staff a store. In the
north suburbs, Wheeling, there was a store called Forslev’s for
years. They, too, are now all internet sales. They are now in
Libertyville. At least if you order from them it should not take
days to arrive (one hopes). They did carry a good assortment of
supplies, and prices were not bad, if not the very cheapest. I have
not ordered from them in a while.

Last winter I opened up the yellow pages and called every place I
could find. I spent half a day calling (I was desperate for Liver Of
Sulfur ASAP). Since the jeweler’s building (Maller’s Building, full
of small trade shops, stone dealers, and repair shops)is downtown,
I’m convinced there must be a walk-in location somewhere downtown to
cater to what they need in a hurry. I no longer know anyone who
works downtown. Someday, when I’m there anyway to go to an exhibit
at the Art Institute, I plan to walk in, go from shop to shop, and
ask. Of course, I’m assuming that the jeweler’s building is still
there! That was the place that had the big explosion and fire a year
ago last October, but I heard it had not been shut down.

I did finally find my LOS at a place called SEP Tools, on Wabash,
near Monroe. My husband ran the errand: he did not look to see if
they looked like a full supply house. I assume not.

Depending on what you are looking for, some bead shops carry some
supplies, especially since more people are doing PMC. I have found
some stocking limited silver sheet and wire, simple tools, etc. But
you’ll pay a lot more at a bead shop, probably offset by what you’d
pay to have something overnighted from a catalog. In Evanston there
was a rock shop Called “Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop”, that
carried some things. I spent all my spare change there in college. I
think it’s still there. There’s some Evanstonians on list: perhaps
they know.

If you find something, please post it! I’m sure there’s a need.

—Lin Lahlum

Yes, Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop is still there in Evanston,
Illinois and SEP tools is a complete supply house. They sell
equipment and supplies.

Here’s the website I found for Forslev’s:

Is this the correct one?

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Studio 925; established 1992

In Evanston there was a rock shop Called "Dave's Down to Earth
Rock Shop", that carried some things. I spent all my spare change
there in college. I think it's still there. There's some
Evanstonians on list: perhaps they know. 

Yes, Dave’s is still there and going strong (closed on Wednesday and
Sunday). He carries wire, sheet, sawblades, some tools, rough, and a
wonderful variety of reasonably-priced stones, especially cabs.
Friendly, helpful staff. Various organizations get a discount (10%,
I think) including the Evanston Art Center, but I suspect that
almost any affiliation you mention will do, as will a resale number.
This is one of those local businesses I’m delighted to support.

I’m told that Tom Thumb, a hobby shop in Evanston, also carries
sheet and wire plus findings, and many beads. Plus Chelsea’s Beads
in Highland Park, though I haven’t been there.

Whether any of them have things like etching mordant or liver of
sulfur I don’t know. Dave’s seems the best shot.