Quick Question

Hey there:

Doug Napier here with JewelryMonk.com. I will be finishing up a long awaited video series very soon, and I REALLY want to make sure I have everything covered, but first I need to ask you a favor.

  • If you could remember back to when you first started making jewelry, (for some of you it might not be that far back) what were some of the fears you had about making jewelry, that kept you from moving forward?

  • If you could scroll down and leave a comment on this blog-post, I would REALLY, really appreciate it, and I might even use your comments on some upcoming content.

That is all I got for now.

Thank you all for continuing to follow along and support my efforts here at JewelryMonk.com

Now…… go make something shiny!


Never Miss Any New Content

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

Powered by ConvertKit

101 Responses to Quick Question

  1. Dee January 16, 2017 at 6:06 pm #

    My answer would be not being enough. Not knowing enough, not being creative enough. Fear of putting myself out there and not selling enough.

    • Doug Napier January 16, 2017 at 8:27 pm #

      Dee, I wish we all had that voice telling us “You Are ENOUGH!”

  2. Diana January 16, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    My fears are investing in tools and materials and not selling enough to keep making jewelry. I’m also afraid of making things incorrectly and getting them back for repair or losing a customer from poor workmanship. The fear to succeed is stronger than fearing failure though. What if things go right? Then what?!

    • Doug Napier January 16, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

      Fear of success is common, but most people don’t recognize it.

  3. Joyce January 16, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

    Using the torch scared me. I was worried about using too much heat, the direction of the flame, heating so the solder flowed in the desired direction, accidentally heating behind where I was intending, and burning my bangs off.

    I also had a hard time filing my bezel ends so they were flush. And sanding my bezel and backing so they were flush. It seemed it took longer than it should. Which now I think was due to my applying uneven pressure. Simple solution, but took me a while to figure out.

    And lastly and most crippling was lacking the confidence in myself and my work.

    I enjoy your podcasts. I listen to them while in my workroom. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

    • Doug Napier January 16, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

      Confidence is a huge one!

  4. Dee January 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

    I don’t think I had any “Fears”, but I did have a few concerns. Will I be able to design on my own, or just use the designs in the magazines and tutorials? Will my family truthfully critic my efforts, or just say that they are “cute”? Will I have the support of the ones closest to me, or will I be on my quest all alone? Will I ever improve, or will there always be this feeling of “can I do better”? But most of all, will I be neglecting my duties as a wife, mother, and grandmother every time I get lost in my studio with all the wonderful things to create the images in my mind?
    I have answered these question for myself and my family. But then,being a retired person, I prefer to keep enjoying my “art” as a hobby business and not make a “have to” thing of it because of needed income.

    • Doug Napier January 16, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

      That is great Dee.

  5. Peggy Kinnetz January 16, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

    The torch: buying, setting up the tank & using it for the first few hundred times. Am I gonna blow myself up? Then it became fun. Ok it was fun all along, but scary fun.

  6. Carrie January 16, 2017 at 7:15 pm #

    For me it was the fear of taking my hobby to the next level. Going from making a piece here or there for myself or friends and family, to making to sell took a huge leap of faith. I don’t regret it for a second, but it was nerve wracking! I’m not in it to make a fortune, just to hone my craft and share my work as I do that. For the longest time I didn’t think anyone would buy what I make, but the response has been so wonderful. On those days I doubt myself, I look back at comments on my Instagram feed, or remember what a customer said at an artisan market and I know I’m doing the right thing.

    • Doug Napier January 16, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

      Awesome example!

  7. Vicki January 16, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

    I scared of blowing up the house or myself when I start to use a torch.

    • Doug Napier January 16, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

      Ahhhh, houses can be replaced. haha.

  8. Kit Carter January 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    How to successfully market these shiny somethings. Will that subject be in your vid series?

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:57 am #

      Kit….. I will, when I get that one figured out.

  9. Janie January 16, 2017 at 9:11 pm #

    My greatest fear was never being able to solder correctly.
    It was hard to get the flame tempature right, solder jumping off my piece, having the solder completely melted and melting where I wanted it to. I still have problems getting wider rings flush enough to solder correctly.P.S. Love your tips.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 8:01 am #

      Janie, Soldering is my joy, my happy place…. probably because I went through those same struggles and figured out ways to overcome. Time is a great teacher, keep at it.

