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[Welcome] New Members for December 5, 2009


Please welcome our newest members!

Gideon Lessing
Auckland, New Zealand

I am a technology teacher, making jewellery as a hobby. Living in
the beautiful New Zealand with my wife and 2 children.

Linda S Spencer
Anchorage, Alaska. USA

Hello friends. Jewelry has been good to me. Thirty seven years ago I
was newly divorced, with a baby in my arms, and no way to support
myself. I began making earrings from twisted wire, glue and beads. I
bought tools as I could afford, one at a time, and increased my
skills by reading books and experimenting. Selling my creations at
Seattle’s Pike Place Market and art shows made it possible to get
off welfare, buy a house, and set up a workshop in my basement.
Several years later, I was designing jewelry, producing waxes and
precious metal castings for other jewelers. Ah, but love and
sentiment brought me to Alaska, where my jewelry business remained in
storage cartons, even as love fizzled out. I turned to real estate,
then computers. But hardships complicated life. A head injury. An
injured Achilles and a wheelchair for over a year. Then cancer. And
finally, a hot water leak that destroyed my home while I was out of
town. I returned to find nearly everything covered with black mold.
The loss was not insured.

At age 59, I was homeless, with no income, and had lost everything I
spent a lifetime building. I slept in my car. When it was towed
away, I slept at shelters, then a tent outside. For two years, I had
no income, and soon my savings were gone. I depended on donated food
for survival, and developed pernicious anemia, severe malnutrition,
diabetes, and heart disease, untimately became unable to walk
without a walker. I thought my life was over.

But after a year “on the streets”, I was fortunate to be given a room
in a non-profit motel, paid for by a local charity until I began
receiving disability payments and food stamps. Medicaid made it
possible to have more cancer surgery. Outstanding care providers
helping me to begin reclaiming good health.

Now I have my own apartment. After three years of being homeless, I
am grateful to be alive and safe. So it’s back to where I began 37
years ago - this time, older and wiser, and with a few health
problems. But I never stopped being a jeweler. A new indoor
year-round marketplace just opene d up, the first one ever in
Anchorage. The opportunity I’ve been looking for. And I know the
drill: Start small and buy one tool at a time. Live for the beauty of
the metal and the gems. Create designs that fill the eye and heart
with joy. Experiment with new technology. And make friends with
people who share the passion. So here I am, eager to get started
again… anyone have any used tools and equipment for sale? :wink:

Melissa M Steele
Wearing Words Jewelry
Fulton, Ms. USA

I am a newbie to the jewelry world. I started making hand stamped
jewelry July 2009. One of the biggest obstacles I have learned is
finding reputable wholesale sources.

Johnny Ray Hicks
JONRAY Jewelry
Pflugerville, Texas. USA

I have been doing metalworking and teaching for over 30 years. I have
recently gone from silverwork to stainless steel and titanium. My
work is very contemporary with a Southwest influence since I lived in
Santa Fe for 18 years.