[Workshop] Making a Living Making Jewelry

Greetings All

Next summer I propose to conduct a five day workshop “Making a Living
Making Jewelry” in Santa Fe, NM.

There are many opportunies to learn jewelry and metal technique; but
few that discuss the other things one must know to succeed as a
business. These are the things that will be addressed in this

I have been earning a living doing 'art faires" for more than two
decades. We will discuss avenues available for you to earn an income
other than the traditional, i.e.: bench work, working in a jewelry
store as a sales person, etc. This workshop will be orientated to the
person who already has the technical skills and wants to be self

I’m posting this now in order to get a response from Orchid
participants to gage the interest in such a workshop. Please respond
offline if interested. If you have questions of a general nature
please post to Orchid and I will respond on this forum.

If this workshop becomes a reality a portion of monies received will
be donated to ‘Orchid’.

Kevin Kelly

Great idea, Kevin. For those who don’t know Kevin, his work is
impeccable and he has always impressed those who have done business
with him with his straight forward and fair manner. If you need to
learn or polish your now-what -do I- do with what you’ve made skills.
Kevin’s advice/insight/experience would certainly be a huge leg-up.
Too bad such help wasn’t available in the old days!

Marianne Hunter


This sounds like a workshop I would be interested in taking.

jennifer friedman

Hi Jennifer

It’s in the planning stage. I’ll put you on my list and will keep you
informed of developments.


Dear Kevin,

You might want to consider approaching CLASP and formatting your
concept as a presentation at their conference. It is a wonderful
opportunity for jewelers and retailers to get business knowledge and
inspiration as well as making great new friends! I went last year
and am greatly looking forward to Colorado! Thanks RIO for giving us
the info we needed to become more successful and keep getting new
presentors…like maybe Kevin…

Beth McElhiney
sunny, windy Martha’s Vineyard

This sounds interesting to me. I live in California and would need
to plan in advance, and hope it would be on the weekend. I’m making
another living Tuesday thru Thursday.

Connie Langan

Hi Beth

I consider your comment a compliment. I haven’t been to a ‘Clasp’
conference; so I don’t speak from experience. But I’d rather spend
the time in my studio cutting stone and making things. As for the
workshop, if people pay a certain amount of money to participate I
know I have their attention. The focus will be the business of
making money, being a professional with all that being a professional
involves: computers and programs like "Filemaker’ and much more. The
group can be no larger than a certain number of participants. And it
will be interactive following a presentation. I don’t think 'Clasp’
is the proper venue for what I have in mind.


Dear Kevin,

As a person who runs a school and has attended Clasp, let me put my
$.02 in here.

I have been using Filemaker Pro for several years. It does a good
job of billing and maintaining a database of my students. However,
Quickbooks gives you this and generates profit and loss statements
and creates data files preferred by most tax accountants. It works on
both PC and Mac platforms. I used to use Quicken, but found that my
accountant used Quickbooks.

The content at Clasp is a nice compliment to your endeavors. Last
year I attended specifically for the money track. Just understanding
the language of business has put the schools finances on track. What
I learned was what part of the business process I want to keep and
what needs to be outsourced. Another aspect to our business is time
management. This is something I want to address to professionals at
this year’s conference. How to prioritize my time when everything is
a priority.

After attending Clasp last year, Metalwerx has hired a full time
Program Coordinator with health benefits. It was a big ouch trying to
afford her salary, but the school is running much smoother because I
have somebody in the office who talks to people every day.

The Clasp Conference is an investment in your future and career. The
Clasp conference fee is 1/4 of what print advertising costs, but what
Metalwerx gained out of this conference was way more than a small
print ad in a magazine.


School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854

Karen, I am in no way am disparaging Clasp. I know nothing about it
and have never attended. I was only responding to a post. Otherwise I
would never have mentioned Clasp.

Your ‘however’ in relation to my reference to Filemaker assumes you
know what I would say about Filemaker and how I use it. You don’t;
and it has no relation to Quickbooks. I have no idea as to why you
would bring up these things in response to my posting.

I am proposing a ‘workshop’ not a school. The proposed workshop will
focus on a successful model, my own. As an admired teacher once said
’this is the way I do it; it’s not the only way’. My references are a
successful small business which has grown each year. In the process
I’ve learned some things that I think would be helpful to others.

But it’s not the path for everyone.

No dispute intended, just a clarification.


I would like to clarify some comments I previously made.

To review: Beth suggested that I might be a presenter at Clasp. I
said I’d rather be in my studio cutting stone and making things. I’m
not a gregarious person. I prefer smaller groups than I expect Clasp
would attract. That is my sole reason for my statement that I’d
rather be in my studio.

I taught for several years and enjoyed teaching, but a presenter is
something else. I didn’t mean to offend anyone with Clasp, the
presenters or those planning to attend Clasp.

I support what I think Clasp is about. I know several presenters for
whom I have great respect. Orchid is one of the sponsors and I can’t
think of a better use of the internet than this. Rio Grande is
another sponsor. I bought my first gold from Saul Bell and I’m still
a customer of Rio Grande.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding. One has to be more
careful with email.


Dear Kevin,

If you do not like large groups then yes, of course I do not think
you would enjoy presenting at Clasp. The classes were around 20-30+
each one and the presenters really needed to engage the group…I
only meant it as a possible suggestion for you to look into there are
many ways to approach business marketing and the conference is only
one of them. I wish you the best of luck in putting on your

Beth McElhiney

Hello Kevin,

Is Santa Fe your choice due to convenience,proximity to your
residence or just a space you can use?

I personally find that trying to locate any major event in a
centrally located state brings not only more interest in that it is
more affordable for air travel,paying for per diem and hotel costs
is far less in,say Tennessee,N.Georgia, North Carolina,[ If Not New
Orleans (most airlines fly into its international airport,the city
needs the revenue desperately and has a wide range of affordable if
not free facilities to host such events ! ),levels the field as far
as accessibility to small scale jewelers without a business/es
backing their being able to attend,and is central to a growing number
of schools and centres of metalsmithing and jewelry making arts and
is unaffected except in Feb. by airport closings etc., due to weather
events…there are more pro’s as well but i’m mainly curious as to
why Santa Fe wins… thanks…sounds like a wkshp. many could use.


Greetings All

I want to update my proposed workshop “Making Money Making Jewelry”

It will be a five day workshop discussing what one doesn’t discuss
in polite society -MONEY.

I’m still in the process of writing the syllabus. One day will be a
‘Filemaker’ day showing the uses of this program and how to adapt it
to your specific needs. The model will be that of Kevin Patrick
Jeweler an enterprise consisting of my wife and me with help from
various others. It’s been and continues to be a success business.

The workshop will be held at The Ghost Ranch in northern NM near
Georgia O’Keefe former residence. It’s a beautiful location. The
Ghost Ranch will provide food and lodging. If you’re not familiar
with this place see http://www,ghostranch.org.

Openings are available the first three weeks in May 2008; three
weeks in August; two last weeks of September 2008.

So I’m asking those who are, or possibly might be interested to let
me know what date they favor. You can respond on Orchid or offline.

This workshop will not be announced on any other venue; only Orchid.
And a contribution will be made to Orchid.

Kevin Kelly