What did you get for the Holidays?

My Honey gave me a cordless Dremel, so I can more easily polish
pieces at shows, and a keyless chuck for my drill press.

What jewelry-related gift(s) did you get for the holidays this year?

Linda in central FL

I got a a new tool chest! I was using a regular plastic storage
container with drawers before that. I’m sooo happy to finally
graduate to a more professional unit :slight_smile:


My Santa, (after hearing me complain many times about my current
ones) decided to get me a really good set of dividers. So I got a
gorgeous Starret divider set. Problem is, the smallest ones they
make are 6" high.

So I have requested a shrinking ray gun in order to make them
smaller. :slight_smile: Until I get my ray gun, does anyone have suggestions
about where to get an amazing set of tiny dividers that I can pass
on to Santa?


Hi all

my daughter gave me a cutlery canteen hand made from 6 different
Australian hardwoods.

I have turned it into a wonderful jewellery display with LED lights.

The woodworker who cut me some inlays to help with the display said
it would cost $1500 to $2000 if made today. It is about 50 years old
and had the name and address of the person it was made for. My
daughter paid $40 dollars for it at a car boot market.

It is so cool it sits next to a box my dad made, a copy of a
Victorian music box with insides for jewellery. My display has never
looked better.

all the best

Where’s the pics? I got a massage oil holster from my wife. (Hint
hint) but also finally hooked up my California air, silent air
compressor. So quiet!! Love it


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What jewelry-related gift(s) did you get for the holidays this

Not what I expected. The expected part, which I got of course, was
the warmth and love of family with whom I celebrated Christmas.
Didn’t do much gift exchanges this year beyond stockings and the

The unexpected part was coming home late Christmas nite to find my
house robbed.

Set up by one of the workmen who’d been hired by my neighbor (My
neighbor is OK, and this jerk was recommended by another contractor,
so should have been Ok, but…) to help fix carpenter ant and water
damage to my roof, and who knew I’d be out of town for the two days,
and also knew that due to the repair work, I’d had to temporarily
disable the alarm system. He and one of his buddies got into the
house, went straight to the studio, straight to the safe. Along the
way, took bedding out of one bedroom first, put in front of the
safe, and they tipped it over to get to the back, which they were
able to cut into with a metal cutting grinding disk. The safe is an
almost 900 pound fridge sized high quality gun safe, but not one of
those TL-30 or more rated things (which I simply didn’t have the
money for when I bought this one, which was already almost 2K…),
so from the back, they could defeat it. And pretty much empty it.
Mostly, they got almost all the precious metal stock I had, both
scrap waiting for the refiner, new metal, working metal stock, you
name it. Gold, platinum, a little palladium. Also got a good number
of my which are mostly semiprecious things, agates,
garnets, drusy quartz, pearls, other fun but not exceptionally costly
stuff. But they got a good deal of that, and it adds up.

Also a fair quantity of diamond melee, gemstone bead strand, and all
the remaining old pieces I did back in grad school at Tyler in
'86-'88. The last hurts, but the main value is the gold and platinum
and diamonds and some of the better gems. Police have recovered some,
and we know exactly who did it. But that’s not the same as recovering
it, and it seems likely that my metals, most of the gems, my artwork.
at least, is long gone by now. Not quite what I expected for
Christmas, and to top off the perfect storm scenario of it all, I’d
been thinking, since loosing my job in September of ramping up my
home studio work to full time, and was going to get a proper
insurance policy beyond homeowners, but that’s not in place yet.
Homeowners will cover some. But likely a pretty small amount compared
to the loss. I’m guessing, at least, that with the casualty loss for
taxes, I may not own much of anything this year or for the next few.
So there’s that…

Not quite sure where I go from here. But aside from the loss, I can
also say I’m alive and healthy as ever. If I don’t go downstairs to
the studio, life seems the same, and oddly, I still feel reasonably
happy. Just a lot less secure, without the financial security of
having the metals and gems resources to work without having to buy a
bunch of stuff first, which was good because I have little in the way
of cash to work with anyway. Now not sure what will happen.

But hey. Tomorrow (or today by the time you read this) is the start
of a new year. With all that’s happened in 2014, this has got to be a
much better one.

Happy New Year to all. Including I hope, me…


Last year, my sister got a Gucci handbag from her husband and I got
a leather sandbag from my Beloved. My mother still finds this
hysterical a year later.

This year, some friends gave me a beautifully wrapped texturing
hammer, my mother paid for half my new rolling mill and a necklace
mandrel and Beloved bought an iPod dock for the workshop.


Ooooo! Starret! I love thier tools.

I use the small dividers from my fathers old draftng set. There are
many old used drafting sets ot there now that most architectural
drawng is done on a computer. You can easily find them online or at
garage sales.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

What did you get for the Holidays?" bothers me.

How about. “What did you give for the Holidays?”


What did you give for the Holidays?

I made three gifts as unique lost wax castings – a silver pendant
representing a dopamine molecule (one of the neurotransmitters that
make us happy) to my daughter, a silver pendant cast from a
eucalyptus leaf and a bunch of seed pods to my partner and a silver
pendant in the form of a sea star to my sister in law.


I made leaf pendants for my two granddaughters with a peridot and an
amethyst, respectively. Someday they’ll get tired of getting my
jewelry, but not yet. And I gave my daughter in law the ring I had
made years ago to commemorate her husband’s birth, with a card
telling the story of the ring and its stone (a family heirloom).

Janet Kofoed

Oh Peter,

My sympathies - not worth much, I fear. Your story is a sad reminder
of howwe need to be aware at all times of the potential for robbery.

