Amy - What a marvelous problem to have.
So far on the list - folks have suggested good basic things-
Can you narrow down what you want to do as you begin this journey?
Probably the best thing you can do at this point is sign up and pay
for several classes - Go to Revere and take two or three in most any
thing. Get a Bonny Doon class, and one from GRS. Or take a semester
at your local college. Or we have a good resource here in Denver -
the Sweetman Allen studio - that offers all kinds of classes,
including private and semi-private instruction. Their studio is
exceptionally well equipped so you can see much of what is available.
That said - you probably have all the basic technique stuff so - here
is my list.
Get a bench shear - a decent 12 inch guillotine shear - Durston is
top of the line, next down is a Pepe. I bought mine used and had the
blades sharpened. See Rio or Otto Frei or Contenti
The BonnyDoon press is invaluable - the press is the smallest part
of the expense - all the tooling really runs up the cost and don’t do
any of it until you take a class in its use. Include the electric
device for the ram. David Anderson really knows the device and is a
good teacher - among many. Cynthia Eid is another good one. I think
of my press as one big hammer…
Spring for a really good bench - Otto Frei has marvelous ones = the
double bank is a treat. Rio also has a double bank, but doesn’t ship
If you think you might be interested in engraving or fancy stone
setting, look at the GRS equipment from Glendo Corporation. I
especially like their very quiet compressor. Sign up for an engraving
class from them first - and then you will know if you like it, and
what to buy. An engraving ball is marvelous for all kinds of setting
stones as well as engraving.
Get a second flex shaft with a quick change handpiece.
A big red tool chest from Sears with lots of drawers. The tall one
in two pieces.
For lapidary work, a Geni six wheel diamond lapidary. A good trim
saw. I also like the All in One lapidary system for flat work.
A big no nonsense vise - five inch jaws.
A good anvil minimum 70 pound = check the Orchid archives, someone
recently got one and was all excited about how good it is.
A complete set of tumblers - the see thru rotary, a 5 or 6 quart
vibratory, and a 6 inch magnetic finisher. Polishing this stuff by
hand, even with terrific vacuum collection is not healthy. Use mass
finishing to save your lungs and manicure.
You mentioned a hood - get a good one and mount it close to your
soldering surface - I choose not to solder at my bench, but rather at
a separate station just to the right. If I had to do it over, I would
have gone to the highend kitchen appliance place and bought a dented
vent-a-hood or something similar. They really move air. But I have
survived for 15 years with a basic stove hood, vented to the outside.
Some really sturdy benches - right now Sams Club has some great
ones, steel with maple tops, some with storage.
Sign up for the periodicals in the field - MJSA Journal, Metalsmith,
Jewelry Artist, and maybe Art jewelry.
And don’t forget to include a basic stash of metal. As you start you
will probably want sheet, wire and bezel stock in silver. And maybe
If you plan to sell your work - how will you start? For that you
will need a tent (dome), and display cases.
So, I’ve spent your 20,000 and then some. Enjoy.
Just so you know - I did buy all that stuff and more over the past
years, and now am moving so that I can have a big enough space for
all of it. I didn’t have a trust fund, the money came from selling