August 23, 1999
For the past two years, bench jewelers worldwide have shared information and tips on this discussion list, which allows subscribers to read and post questions and answers. Archived messages, how-to articles and instructions on joining the list are available at this Web starting point.
The discussion-list archives include more than 20,000 messages from 1997, indexed by topic and date, but a search engine helps you narrow your choices by keyword and specific years. Participants discuss everything from bench safety to gemstone treatments to tools and techniques. Postings tend to get very technical.
Visit "Tips From the Jeweler's Bench" for an incredible collection of technical articles, many of them with diagrams. The articles cover topics such as casting, surfaces, gemology, gemstone and jewelry photography, software for jewelers, public relations and tools. Again, a search engine helps you find information quickly. The articles are written by Charles Lewton-Brain, author of a series of bench instruction books.
Members of the discussion list can also display their finished pieces in the Gallery, which includes photos and descriptions of the pieces and jeweler biographies.
If you're involved in designing jewelry, sign up for the mailing list by entering your e-mail in the "Subscribe" field on the page listed below, or e-mail email@example.com with the word "subscribe" in the body and a blank subject line. Participants stay on the topic (there isn't much conversation beyond the technical information); there are usually 700 to 1,300 messages posted each month. If you don't know much about jewelry design or manufacturing, the list probably isn't for you, but bookmark the site for future reference.
Orchid is part of Ganoksin.com.
- by Stacey King