Amanda-Silver Smithing Apprentice

It would not be hyperbolic to say that Amanda Whipple has been interested in traditional crafting methods for just about her whole life. She has specifically been interested in metal craft (jewelry, sculpture, casting) for years.

A few years ago, she tried to pursue her dream of studying that art through the traditional university system. Unfortunately, due to mental health issues, including, depression, severe anxiety and avoidant personality disorder, the traditional educational format proved to be the wrong direction for her learning. While she excelled at the work, and had both great critiques and grades at first, it ended up unworkable in the long term.

Since then, she has been addressing her mental health issues, and coming to terms with the fact that a different approach is needed.

To that end she realized that a traditional apprenticeship, focused on learning one-on-one, with an experienced master craftsman would be the ideal situation. Unfortunately, normally, the ideal situation is difficult to come by.

However, sometimes, providence provides. As of last week, Amanda was offered the opportunity to study under the direction of Kenneth Greene. Mr. Greene is the current jewelry instructor at Columbia College. He taught for over 20 years at William Woods University, and is the owner of Monarch Jewelry, located on Walnut, right here in Columbia. He is a leader in the art community, a master craftsman both in silver and gold smithing, as well as one of the coolest men in Columbia (Mid-Missouri in general), and this opportunity can not be overstated.

Which brings us, of course, to the ask. Art is not cheap. Metalworking, in particular, has both a high star up cost, and a high materials cost. While Mr. Greene has graciously offered up his space and his experience to Amanda, there is certain equipment that she will require to begin. While she has many of the smaller hand tools, there are a few large purchases, that are required before she will be able to begin her apprenticeship.

Smith Little Torch (Complete System) - $635
This is the complete set-up for a beginner's jeweler's torch. It is literally, the most important tool for assembling and working metal.

Prodigy Flex Shaft Kit $375
This is the system that does everything from polishing to grinding and beyond.

Smith Flash Back Arrestor  $57
This, keeps my partner, from dying from an explosion (prevents hose fires from reaching the tanks)

Mandrel $13
This tool is used for sizing and shaping rings.

Silver $?
This one is tricky. The price of silver is constantly in flux, and is vital for all of the beginning work that she will be doing. She does have small stock (very small) left over from her previous jewelry experience, but will require much more. As such, we ballparked in about 220 worth for beginning to create a stock.

If you have read this far, thank you. We realize that the amount is daunting; it's daunting for us as well. Realizing that the distance between where you are, and where your dreams are, is 1300$ is...difficult to process. Amanda is the mother of 3 children, and due to her mental health issues, is not able to work a traditional job. She is however, dedicated, passionate, and (while she will shyly deny this) genuinely gifted in the arts.

If you can donate, please do. Even a few dollars gets us closer to a dream realized. If you cannot, then we ask that you please share this campaign on any and all social media, to any applicable groups.

Thank you all in advance.

Christopher Murrell and Amanda Whipple


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Christopher Brian Margraves 
Columbia, MO
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