Greetings, I am a previous member, back because I missed this group and their commeradery. I am a mostly self taught designer/Jewelry Craftsmen with a smidgen of schooling on the subject. My history is probably similar to most Rockhounds. My brother got me interested in mineral collecting when he gave me my first collection which he collected himself. The idea of collecting these beauties myself seduced me into the world of collecting. Of course during my collecting I kept finding these rocks with grand colors and banding. I then fond the world of agates and fell in deeper. Well I collected all these agates but didn't know what top do with them until a friend told me about the Lapidary arts and convinced me to go to night school on cutting cabachons. I advanced to the next step of jewelry making, as I made more cabs than I could keep. Well to cut this short I took a couple of courses in silversmithing and from there advanced to working with gold and faceted stones. I am still at the hobbyist level but occasionally I do everything correct and have a piece to sell to cover expenses. I am 55 years old, maybe I shouldn't have let that out. My wife is my best customer and advertiser. My work area has gone beyond my original work area as seen in the Bench pictures. I am much more organized. I am still pushing my capabilities but that's how you learn. I love to mix metals, colors and gold kts. Setting faceted stones is still new to me. Well I have made this into an autobiography without meaning to, sorry.