It was my agreement to make the jewelry, but I did not have the ability to do it. My work with the traditional spiritual art required that I learn new techniques, occasionally I had to draw someone into a project for their expertise. Having never made jewelry I was starting at zero. I had neither skills nor tools. In order to do the work I had to pull other artisans into the projects. That was the beginnings of Sacred Fires. For four years Sacred Fires
truly operated as a guild. Dozens of devotees contributed their talents on hundreds of projects, though the core group was comprised of a few devotees; Jeff Schmidt, Rebecca Atkinson, and Mary Nerney among them. I also drew upon the talents of artists who were not devotees, Timothy Wallace, Jerry Spalding, Yuri Kritchever, and many others. All contributed, and I learned from all of them. By 1987 I had thousands of hours of experience in wax working, casting, finishing, stone setting, and many fabrication techniques. However, the skills required in jewelry making are very refined if you want to do fine work, as I did, and I had not mastered them yet.