Thanks for sharing, although I wish you did not have the experience
to share! Judy in Kansas, where the frosty weather makes the kitchen
pleasantly warm from cooking the black-eyed peas. It’s a southern U.
S. thing, where on New Years Day, one eats black-eyed peas for good

How absolutely dreadful. By comparison finding out that my mental
side has deteriorated dreadfully in the past year, seems like
nothing. I have had the suggestion that I should not drive anymore,
etc. etc. But after all I guess I should be content because I turn
84 before all too long. But it is still disgusting to think that my
reasoning powers are not what they used to be. Oh well, guess age
does dreadful things to some people and I seem to be one of the

But despite that little tidbit, I am otherwise healthy, my money is
still holding out (I don’t make or sell any more) AND I am
disgustingly happy that I got do to so many things in my lifetime. So
I am choosing to remember selectively, and suggest that you do
likewise. It does help tremendously, especially if I don’t, I tend to
think about all that is wrong, so I am trying very hard to think only
happy thoughts and do only happy things. To that end I spent about 4
hours out in the back yard, pruning up a hedge, and digging weeds,
and cleaning out my little fishpond so I can put fish in it again.
But anyway you look at it, it has got to feel personally awful to
come home to find your house has been robbed.

I have been spared that so far in life. And now that I am 84 and
still living alone, will give some consideration to the suggestions
that I move into an apartment complex where I can find better
security and perhaps a bit more excitement. At 84 it is questionable,
but will try it. Have lived alone so long that I hardly know what it
is like to live with anyone. But I do understand that living in an
apartment complex brings more friendships and more company than
living in a house alone!

So guess everyone has their problems. But I am finding good homes for
all my equipment and so far it has been at schools or in particular
in jewelry related circumstances. I no longer make things, my hands
just won’t function and my brain gets easily distracted. So, I have
given many of my tools away to jewelry schools, at least I can write
them off my taxes! And I am healthy in other ways. AND ONE MUST NOT

Just think, the other choice would be to be poor, ill, or
handicapped, so I try very hard to continue to think happy and good
thoughts. And I still give at least 8 hours a week in volunteer work,
and when I can afford it, I still make pillowcases for the kids with
cancer. Keeps me sane and keeps reminding me that I had a happy
childhood (poor but happy) and when I look at the kids that have
cancer, my heart cries softly and I remember all my blessings. So I
think all of us have things that we could do without, things that we
should be happy to have, and to have had, and most of all we should
be most grateful for the free things like Orchid, which I have
enjoyed for literally years.

Have a very happy New Year and join with me in focusing on the good
things and minimizing the bad things. After all we have been able to
create and can still in our minds create. Think what a wonderful gift
that has been. There are so many people out there who may have money,
but can’t draw a straight line with a ruler! Give me a break. Money
cannot buy what we as a group have - creativity! How wonderful.

So I say, to heck with all the bad things that will occasionally
happen and let’s be grateful that we have been able to be creative.
Think of all the people who have NEVER had the opportunity to create
something original, something that no one else has ever done or at
least done in the same way as we are doing it. I think that’s
wonderful, so please let’s not forget that we are one creative group
of people and that, my friends, is worth an unbelievable amount. Plus
I in particular think long and hard about all those who have cancer,
or some other dreadful health issue. I still have relatively good
health and I am sturdy and strong.

May the New Year bring success where needed, solace where needed, and
let’s be grateful for what we have, big or small, lots or little, but
we do have creativity - that’s for sure - and not everyone can claim

Have a good year, to all of you,

Our Rock Club has a member (9 years old) who needs to have surgery
to repair a birth defect in her kidneys. I told my family that I was
not giving gifts to the adults but would donate to Edy’s surgery. I
asked them to do the same. To read more about Edy :
[ Thank U for helping Edy pay for Surgery, Expenses by Rose Irlbeck ]

Dang, I am so sorry to hear of your financial loss. Never a good
thing, but at Christmas it is especially hard to take. Hope you get
more of the items back and best wishes for a better New Year.


Hi Gang,

Other than a nasty case of the flu, I didn’t get much jewelry
related this year. Well, I did tumble on to a stash of rare parts
for one of my antique lathes, but given as I ended up paying full
Ebay prices for them, I’d hardly call that a gift. (At least not a
gift to me.)

Mostly I wanted to say that Starrett does make dividers smaller than
6". All the way down to 2", but those are hard to find. 3" are the
smallest of the common ones.

Having a set of the 2" Starretts, as well as a set of the $15 3"
German ones that Rio and Frei’s carry, go for the $20 German ones.
They’ll do just nicely until a set of the Starretts floats by. Took
20+ years in my case. The critical thing about the German dividers
(the ones that are made up out of 6mm square steel bar) is that they
can’t deflect sideways. At small sizes, that can totally ruin your
measurements. Being able to replace the tips is nice, but not
deflecting sideways is key.

Links for the dividers I was talking about:

Link for 3" Starrett dividers.

Good luck on the 2" dividers. From what I understand, they only make
a batch every few years.


Dearest Kay,

I am bathed in tears, quite overwhelmed by your words! Thank you for
taking the time to write these words. I wish you a very happy and
exciting 2015! Katja

How about. "What did you *give* for the Holidays?" 

We made lunches for the homeless. Presumably the OP was interested
in what people got because those might be cool metalsmithing tools
we can geek out about and probably most of us don’t give tools.


Oh dear Peter, so sorry to learn about your studio being robbed.
Wishing youa much better New Year.


Peter I am very sorry to hear about your loss. If you got part of it
back, how come the police couldn’t get more of it? Especially if
they know who did it. I wish you the best of luck for getting your
possessions back. At one point in time, stealing someone’s
livelihood was grounds for… Sam