I am an amateur metalsmith working primarily in sterling silver, occasionally in copper and brass. Returning to the orchid forum after suspending the email for a month's vacation I have been a subscriber for some years now. This site and the willingness of many fine jewelers to share their skills and wisdom has been an invaluable resource for me, and I am very grateful. I made my living (now retired) as a self employed carpenter, then as an architectural woodworker, both which gave me the joy of making/inventing some of my own tools and jigs, skills which are valuable in metalsmithing. Now that there are more than 7 billion of us on this planet of finite resources, making small things, that can last for thousands of years, and that require substantial working time is far more beneficial to the earth than quickly cranking out junk that will be in a landfill in a few years, and far more satisfying to the soul.