Where do you find the time for Orchid?

I’ve been asked several times online and off, and I’ve even seen the
question posted recently, “Where do you find the time for Orchid?”

The question being asked really seems to mean “Don’t you have more
important things to do?”

Someone smarter than I am once said that we find the time for that
which we consider to be important. I consider Orchid to be very
important to me and the business I’m in. I also think that people
that are new to our trade are very important to the future and that
it’s important for me to do what I can to help them find their way
and at the same time avoid some of the pitfalls I have fallen into,
paying back those that have helped me along the way. I have found
that the advice that I have received from other Orchidians that seem
to feel the same as I do about this (some giving answers to
questions I never would have even thought to ask) is very important
and has changed some of the ways I do things. It has saved me time,
improved my health, given me perspectives and insight into facets of
the trade I’m not that familiar with and just plain made my chosen
path that much easier. The day I think I can no longer learn
anything important from participating in the Orchid conversation is
the day I quit doing jewelry. May that day never come.

Plus, it’s fun to compare notes with all of you. Thank you Hanuman
and all the others that provide the Orchid forum. Thank you
Orchidians for finding the time to participate. I know how hard it
can be to find that time, and I for one, really appreciate all of


I was in my 40’s when I started learning to do silver work. Armed
with a oxy/acetylene torch and a couple of books I began what turned
out to be years of trial and error, error and more error. I spent
hours at libraries and bought more books over the years. I was in a
small shop one day where the jeweler was working where people could
watch. I asked a question that was gruffly answered. I asked another.
He glared at me and informed me that he had not gone to school so
that he could give away what he had learned for nothing. That stuck
with me.

I have made it a point to demonstrate whenever I am doing a show. If
it’s not possible to bring my torch I do cold connections. It’s rare
not to have a mini-workshop. The ages of the “students” range from 5
to 60+. Am I paid for these lessons? You bet! The smiles and
expressions of pride are worth a fortune.

So I am grateful for those of you who have written the books. for
Oppi Untracht, who will continue to share through his writings. I
thank all of you who answer and those who question. A special thanks
goes to Hanuman who keeps all of this going.

Brownfield, TX

Hi Dave,

I agree with your sentiment wholeheartedly. Since joining Orchid
last year, I can’t count the number of things I’ve learned from the
good folks on this forum, and I would also not want to do without the
warm friendships that I’ve found via Orchid. It probably takes up a
couple or three hours per day to read through all the posts and reply
to some of them, but the experience is invaluable.

I like to wake up and start reading a few of the Orchid posts with
my morning coffee in bed, then I get up and continue the day at the
bench. My first thing in the morning dose of Orchid sets me up and
gets me in the right frame of mind for the ensuing creativity. Then
after tea, when relaxing with my husband, I read and reply to the
remaining Orchid posts. For me it is an integral part of the whole

If I hadn’t joined Orchid, I’d still be struggling along by myself,
still making a great many more mistakes than I do, and I’d be
nowhere near the stage I’ve reached now, with the help of Orchid.

Orchid definitely rocks!


Ahhh, where do we find the time???

Well, I make the time even when I have 234 messages waiting for me.
In California I don’t get messages till the late afternoon, so I
read just before going to bed and it relaxes me. Ganoksin, has been
and still is a wealth of terrific for both the unskilled
and the skilled. At the Orchid dinners we meet one another and boy
THAT IS rewarding.

Thank you Hanuman and Charles for providing us with this great board
for voicing ourselves.

Additionally, Ganoksin (Orchid) cannot exist without additional
funds from all of us and we MUST and NEED to contribute. Otherwise it
will cease to exist. Hanuman has used alot of his own funds to keep
this board up. You can go to the Ganoksin website and click on
“contribute”. this will be Incredibly appreciated. Another way to
contribute is to buy tickets for the Orchid Dinner that is held
yearly in Tucson, AZ.

jennifer friedman

As a former education head (addicted to school and learning), I am
constantly searching for answers. I am sooo thankful I have found
you all. I scroll through the posts daily and open ones I believe to
be vital to my educational process. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that
if I have a question, I can put it out there into the world via
Orchid and you all are so educated, smart, and experienced, I get
quick answers and solutions to my questions/problems.

What a great concept! Keep the info flowing!? I love you all!? :slight_smile:


I asked a question that was gruffly answered. I asked another. He
glared at me and informed me that he had not gone to school so that
he could give away what he had learned for nothing. 

Fortunately I haven’t ran across that attitude. I have some good
friends who are very experienced bench jewelers and jewelry store
owners. All independent business people. They have always shared
with me. But you have to remember. Time is money. The
time they are talking with you is productive time lost. Don’t go to
the well too often or you might wear out your welcome.

I was talking to a customer who teaches wirewrap and beading. She
said she doesn’t keep trade secrets. Feels it’s bad Karma. I agree. I
have given advice to people who are now my competitors at shows. And
some times they copy my designs and styles or use a feature that I
use in my work but they don’t quite pull it off and doesn’t look the
same. I do demonstrations all the time for the local rock club for
people who are interested in making jewerly. Most of the time the
concepts are lost on them and some are set in there ways, “This is
how I learned to do it in…”. A lot of the concepts I learned here
on Orchid. Thank you Hanuman, Ton, and Blain.

