Thank you Orchid & Wayne Emery for my apprenticeship

I want to thank Wayne Emery, and Orchid forum for helping me in my
search for an apprenticeship with an honest, caring, friendly and
knowledgeable jeweler.

When Voc Rehab suggested trying an apprenticeship again, I was
hesitant. There has been a few times in the past when someone offers
to help me, but ended in not really learning the trade, unless I
wanted to enter the trade of roof repair or Ebay sales.

But I hit the bricks anyway and started to inquire locally. Not much
luck, but one person said they would do it, but he wanted $10
dollars and hour and would only let me watch him work for a couple
hours a week as long as I didn’t bother him!! If I had that kind of
funding, I would go to a jewelry school. That is when I posted here
on Orchid, and Wayne suggested a friend of his, J. Bennett, a custom
jeweler and really great person.

I realize it’s a large risk for a jeweler to take on a new person.
Not just the risk of possible theft, but the time and effort to train
them, not to mention the annoyance time of an apprentice or possible
bad interaction with other employees and customers. Then there is my
past experience with a few who offered to help in the past. Was I to
be used as another handy man, and what if anything would I loose this

I have to say, that after my first weeks apprenticeship, I still
worry that I will mess things up, but I don’t worry about being used
or anything else happening again like in the past. This is a person
who not only cares about people, he is a very detail oriented
craftsman. I don’t think I will ever hear anyone at his shop say “
that’s good enough”. In his shop its either perfect, or its done
over! I love that kind of atmosphere. And everyone there is very
open and willing to teach me. My bench was set up right next to his
master jeweler, who is training me and she includes me in every step
of everything she is doing. Im never chased away because they anyone
is busy. Im included, and that is more than I could have wished for.
They will be teaching me everything they can, including how to use
Matrix software and his Gem-vision mill. Joel even said if I do
well, after a one year apprenticeship I might be hired and sent to
Blaine Lewis for the Gemstone setting classes! I couldn’t ask for a
more fantastic place, or more enthusiastic and caring group of people
to learn from. Heck, he even buys everyone’s lunch and supplies the
coffee every single day! Now its just up to me to make sure I don’t
mess this up, because I think it will be very difficult to find
another place like J. Bennett. I couldn’t have prayed or wished for
a better place to apprentice at, and I definitely never expected it
to find me! There is hope once again that I can enter the work force
and be a much better father to my daughters. My daughters and I would
like to thank all of you. Thank you Orchid & Wayne Emery for helping
in my apprenticeship, and thank you Joel Ragan for allowing me to
learn from you and your staff. I hope I can make you all proud.

Daniel Hamilton

this is exactly the kind of thing that makes me turn on this machine
and take time out from creating jewelry…congratulations and the
best of luck to you in your new found nirvana on earth. There are
many ‘Orchidieans’ i’d like to thank as well…without whom i could
not create anything after the flooding following hurricane katrina
last year wiped out my New Orleans home and studio…Of all the
jewelery related sites out there ganoksin is the most valuable…with
the exception of a few curmudgeons who can always be counted on to
show their truest colours -and imply their superiority over the rest
of us- the other 99 point something % seem to be wonderful people who
are genuinely willing to share a collective vast knowledge and foster
a spirit of propogating the art and craft and passion involved in
jewelerymaking. Here’s to health to this divers company of artisans
and long may the intimately annonymous tool we share on the internet

I want to thank Wayne Emery, and Orchid forum for helping me in my
search for an apprenticeship with an honest, caring, friendly and
knowledgeable jeweler. 

I just love this sort of thing! There gets to be so much strife,
argument, and negativity in the world, and on this forum, sometimes.
This is the sort of thing that “keeps me going”. Thanks for taking
the time to share, Daniel. Let’s all keep helping each other! Best
wishes to all,

Cynthia Eid

Hello Daniel Hamilton,

I’m delighted that you have found such a wonderful learning
environment and Kudos to J. Bennet for his consideration in offering
the opportunity. All the best and with greatest respect,

Judy in Kansas

Oh, Daniel, I am so happy that you and Joel were able to get
together! I certainly wish each of you continued success in all of
your endeavors. Hopefully, your experineces of the recent past will
become more distant and you will achive success in your new chosen

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help. Drop me a line once
in a while and let me know how it is going.

One of these days I’ll probably pas through St Louis again and I’ll
make a point of coming by the store to visit. Meanwhile, give my
best to Joel and please say hello to my very, very dear friend Lori.

Thanks again and good luck with your new job!

Isn’t Orchid wonderful?

Wayne Emery