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:
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.
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
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.
Dave Sebaste Sebaste Studio and Carolina Artisans’ Gallery Charlotte,
NC (USA) firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.CarolinaArtisans.com