  10. Dolores January 16, 2017 at 9:17 pm #

    I always worried about my wire wraps not being tight enough and a piece of jewelry coming apart because maybe I didn’t know everything. I’ve gotten better but still have those concerns.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:54 am #

      Dolores, get it out there, even if you have to give it to someone for free to “test-wear” it. Tell them to wear it every day, put it to the test. Then you can see how it wears, where the weak spots are, and 1. get better at your skills, and 2. overcome your fears.

  11. Darrel Clegg January 16, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

    Question on what tools to buy, why a certain hammer/tool etc really does what I want it to do. And does it fits the type of work I’m looking to do.
    How to lay out a studio work space.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:51 am #

      Darrel, there are so many tools out there, and many are just a shiny version of something we already have. I like to try and match the tool to the look I am trying to accomplish, then if it doesn’t completely accomplish that, then I go tool shopping. I still re-arrange my studio setup from time to time to match work-flow.

  12. Em January 16, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

    Quality control – what happens if my pieces break? Will my designs sell? Will people be able to see all the flaws I do? Will people balk at my prices?

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:49 am #

      Em, all valid fears, and something we all take into consideration. Get your art out there and let time answer those things.

  13. Zorah Oppenheimer January 16, 2017 at 10:18 pm #

    My greatest fear was exploding myself with my acetylene torch!!!!!

    But really, I had (have) a fear of copying other artists, not having my own voice.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:47 am #

      Zorah, Sometimes we just need to “Explode” things….. haha. There is a huge difference between copying and drawing inspiration. We all do the latter, there is seldome anything completely new under the sun.

  14. SKJ January 16, 2017 at 10:24 pm #

    I’m not sure this was a fear but definitely a concern. It was figuring out what to charge. Deciding whether to make inexpensive jewelry just to make sales or make higher quality art jewelry while wondering where I would find the market to buy it.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:39 am #

      That is a struggle and a balance, trying to figure out where to land in a sea of art. Valuing your work can be a huge challenge and fear. It seems you are not only putting a value on your work, but on yourself as well.

  15. Nonhof-Fisher January 16, 2017 at 11:04 pm #

    It was very intimidating applying and trying to enter in gallery exhibitions. The whole process seemed so foreign especially because you had to pay to enter, write up a statement,have your work critiqued and weeded out. My hard labored project suddenly took on a new meaning.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:37 am #

      This is something I have never tried…… maybe fear kept me from trying.

  16. Dharlee January 17, 2017 at 12:52 am #

    I had a heard time understanding soldering. I worried what kind of solder should I get and why? What kind of torch should I use and why? Then when I started, I started with paste and a butane torch and quickly found that while it was easy in some ways, it was hard in most others. I couldn’t figure out for the longest time how to solder larger pieces (even the size of a quarter) easily and I have only recently learned how to solder with solder that’s not paste- especially using hard solder. I think all this has been hard for me because I didn’t know 1) what torch (big torch) to get 2) how to set it up and be safe 3) how to properly solder by using the right flux, the right solder on clean metal, etc. This was HARD for me to learn on my own. I learned wrong and had to UNlearn a LOT before I could learn right and am still unlearning a lot of things. It was also a lot more expensive this way. THIS is what I would have wanted more than anything.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:36 am #

      Dharlee, Thanks. This is one of the reasons why I started the JewelryMonk website. There is a lot of info out there, and I wanted a place to give simple instructions and be a voice of encouragement. I am still fine-tuning this, and I hope I will get that accomplished someday.

      • Babette K Cox January 17, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

        I’ve made all kinds of jewelry for years … from beading to polymer clay and metal clay. As far as silversmithing, the thing that has kept me in awe and fear is not soldering well enough…. over soldering …. or bezels not fitting.

        I’m a lampworker and the flame doesn’t even phase me – but the solder joining freaks me out …. isn’t that odd? Guess I just need to remember to practice, practice, practice. I look back at things I soldered a few years ago and they are really done well…. yet I fear trying to accomplish that again.

        • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

          Babette, your battle is common. Get some pieces to play with, and just start soldering them together. Something where there is no pressure, just have fun in the process. Great way to learn.

  17. Tamsyn January 17, 2017 at 2:54 am #

    Hi Doug, I think my main fear, and this is true for any of the crafts I do but especially with jewellery, is making something that turns out ugly or goes wrong and I’ve wasted materials. I also found the thought of soldering pretty intimidating and anything that involves chemicals like pickle, etching etc.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:33 am #

      Tamsyn, if it comes from a place of creativity, it can’t be called “ugly”, some will find the beauty…. The more we familiarize ourselves with the craft, and educate ourselves with the safety needed, those fears go away.

  18. Grace January 17, 2017 at 3:57 am #

    I think the biggest thing that held me back from making jewelry was the mistaken belief that nothing I made would be good enough or interesting enough for anyone to want to buy, let alone wear, the stuff I made. I had the “crafter mentality.” I could make it, but it was just stuff I made for myself. I gave most of my jewelry away, secure in the knowledge that my friends were not wearing it, but I came to see later that my work was good, and now I’m working to find my own voice in design. I want to thank you, Doug, you have been a big part of my progressing as an artist. I may never be good enough to appear in a magazine, but my work is clean and the people who buy or receive my jewelry do appreciate it.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:30 am #

      Grace, Thanks for being honest. I am sure many of us have those same fears and need a little confidence boost from friends and family.

  19. Dana January 17, 2017 at 6:40 am #

    From the time I was around 14 years I knew I wanted to be a silversmith one day. My dream remained a dream until I was nearly 50 years old. Evaluating where I was in life, it became clear to me that I could continue to be miserable and unfulfilled, or I could do something about it. I was no longer going to just function in life; I was going to live my life to the fullest! I decided it was time for me to pursue my lifelong dream, and learn to be a silversmith.

    2010 was the year of major change; I took a huge leap of faith and quit my social work job. The job that paid the bills and put food on the table. This “leap” was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, and it didn’t come without downfalls. Over the course of the next four years we were forced to down size, purge our assets, and learn to go without while I uncompromisingly pushed onward towards my goal. The tools I worked with came from family members’ tool boxes and yard sales. I used tiny butane torches’ and make shift materials in my less than customary studio space. My jewelry pieces were mediocre at best. As time passed (years) and my marriage ended things finally began to improve. I started to accumulate real metalsmithing tools, and my studio began to look more like a real studio. The most exciting thing that has happened to date is, I found my jewelry personality.

    Today I have a much better quality of life; I have “my life”. I moved back to where I grew up in beautiful central PA. I’m surrounded by nature, including a treasured koi pond, and people who believe in, and support me. I have my dream studio where I design and create jewelry full time.

    Long winded I know, I apologize. My fears were everything already mentioned, plus being self taught I still worry about my work quality. Everyday I make a point of learning something new, I know I’ll never be great or famous, but I do want to be the best me possible.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:28 am #

      Dana, what an awesome story. I am glad you found your way back home and that the journey lead you to your passion.

  20. Dottie January 17, 2017 at 6:51 am #

    Coming up with new and exciting ideas, lack of knowledge, promoting myself and my work…..time restraints……..soldering, what type to use and when, will it hold?, what torch to use, will it blow up! Will people actually want to buy my jewelry???? After getting comfortable making a certain “style” trying to branch off into something new…..will people lilke it? did I do it “right”? I’m getting better but just wish I had more time to work in the studio and perfect my skills ……. that would help a bunch with confidence. Thank you Doug for all you do to help us. I truly enjoy your articles, and videos. Please keep doing what you’re doing, the example you set for others is awesome! Thanks again

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:26 am #

      Dottie, great answer, you sound like the voice in most of our heads….. We have all heard those fears.

  21. Kristy January 17, 2017 at 7:24 am #

    My fear was starting—just simply starting…….taking that leap from thinking to doing–a hurdle—a fear of failure , a fear —

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:45 am #

      Kristy, mine too….. I still struggle with it, but eventually my curiosity wins out.

  22. Charmaine January 17, 2017 at 7:29 am #

    For me it was an expensive class that didn’t teach me much. The class broke up into small groups and I didn’t fit into any of them. When I did eventually make something some people laughed at my efforts. The teacher said nothing. After that I simply withdrew and gave up smithing in favour of beaded articles I could do alone and I could teach myself. I felt very miserable and a failure. I’m still trying to start up metal work again and this is ten years on.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 7:44 am #

      Oh Charminee, that crushes me…… Encouragement is just as important, maybe even more than education. One bad experience can kill a dream and extinguish passion. I hope anything I have done in the past has never had that impact on another, that is one of my fears.

  23. Sterling VanDerwerker January 17, 2017 at 8:09 am #

    Money. I should have gone to a setting school to help broaden my skills, but I was quickly put into fine jewelry management and promoted quickly up to VP Operations and only when I opened my own store did I get to work part time on the bench….

    Smartest thing I did do is take GRS Hand engraving classes and I am going to take Blaine Lewis’s setting class next year.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 8:15 am #

      Sterling, I always kept (and still do) a bench at home to play, experiment, and create things I like, and it is a great teacher.

  24. Karine January 17, 2017 at 8:28 am #

    The first thing I thought of: I was afraid of fire! So soldering, casting… was very hard for me at first.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 8:43 am #

      Ah, Karine! Confidence and skill forged in the flames of experience. I love it!

  25. Jerry Fish January 17, 2017 at 9:01 am #

    I started soldering ‘electrical’ stuff when I was maybe 8 or 10, In the Navy, I did some ‘sculpture’ wire soldering. By the time I started making jewelry, was confident enough mechanically, but the mountain of new information about metals, stones, polishing, designn…

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 9:42 am #

      Jerry, I have always experimented with what ever is handy. It has pressed me on, and brought some cool teachings.

  26. Natalia January 17, 2017 at 9:16 am #

    Luck of knowledge how to make what I like always keep me back.
    Also investing in more expensive materials and tools make learning process slow. It is a difficult decision to invest when you are not sure if you can sell your jewellery pieces.
    I do have a quite good collection of tools right now, but every time I try to learn something new I realize I don’t have something
    And my biggest fear , making low quality product. Even my skills improve , I do see more and more areas for improvement.
    I wish I have a teacher by my side who can criticize and teach by my side .

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 9:39 am #

      Learning is a lifetime journey, always pushing us along at a pace that seems a bit slow, but when we take a minute to look back, we are thankful for it.
      Keep pressing on Natalia!

  27. Lotta January 17, 2017 at 9:50 am #

    Hi! My fear is the same now as it was when I started: What tools/machinery etc to invest in. Will I use them enough so they are a good investment or am I only throwing away money on expensive toys? I took a few classes, then built a little shop in my study and a month ago I sold my first piece. I have great fun doing metal work but I´m still fearful about doing anything more complicated than bezel settings.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 10:08 am #

      Lotta, start slow, experiment a lot! Tools are always an investment, and if the numbers or desire seems worth it, dive in…… fear is overcome with experience and passion drives it!

  28. jane January 17, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    I tend to feel that my work isn’t good enough to sell. I am worried that the quality isn’t perfect. Also loads of people comment that they wear their pieces, people say how nice they are and ask them to make one for them and so their business grows. No-one has ever said that to me – even on the pieces I thought were pretty good.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 10:13 am #

      Jane, Perfect is the enemy of good. Perfect used to hold me back, now I am driven by imperfection. If I waited for perfect, I wouldn’t have a website, a podcast, a jewelry studio, I wouldn’t play my guitar or pick up my camera…..etc. I get better every day at whatever I put my hands to. If I ever feel I am “Perfect” at something…… I walk away from it because I am driven by learning.
      Hope that helps.

  29. Cary jo January 17, 2017 at 10:06 am #

    My biggest fear was burning something or not getting the mixture right and exploding my husbands oxyacetylene torch. My biggest challenge was finding space for me in my husbands workshop.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 10:16 am #

      Cary jo, Find pleasure in burning things…… haha. Learning shouldn’t hold you back, but press you forward. Learn how to safely use a torch, and burn things…. safely!

  30. Dan January 17, 2017 at 10:51 am #

    Being largely self taught, my biggest initial stumbling block/fear was soldering. Learning not to fear the flame took time, but eventually I overcame much of that fear. I still worry about using bottled gases in my home though, and for that reason (and potential insurance issues) I have not progressed to using anything beyond small butane and propane torches.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

      Dan, Soldering is a biggie for many of us, but like you said, the more you do, the more comfortable you become.

  31. Anne January 17, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    One fear is setting stones, I dread that I’ve put a ton of work into a piece and that I’ll wreck it by messing up the bezel. This past Christmas season I was determined to get over this fear as I know practice is the key, so I created pieces that included bezels for the one craft show that I did this year (I still work full-time). I sold several of those pieces and have to say that I still have the fear but am feeling more confident. I sell at craft shows and at work and get lots of compliments but am still working up the courage to sell online – hopefully that will happen this year. Thanks for all that you do!

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

      Anne, I like that you used fear as a motivator to get over fear. Build skill and confidence. Bravo!

  32. Karen January 17, 2017 at 11:02 am #

    Like many others, definitely the torch! 2400 degrees, yikes! But I have to share that when I transitioned from beading to metalsmithing, I was shocked to learn I had to learn to saw. I guess I thought I was just going to solder pieces together, it never occurred to me that I would be fabricating the entire thing! Probably ignorance is bliss or I’d have never started

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      Karen, so true. If I had the info when I started that I have now, I would have never tried some of the pieces I did accomplish. Sometimes ignorance is a good thing.

  33. Mary Tarara January 17, 2017 at 11:23 am #

    It seems like people have covered most of my fears. I had a ceramics background in college. Then I took a metal smithing class given by a Park Board and took off. A few years later I took a lampworking class which turned into 8 years of making and selling glass beads. A year ago, I decided I needed to do what I originally dreamed of and combine my metal smithing with my glass. The changes in tools and techniques seems to have exploded and I found myself feeling like I was back to being a beginner with metal smithing. I am a stay at home mom and finding time is a challenge with twins but I still find time to work. I constantly question whether I should be playing, experimenting and improving or making something to sell to pay for my tools and metal. I sell at a few glass bead shows but am having a hard time pushing myself to sell my jewelry online which I really need to do. I am overwhelmed by the huge amount of really talented jewelers out there and wonder how to make myself stand out so people will buy my work.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

      Mary, Go for it! Sure there is a lot of competition and talent, but with your skill and background, they will be saying the same about you soon enough.

  34. Ann January 17, 2017 at 11:32 am #

    Making mistakes with expensive materials, and trying to figure what tools I actually needed that are actually good quality without being ridiculously expensive .

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm #

      Ann, Money is a good fear monitor. I am afraid of throwing money away too.

  35. Carol Minnich January 17, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    Re ‘Fear’ – I was ‘afraid’ of just about every piece of new equipment I had to use. Torch [especially the one in the class I was taking that was just acetylene/air, and made a loud ‘bang’ every time you turned it off. My own torch [Smith Little Torch is Propane/Oxygen, and far less scary.
    Fear of the Flexshaft, Polishing Arbour, etc. I’ve learned to just follow the safety rules and move into doing each thing gradually, but often enough that you lose your fear.
    On another note – I love your earlier quote – and now made it a ‘quote’ that follows my signature on emails which now says [in blue italics] “Learning is a lifetime journey, always pushing us along at a pace that seems a bit slow, but when we take a minute to look back, we are thankful for it.” [by Doug Napier].
    So thank you for these great statements.

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

      Wow Carol, I am honored to be quoted. I like that.
      Fear + Safety + Respect and Repetition = Confidence.
      A little bit of fear is healthy though I think.

  36. Rene January 17, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

    I am new, I am trying to be as prepare as I can so I do not start on a project and have it end up costing me a fortune for a lump of metal. I do not know how to build a tool box, I am not sure how to solder, I watch youtube, I am motivated, creative and just trying to have all I need before I start buying metals. I did buy a book and it has some real good info. So I guess I have the fear, safety and respect= I just need to jump in:)

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

      Rene: Just jump! Hopefully you can find some good content on this website. Use the search bar at the top and search any subject, there is usually something to find.
      Good Luck

    • Patience Pontious January 18, 2017 at 4:39 pm #


      As with many of us, do not let your fear stop you in your tracks. The CRAFTSY.COM site has some classes that are low cost and easily accessible. Check this out for more soldering and what tools etc., This is just one of several classes offered, and add to it free videos on you tube and all the info on the hundreds of other sites and you can teach yourself with some confidence. I have been at it for years now (about 4) and I am starting to make some real headway. Good luck and keep it up.

  37. Rene January 17, 2017 at 5:52 pm #

    I am new, I am just trying to figure out the tools I need to start

    • Doug Napier January 17, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

      Pick a project, start slow and steady. Get tools as you need them

  38. Suzanne January 17, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

    My biggest fears that hold me back are lacking skill, not terribly creative, and the Internet! I fear photographing and downloading pictures, creating a FB page for my jewelry, making a FB banner, PayPal, learning how to do an invoice, what IS an invoice?, cute packaging like so many other smiths use to mail their creations, and many of the other small details necessary to sell. I was invited to put my work up for sale at local craft shows this winter and found the reactions and remarks people had/said to be the best confidence builder. It took about three shows to kind of get into it and really enjoy it, but selling online is really holding me back.

    • Doug Napier January 18, 2017 at 6:20 am #

      Suzanne, you have heard the old saying about baby-steps. That is how I approach fears like yours. Just start, and tackle one of your “fears” at a time, say photography for example. Just start playing around with different ways of doing it, do a little asking around and try again. Put all the other things to the side until you get a little comfortable taking a few pictures, then move on to the next one on your list. That is how I approach my world of the unknown. I was in the same boat, I wanted to start a website, a podcast, take pictures, do videos, etc. overwhelmed, I just started slow and started a podcast in another field (car racing) about 5 years ago to have fun and to learn how to do it. Same with photography, I started going to the race track and taking pictures for free, to put on my other website, but also to get familiar with my camera and to learn photo editing. Same with videos. I just started, learned, and got good. Now I am confident, comfortable, and have other fears to tackle…….. (too much?)
      Take care

  39. Josephine January 18, 2017 at 3:36 am #

    The one area I’ve found ridiculously confusing is soldering. Despite tutorials and reference books, I’m still learnig and experimenting, achieving and failing.
    Flux: a major area of conflicting information. some advised fluxing the whole piece. others fluxed just the join. Some used different flux for the join and another to protect the piece. Some showed gaps filled with solder! The only way to work it out is to spend hours practicing, investing in torches (just in case that’s the one) and and being prepared to fail. Investing in so many types of solder and again, experimenting because the information is so contradictory. I combine brazing, gas soldering and electric soldering to achieve what I want. All very challenging but so much scope.
    Finishing; I’m always guessing on this and usually wing it with a mix of processes and much wasting of time.
    What I’d love is to have access to a mentor who could guide with the current project.

    • Doug Napier January 18, 2017 at 6:11 am #

      Josephine, I hear your pain. This is going to be my next project, a beginning to end, thick to thin interactive video project to walk people through the world of soldering. Keep it up though, trial and error is a great teacher.

  40. Gail McNeice January 18, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    My biggest fear is getting a high end finish – still not satisfied… pricing a fair price and enough to make a living it’s hard to keep on top of the bills, – lastly making something and the customer not able to tell me they don’t like it….and getting bad press.

    • Doug Napier January 18, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

      Gail, Three biggies…..
      Skill and ability, – Competition and Marketing, – Reputation.
      Actually all tied together. Tackle the skill, people will pay the price, and word will get around how wonderful you and your work is.

      • Iris David January 18, 2017 at 2:05 pm #

        So well put!
        I will put that on my inspiration board! 🙂

  41. Lisa January 18, 2017 at 7:38 am #

    Pweh! On the technical side, I guess, my biggest problem was (and sometimes still is for wider rings, etc.), filing/getting a really flush join for soldering. Properly holding things for soldering took a lot of practice. And then there is the fear that you’re just wasting materials or that my design doesn’t work out the way I planned it. Currently I’m battling with putting together a collection and making the jump to start my own little side business. I really wish to make this my full-time job in the next 2ish years, or at least carve out more time for making those shiny pretty things 🙂

    • Doug Napier January 18, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

      Lisa, sounds like a great goal. Skill improves with repetition, and repetition comes in time. Keep it up, I look forward to seeing your collection.

  42. Shelly January 18, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    In the first few months, whilst learning, my biggest fear was of using a torch, a real physical fear. Now my fear is about my pieces not being good enough to sell, why woukd anyone want them?

    • Doug Napier January 18, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

      Shelly, Confidence in your ability and your craft is huge.
      Many people come from a long history of not thinking their creations are “enough” and many have that image of themselves that “They” are not enough. Skill level is one thing, but your creation, many times, is an extension of yourself….. I have struggled with this. If someone doesn’t like my design, I transfer that to “They don’t like ME”!
      But good news, the more you create, the more confidence you have in your pieces, and the more confidence you have in your abilities. Growth……

  43. Patience Pontious January 18, 2017 at 11:37 am #

    Hi Doug and all,

    When I first started making jewelry, it was seed bead stuff, earrings, necklaces and the like. I was most afraid of the items falling apart, as I had no internet or friends who beaded to help me. After some time, I discovered books at the library and at the magazine stands, and have since moved on to stringing beautiful beads and making just about anything I can think of. I got over my fears by getting educated about the tools of the trade and how to use them. I am still learning and have a new fear about starting to use my hand help torch to do metal work. I am determined to get over it buy just doing it. Wish me well.

    • Doug Napier January 18, 2017 at 11:40 am #

      Go get em’! Fear seems to be driving you forward. Nicely done.

  44. Iris David January 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    WARNING (for the) BLABLABLA! 😉

    I took a silversmithing course (2015), as a break from the stress at work- I then discovered a new fire withing me- oh my god- talk about JOY.
    I went crazy. Bought stuff för about 5000 dollars within half a year. Bought silver and still buying stones…- wonderfuly crazy.

    Right now,I AM STUCK. i need a new income and all i want is to touch, design, create… i`m sitting with enough equipment to create from home, on a small scale, yet too little experience and knowledge. I turned to Youtube videos and was chocked (and greateful) för the knowledge i found there.
    I would love, though, to purchase structured videos (that i can Always return to if needed) with more detailed `how to`s ,including tips and secrets.
    I need to learn how to build up a business that wouldn`t overshadow the “resort av silver and gems” of mine. I am sure it`s possible- if you do it right.
    my FEAR- let the “Wheel” distruct me again.
    Thank you, Doug, for sharing . I am so impressed by you.

    • Doug Napier January 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

      Iris, WOW, that is awesome! You are “Hooked!” Sorry, but I love to see that in others.
      You are in luck, I am in the process of releasing my first “Structured Video Series” that will cover how to take an idea or sketch, and turn it into a finished piece of reproducible jewelry. I have video now of the whole process finished, and including bonus content, will consist of nearly 40 videos.
      I am getting ready to turn it loose within about a week, then I will do the same thing for soldering series.
      Stay tuned. Glad to see your enthusiasm….
      Take care

      • Iris David January 18, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

        Hi Doug.

        I am looking forward to it. 😀


  45. Cynde Hujarski January 19, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    I have fears even now…six years after finishing school and starting my own business and developing my brand. I recently invested in a kiln, the accessories, a bench shear, and disc cutter all at once. I signed up for an on-line class in decals for enamels. I haven’t enameled for six years. I’m trying to be brave and venture into the unknown or things that are not familiar to keep my work fresh and new. What I’ve learned these past six years is that it’s ok to fail on sometimes. I try to take the lessons I learned from those failures and move forward. The bigger lesson I’ve learned is that when you face something you fear and conquer it, it builds your confidence and allows you to grow in ways you never imagined. It makes you more willing to take chances despite your fears. Personally, I found it invaluable to surround myself with friends and family that are positive, supportive and believe in my talents. Those are the ones that will help all of us battle our fears the best.

    • Doug Napier January 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

      Cynde: I love your response, especially the part about “when you face something you fear and conquer it”! Bravo! Also the need to surround yourself with encouraging and supportive people is a must!

  46. Brenda muntz January 20, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

    Soldering is many peoples’ fear. Mine for sure. Afraid I would have to do a piece over and over, cleaning and prepping again and again cause I cannot get the joins tight then causing thus causing so much carbon ( I with copper) that a piece has to be redone.

    I also worry about wasting supplies. Which is why I don’t work in silver. Too many pensive to make mistakes with.
    Classes and supplies are an ongoing cost with no realized name to offset and justify the waste.

    Last is the idea of looking inept. Most of my fellow students have FAR surpassed me in accomplishments. It’s embarrassing. I’m so scared of making a mistake I have umpteen unfinished pieces.


    • Doug Napier January 20, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

      Brenda, “What-if’s” are the death of too many of us. Instead of saying “what if this piece gets ruined, ask what if I tried something new, and learned what to do, and what not to do the next time I attempt something.
      Also, comparison can be evil if it stops us from learning, it can be a blessing if it pushes us forward.
      Don’t fear mistakes, fear not trying.

  47. Gabriel January 22, 2017 at 12:32 am #

    My biggest fear is ring sizes!
    I’m not a professionaly trained jeweler and I’m still scared making rings to order because I’m worried the size won’t be perfect…

    • Doug Napier January 22, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

      Gabriel, get yourself a good ring mandrel. Heck, I might even have an extra one around here. As long as the customer tells you what size to make it, if it doesn’t fit, it is their mistake, not yours. Most people’s fingers will fluctuate between 1/4 and 1/2 size depending on the temperature anyway.

  48. Marion January 25, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

    My fear was “what if I don’t get “it” (idea, design) right? Now I ask, “right” according to what? :~}

    • Doug Napier January 25, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

      True Marion. It is our own soul, our own inner self we must satisfy, not being concerned about what others opinion about our work is. Hard to get there.