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The time has come!

I am once again going to broach this subject. I finally believe
Orchid should charge a minimum membership fee to be getting this
site. It pains me for Hanuman to be put in the position of having
to solicit funds to keep this a free site. What must he do in the
meantime, use all his personal funds so everyone else can benefit
from his generosity of funds and time. I have volunteered to be
helpful in soliciting funds but I think the time has come for all to
ask ourselves what the best solution would be. If you are happy with
Orchid and have received all the benefits it has to offer(thanks to
one person) then as all the pundits have said"Step up to the Plate"
and pay some dues. If not,then you don’t have to subscribe.Twenty
five or Thirty Dollars a year isn’t too much to ask and I’m sure we
could all manage it. Meanwhile,all the companies that benefit from
this site should also help. We, that support these companies should
remind them of how much business they receive from us. In this
Holiday season of Thanksgiving,we should give thanks to Dr. Aspler
for all he has done for us and take it upon ourselves to do the
proper thing. My Heartful Thanks to you for brighting up the days of
an older person. Louise Gerstenblatt @LGOriginal

Louise, Regarding your comments below, I can’t agree more. Haven’t
we all gotten valuable advice, experienced opinions, useful tips,
new resources, and made new cyber-friends through Orchid??

  "I finally believe Orchid should charge a minimum membership fee
to be getting this site. ... If you are happy with Orchid and have
received all the benefits it has to offer(thanks to one person)
then as all the pundits have said"Step up to the Plate" and pay
some dues.
Your point about the businesses that have benefited from exposure

on Orchid is well taken, and when I next order from Stullers, Rio,
Swest, etc., I will add comments to the effect that they are getting
new orders due to Orchid members reporting on their stock, service,
etc. We all can make that point - especially when following it with
an order! My US$.02, Judy in Kansas, where winter weather has
finally arrived. Brrrr.

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936

I agree with Louise. It is time for all of us to pay our dues.
Think of your $25 or $30 as if you were subscribing to the most
wonderful helpful magazine available. If everyone sent in $20 or
$30 every Christmas----in order to “renew their subscription.” it
would be the best way to help keep this site available and to
express our thanks to Hanuman. Where else can you find a "magazine"
that has ongoing questions and answers and access to the finest
professional help available at just the click of a mouse. THANK YOU
Dr Aspler Please post your mailing address again so that we know
where to send our checks.With gratitude–Alma Rands

Call me naive if you wish, I still believe that Orchid should stay
free. From other sites experience, charging fees for orchid will
leave us with less than a 100 members…

Time will come when the Internet service will be able to stay online
earnings from advertising and subscription fees. In the mean time, I
urge you to help Ganoksin to stay online until time will come…

Your host

I will have to apologize in advance to someone… you know who you
are… for publicizing this suggestion before it’s had a chance to go
through the proper channels. It seems to me the timing has been

I know there are a lot of SNAG (Society of North American
Goldsmiths) members in our Orchid community. Furthermore, I know for
a fact many of you feel like I do that this is one of the rare and
wonderful opportunities we have to connect with kindred souls… on a
daily basis. It is also, by far the most remarkable resource I have
at my disposal.

I certainly recognize and appreciate the time, expense and resources
our esteemed host Hanuman has invested in this forum over the years.
I’ve been a member since there were about thirty (I’m guessing) of
us. I agree Dr. Aspler shouldn’t have to shoulder this burden
further. Also, like many of us, my business is tight as I try to
build and justify expenses.

Having said that, let me say that I feel quite strongly that this
should remain an unrestricted, no-fee community. Voluntary
contributions, advertising, sponsorships and such should be welcomed.
To require a membership will restrict the community, a mostly silent
majority, while adding a level of administration and increasing

The very people who would be eliminated from our wonderful community
would be those who benefit the most. Those who can barely afford the
internet connection and the tools and supplies they need… much less
a subscription fee… would be cast adrift. I have always applauded
this community as an example of what the Internet was meant to me: a
wonderful and supportive community of open people. I’ve been on other
forums that do not meet this standard.

For those of you who have had the stomach to read this far, my
suggestion has two points, which may have been explored to some
degree at this point:

  1. SNAG/Orchid members should rally to create a movement within the
    organization - coupled with an executive committee presentation,
    etc., to create an endowment for the Orchid forum. It’s the dawn of a
    new Millennium folks… this is a significant development and a
    serious resource for the metalsmith/artist/student.

  2. If the assistance is welcomed, offer to create a volunteer
    committee to alleviate our host’s workload. An individual, or team to
    work with Hanuman to understand “screening” protocol and offload
    filtering demands; people to manage additions and updates to the
    gallery, etc. By the way, I have to add I’ve really enjoyed the
    new material!

In summary, I feel it is really important to keep this a free
community to maintain its inherent value to society and its texture
and character. Its not so much for me that I worry, but for those who
are just now finding us.

'Nuff said.


Dave Sebaste Sebaste Studio and Carolina Artisans’ Gallery Charlotte,

Hanuman, you are an idealist and I think that’s wonderful. I’ve
donated once and if I can remember what time of year I did, I will
repeat it annually. If I were just web browsing and came across this
site but couldn’t get into it without paying a fee, I wouldn’t do it.
I think that you are right when you say that the membership would
shrink and that would lessen the resource base.

Marilyn /smith

Hey, why not make it a donation thing then. Then we can really
separate the helped from the helpless! And the site could remain
free as Hanuman desires. But I’m sure all you jewelers out there
have been doing that for years or wanting to at least. Wouldn’t that
be a no lose situation, and not difficult to handle?

                                    soulwood jewelry

I believe I will set the timing of my donations to coincide with my
Lapidary Journal renewals. And, I will “donate” at least as much
as I pay for the excellent monthly magazine. As stated before “My 2
cents worth”. Regis

Dave and all,

Can’t disagree with anything specific Dave said. But there are
other sources as well. I am quite active in a couple of local SOFL
Gem and Mineral Societies, a growing art school and other ‘jewelry
art’ venues. I take every chance to tell our gem and mineral as well
as fledgling gold/silver smith people about Orchid. I suspect there
may be many hobbiest or rock hound level people out there in gem and
mineral societies, bead societies, enameling societies, you name it,
who at one time or another, come to Orchid for answers.

Why not also call on these various societies and their parent
national or regional level counterparts to provide some support to
Orchid as well? We all pay dues to them and if even half of these
organizations would provide $.50 per head to Orchid, Hanuman could
take a nice vacation each year!

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut