[YAK] How is your list different from Orchid?

It is geared for the beginner, rockhound, student, small shop
and craftperson who want start silversmithing. It is also a list
that I moderate. In other words not sarcastic “get a clues”,
“dahs”, “not rocket science” comments and personal attacts. We
already have over 100 members and most have said that they did
not participate on Orchid because they felt that it was for more
experienced jewelers. And, that there question and/or comments
would be met with something close to flames. I read all emails
going to my list and if there are any of the above mentioned
rudness in an email I will delete it, if it continues from one of
the members they will be droped from the list. A never ending
thread of ego fed arguements will not endlessly go on to the
list. Only education. I plan to continue the steam casting class
on Orchid, but once that is over I will not participate on

Soon I will post the photos on my web site on how I put on real
simple pin backs on sterling silver pendants. As I made the
photos as part of one of my beginning silversmithing class, we
were discussing how much I would get “flamed” on Orchid for one
thing or another. The type of flux I use, how much solder I use,
the guage of wire, the way I hardened the pin, the mess on my
bench, how dirty my fingernails were, the fact that I used only a
$10.00 torch bought from Ace Hardware, the charcoal block that I
used, the fact that I use hard solder for every solder joint on
all my pieces ( and so does everyone of my beginning students),
the fact that I never wire pieces together. I remember the rude
responses that the person that asked a simple question about how
to solder on plated pins. This is a bit wordy, but call me a liar
if you like, but I was getting and still get 2 to five emails off
list about the rudness on Orchid. And getting over 100 member
within three or four days proves it.

The other difference is that after the steam casting “class” I
plan to do a class every month on something. But it will only be
available on Jewelry Making for Beginners and not on Orchid. I am
also contacting other members to teach “classes” to beginners on
this new list, where they can be sure that they will not be
personally attacted for doing things "their way.

So, the real difference is that it is MY list and nothing will
go on there with out MY approval. It is a list to learn on, ask
questions (remember there are no stupid questions), and teach
others, especially the beginner. It will not be a list for

Thank you for your excellent question, and I am sorry for the
lengthy answer.

Don Norris
PO Box 2433 Estes Park, CO 80517

Regarding “rudness on Orchid” [sic]…where is it? I have found
nothing but generosity, courtesy, and camaraderie.

Am I missing something?

Alan Revere
Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
San Francisco

Dear Donald, I’m sorry that you are having such a hard time with
the Orchid list. Your comments about the rudeness are really hard
to believe. I have only seen an outpouring of positive things.
Orchid is ideal for those who are starting out. I just wish it
had been around when I began metalsmithing. Maybe you were
mistaking those sarcastic barbs as insults. Orchid people do
seem to share a wicked sense of humour which I think most people
enjoy. But if you are such a sensitive soul maybe this really
isn’t the place for you. Good luck in your ventures. I think
after a few months you will begin to really appreciate the
treasure we have all found in Hanuman and maybe you will give
Orchid another try.


Dear Don Norris, I was sorry to read in your post that you had
been flamed and received sundry rude comments from Orchid group

I haven’t been on orchid for very long, but I’ve been impressed
by the general politeness and generosity of Orchid postings.
There have been a few hastily worded responses at times, but
nothing so bad that could not be put down to impulsiveness and
enthusiasm to propose an alternative view. Certainly nothing so
strong or abusive to warrant what I would define as flaming.

Perhaps I’ve been lucky and simply missed all this rudeness and
bad manners that you write of - I don’t read every single
message, it’s true.

As I said, I’m sorry that this has been your experience - it
hasn’t been mine.

Kind regards, Rex from Oz.

Warning! Lengthy messge ahead!

(sigh) Don, I myself have joined your list, but the fact remains
that you are going to get tempers flaring everywhere you go, on
every usenet, eventually. I appreciate that you’re going to
delete rude messages, but how far are you going to take it? I’m
curious if “You’re wrong” or “I don’t agree” is going to get a
message deleted. For the most part, in my six or so months here,
I’ve found Orchid to be very helpful; it is, in fact, the
benchmark that I will be using to compare your list against. I
myself have posted a couple of things on here that have gotten me
some condescension – so what? That’s people. You sound like
you’re taking it personally…

Now, I really like your bean casting ideas, and I have no doubt
that your list will be helpful. But so is Orchid… and it
doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to have a couple of people who
didn’t think before they typed outweigh all the wonderful
responses and people who, I’ve personally found, have been so
supportive of me as a struggling student about to make the leap
into being a real, self-taught jeweller from only having a
year’s school experience. I wouldn’t even attempt it without
Orchid honestly! For me, it’s like having a bunch of friendly,
supportive mentors I can run to the computer and type to when
something goes wrong; in addition, I enjoy tossing out the things
I’ve already learned to people who haven’t. I have rarely said
anything that six other people didn’t say, but it makes me feel
good anyway. :slight_smile:

The point is, I’ve gotten flamed in private messages from the
list, but I either responded politely or didn’t respond at all. I
don’t blame Orchid – Orchid is just a forum. It’s the people who
make it wonderful or not-so-wonderful. I am sure your list will
be another source of but honestly, I admire Dr.
Aspler for leaving those messages on here, despite their
hastily-chosen-and-slightly-combustible words; it leaves the list
to the members to deal with as they choose.

						-Kieran Dewhurst

I will apologize from the beginning if I am off base here, but
“what rudeness on Orchid” ???

I’ve been rather busy lately and have mostly just been lurking,
but Orchid is one of the most tolerant, helpful, informative and
sharing lists I have ever found!! It is geared to the
professional as well as the beginner and both garner knowledge
from the other here. Among the list membership are a
substantial number of master jeweler’s and teaching
professionals, all of whom have contributed immense amounts of
to anyone who asks. I’ve been a subscriber to
Orchid for over a year and a half and the depth and degree of
passed through this list is phenomenal!! Never have
I asked a question (or seen one asked) that did not get
astounding results - including pros and cons - from an admirable
list of professional, hobbyist, and teaching metal smiths.

Now, when it come to sharing the net is almost
boundless and there is always room for more, but to suggest (even
remotely) that another metalsmith list will be better than, more
informative than, less prone to flaming than Orchid is
preposterous and I am both offended (as a list member) and
appalled (as a metal worker) to think a newcomer would see the
previous message and turn away from this fantastic source
(Orchid) thinking that the writer’s comments are evidence of the
list’s average content. I deplore the insinuation that a
newcomer will find answers elsewhere that are unavailable here.
While most newcomers (to any list) are oftentimes hesitant to get
into the fray with a question right off, anyone who has been a
member of this list for more than one month knows the depth of
the resources here. From the mundane to the abstract, the common
to specific, the archaic to the contemporary, questions and
answers abound. The archives alone could keep a new metalsmith
busy studying for several months.

I have met and made friends with a number of other smiths via
this list. I can’t imagine being without Orchid and the
resources to pertinent, timely and even emergently needed metal
smithing Please, please, please, newcomers - Don’t
leave. Ask your questions and you will be rewarded. And ‘old’
comers, please, please, please don’t be offended by the the ill
informed and leave!!

Sorry if this sounds like a flame, or appears to be ‘rude’, but
it is my response to what I perceived as a presumptuous,
disagreeable and, inaccurate assessment of Orchid and the list


Nancy Bernardine-Widmer
Bernardine Art Jewelry

Donald, If you’re looking for the, “rudness on Orchid” (sic), I
think you’ll find that its going to require some serious digging.
I’ve only found helpful generous people on this list, some of
whom have even become off list buddies. Look for the good in
people, and you will be sure to find it. A difference of
opinion, isn’t a flame. I’m sure that no one meant to
intentionally offend you, many of us found your posts about steam
casting pretty funny, and looked forward to your positive input.
Somehow, despite this, you seemed to have formed a dreadful
opinion of all of us. I for one will be sorry that you will be
taking that opinion with you when you unsubscribe. I assume that
you plan to unsubscribe, rather than continue to be as
continually offended by this list as you seem to be. If I was
any part of your unhappiness, please accept my personal apology.
I for one, would just like the list to get back to where it was
before you decided to make it your personal forum, and hear more
about heat treated sapphires, and ventilation systems, and what
the heck is anaclastic raising,…and…sigh…ok,…casting
too…which is what I’m here for in the first place. Good luck
with your new list.

Lisa, Topanga, CA USA


I have been following threads in this group for a year and a
half and in that time it is a rare day indeed when I find any
sign of rudeness or flaming by members of this group. Matter of
fact, I can’t think of one single incidence of the aforementioned
behavior. Beginners start threads here all the time and get lots
of great from the contributors, going on for days or
even weeks after the initial request. What you have in this forum
is easy access to a wealth of given to you or anyone
else (without regard to what kind of a jackass you might be in
real life) by some very knowledgeable and talented people, free
for the asking, and courtesy of the good doctor’s time consuming
efforts put forth on our behalf. For you to suggest that you
need to start up another list where you can moderate and better
control the content of the posts is a direct slap in the face to
the efforts of Dr. Aspler and the community of givers found on
this forum. But then again, if your thin skinned hypersensitivity
to the submissions from this group are a problem for you perhaps
a different list would be the best thing for you after all. But
if you want to stay around here with the adults however, I
recommend that you quit crying and just get the f**k over it!!
Yes, thats right, stop bitching and be thankful for what this
group is willing to offer you. I know that most members of this
group are too dignified to address you in this manner, but I am
not thusly encumbered. Oh yeah, you may now (finally) consider
yourself flamed!

Peace be with you,

I will apologize from the beginning if I am off base here, but
“what rudeness on Orchid” ???

Nancy, I recall a recent post where someone gave their opinions
in a very rude, egotistical, and challenging manner. His post
also made some flat out wrong statements. He had a chip on his
shoulder for some reason and was practically asking to be flamed.
I only saw one response that I would consider a flame. I’ve seen
thousands of posts in the two years that I’ve been here, and the
rudeness level is almost nonexistent. For the most part you get
the kind of response you deserve.

Brett Gober
Freedom Design & Contracting

Don’t get so exercised…there’s room on the 'net for
everybody. I happen to enjoy Orchid enormously. It’s been an
invaluable source of and good fellowship from all
over the world. If, as happens with some TV programs, it
becomes so popular that it generates a spinoff, so be it. It
will never replace Orchid, but may encourage some timid lurkers
to come out of the woodwork and participate un-self
consciously.Eventually it will probably find its own niche and
will neither compete with nor detract from Orchid. There IS a
place for some online instruction for beginners that shouldn’t
occupy the time or space of more advanced or professional
practitioners who want to trade technical advice. So let’s help
Mr.Norris get on with his site, and let his spinoff train future
Orchid members. >D<

I know that most members of this group are too dignified to
address you in this manner, but I am not thusly encumbered. Oh
yeah, you may now (finally) consider yourself flamed! 

Well, Derek, I hope you’re pleased with yourself. Angry flames
are so easy to spew forth. And now, finally, you’ve managed to
justify Don’s concerns. Congratulations. Don’t you think you
could really better have just left it alone? Like adults (which
you claim to be) usually try to do? It isn’t a matter of great
dignity. Its just common courtesy. It’s especially easy, in
email or net postings, without the advantages of face to face
communications, to be misunderstood, or taken much too seriously.
Experienced net users quickly learn to “live and let live” in
this medium.

Don’s concerns, I was quite willing to listen to, hope he was
wrong, and sympathize with his feelings in any case. Your
expressions, though, get me going. Like I said, I hope you’re
feeling proud.

Nuff said.

Peter Rowe

As I have previously stated, I have been off the list for
several weeks and seemed to have missed the initial message from
Don regarding Orchid list members. I belong to many different
list for many different topics/reasons.

As many of you know, I have been creating jewelry through wire
for many years. An art form looked down upon by many “real
jewelers”, but I must say (and I am sure Preston would
wholeheartedly agree) this has NEVER happened on Orchid. My
husband is a beginning silversmith, and any questions I have
asked, have been met with professionalism and concern. Although
not everyone agrees on how to do something, they are wonderful in
sharing their techniques and this is great! I can get more
input from one question asked here, than I can in a month of
books and searching the web. I know of no place else where so
many “masters” are more than willing to share their knowledge
which was earned the hard way through blood, sweat and tears.
Thanks to all of you!!! jb

J. Byers

Has anyone considered sugar instead of vinegar? If we truly are
helpful to one another, doesn’t that include peaceful resolution
to a perceived problem?

This is a wonderful list and will remain so. Don was expressing
his feelings, we can do better than rub his nose into it because
we feel otherwise. Dr. Aspler is to me commended for his efforts
in maintaining this list, there is no taking away from that.
Perhaps reaching out to Don would be more productive? Teresa

I can’t believe that someone would seriously consider the Orchid
list to be anything other than wonderful. I have found the list
to be a continual source of knowledge and enrichment in my
ongoing education as a jeweler and instructor. I feel that I
will always be a “beginner” since I will never be able in one
lifetime to do all of the things I have learned on this list. I
have found the members so willing to share their knowledge
without asking for anything in return. At times, one can make a
dumb assertion and I think it only right that someone speaks up
and sets them straight. Think of all the knowledge that is on
this list – knowledge you cannot find in a book, in a classroom,
or in many years of working. No matter how small the request
for advice, you have some of the greatest jewelers in the world
willing to stop their busy work to lend assistance. I do not
think the answers are insulting. Maybe you could find them
insulting if you think you know everything and someone lets you
know that you don’t. I think that is an ego problem and not one
that should be blamed on Orchid. There is always room for
another list, but I do not think you should belittle Orchid for
the wonderful work it is doing. Can you imagine trying to handle
this list yourself. I would not even attempt it. I constantly
tell my students to join the list and to read every word because
there is so much knowledge. I respect each and every person who
posts a question or a reply.

I really do think all this bickering is a phase of the moon
(something about two moons in March, etc., etc., ad nauseum).

Iris S.

Hi Folks as a real novice I will throw my .2 in . As nice as it
is and as well as it is run I know there are more then 60,000
jewelers / smiths / artists / metal workers , who could benifit
from orchid … however if the X # people in that universe
decided to join orchid ( or any other list for that matter ) we
would never get past all the “intros” so wish Don well and let
him set up what ever kind of list he wants and hopefully ALL of
the folks on orchid will at least check it out ! At this time
however I feel I will have little time for it between remodeling
a house setting up my shop and learning the trade I want to
persue and reading all the informative and witty stuff I find
here … Good Luck Don and please keep me informed as to when
your list will start Ron

Hello to All. I am fairly new to this list and I think it is a
wonderful forum for us all. While I am a beginner and do not have
anything usually to share, I hope someday I’ll have enough
experience to help another as I have been privileged to have
found my way here. I would like to state a short opinion about
the thread of rudeness. When someone tells you he/she is feeling
hurt, then there is a genuine injury to that persons self, no
matter what others think and it would be kind and sensitive to
understand and not judge the why, or did it happen or not. Some
hearts are tender and there is nothing to do but remember at
some time or other when your feelings were in the same position
and what would you like to have had happen in response to the
knowing that it felt that way to you. Kindness and choosing
helpful words or challenging ones make a very large difference to
each individual. Of course with all that said there is another
question as to why one ever makes the choice to let something
that is said or written affect you in anyway or form. CHOOSE how
you want to life to respond to you and CHOOSE how to respond to
others with thoughtfulness. The results will better serve
everyone in all way always! I will now exit the soap box. I
just felt the need to CHOOSE this action to the response of
others reaction. The simplicity of choice in all situations of
groups of people can change the world. Own your own truth and
question your response to another before acting. BJ-- Just a
students thoughts.