BTW I read some Orchid in the morning and some at night. I have
rules set up in Outlook the automatically places Orchid mail in a
folder so it’s there waiting for my consumption.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Hi David,

I don’t know where I find the time, but I do. As a fledging
silversmith, it is easy to scan the subject line and delete the
things I don’t think I’ll use. If I don’t know what something is, its
easy to read a few entries and decide to keep reading. I don’t read
things about the flask temp. for gold or the split lap debate. I
can’t aford the first and am scared (and don’t have enough production
to justify) the other.

Jo T

I also have rules set up in my Mac Mail to put all Orchid posts in
their own folder. I used to do the digest, but find that individual
posts allow me to save and sort the ones that are the most helpful,
and that I think I may go back to. I plan (don’t hold your breath!)
to sort them into folders by topic, so if I’m looking for ways to
color silver those tips are all together, etc. Haven’t actually done
that yet.

I do go through them using the search mechanism in mail when I’m
undertaking a project that has bits I’m less certain of, or if I
think I remember a post relating to what I’m going to do. Then I copy
all the relevant tips into Word and print them out to have by my

Orchid is also good reading for me in the middle of the night when I
have insomnia, since that is when the e-mails actually start coming.
Takes my mind off other worries.

Beth in SC/NC

I plan (don't hold your breath!) to sort them into folders by

I started out saving all “important” Orchid posts in an “Orchid”
folder. I even printed them. Useless!

Now, I hope I’ll remember I should check the archives for anything I
want to know. For really important things, I have individual folders
I save directly into after I read-- “equipment”, “techniques”,
“tips”, “markets”, etc. I can’t say I go in and look at these often,
but I save them just the same!


At this point in my life I find myself responsible for training and
encouraging the self education of 12 goldsmiths, along with doing my
own work. I am regularly copying and e-mailing all of them posts
from Orchid to enlighten, encourage and entertain them. Really to
show them that there is a great big jewelry universe out there if
they only look beyond their benches. So not only is Orchid enriching
to my life personally, but it makes my day job easier and makes me
seem a little smarter than I really am. And boy, I can use all of the
help I can get!


Passion, in what ever form or desire is just that…passion. It is
what drives us to keep doing what we do. Finding the time for
Orchid, carving out that 20 minutes to scan over the myriad of
subject threads does not take up much of my day. I might not be able
to do this every day, but thanks to the infrastructure of Orchid’s
friendly moderated forum style, it is much easier than some of the
other forums I read. Now carving the time for blogs, forums, news,
email, friend’s Utube selections, could take up a whole day. The
question is where do you spend your time and how much. What is most
valuable to you?

This weekend I spent my time with a very good friend in Connecticut
who is also very busy. His calendar (he’s a research
neuropsychiatrist at Yale) would make your head dizzy. So for us to
find one weekend of blissful and quality time together means no
internet for me. However, the time we spent together was precious.

Orchid is the pinnacle of friendship, knowledge, community,
education, critique, pats on the back and content
sharing. I make it a priority, so much so, that I am also the
Ganoksin Raffle Organizer (which you will hear about soon).

Personally, I have made a career out of reading and sharing with
Orchid. From Metalwerx to a Flex Shaft Book (still the best seller
for MJSA) and now Cleverwerx. Many of you out there have written to
me, sharing my excitement of bringing a new school together and now
a new business venture. Where would I be without Orchid and its’
friends and support. Not where I am now, that is for sure.

So the answer is, first decide what is important to you. Orchid is
important and I make the time.

Karen Christians
Waltham, MA

Hi Jennifer,

I second all your sentiments about supporting Orchid/Ganoksin. Let me
add that even if you can’t make the dinner in Tucson, you CAN send
items for the silent auction. Much appreciated and bringing high
bids are tools and unique stones. I’m a fan of the unusual cabs and
always seem to bid on them! Keep on tempting me.

Judy in Kansas, who will be heading to Colorado in a week to enjoy
cooler weather and do a show.

I’ve taken the folder route also and it works beautifully. Orchid has
become a combo reference library/training school. In “My Folders” I
began with a Jewelry-General folder. When, for instance, I queried
all of you about electric solder equipment, I created a folder Solder
Equip. Then went on to Solder Techniques, Materials, etc. As I read
the daily emails, it’s easy to move what I want to save into
appropriate folders for repe= ated reading as needed. I hopefully
will not, then, be one of those who asks questions that have been
answered 10x.

As to time, I run a residential program for homeless/working poor,
work sometimes 60 hours weeks, care for a mother with dementia who
lives w/husband and me, and find time to do the things that nurture
my creative side, including jewelry making the past year. I’ve
recently begun teaching and that is even more satisfying, to pass on
this love of creating something of one’s own. As so many of you
already have said, we find time as we choose. Blessings to all - I
greet you each morning about 4:30 a.m. before anyone else is awake
and enjoy Orchid with my first espresso!

Cynthia H. Sinclair

As a fledging silversmith, it is easy to scan the subject line and
delete the things I don't think I'll use. 

If you do this, you miss all kinds of wisdom kernels hidden in
threads that, on the surface, don’t seem to apply to you. Threads
take weird turns as they evolve, and often encompass much different
topics than the subject line would indicate. That’s why I prefer the
digest, because it’s easier to scan through even the threads normally
not on your radar. And I always find time for Orchid! Contribute!

Allan Mason

By rough calculation in the past year I have spent about 100 hours
on Orchid. (Good God I must be obsessed!). That’s two working weeks.
There goes my vacation. Looks like my hands will not get clean this