Instructor Biographies

William Holland School of Lapidary Arts


Gail Ferguson


Ms. Ferguson is a pioneering artist and works in both stone cutting and silver mountings. She has been trained in all levels of silversmithing: basic, intermediate and advanced. Her work has been exhibited at galleries, festivals and museums, including the State Natural History museums of Indiana and North Carolina (Fayetteville). It has also been exhibited in the Fayetteville Art Council on several occasions in 2009 and 2010 and Gallery 13 from 2008 to 2010 in Fayetteville. Other exhibits were with William Holland and the Prescott, AZ VA hospital. She has taught cutting cabochons, channel set inlay, silversmithing and simple intarsia at local gem and mineral clubs. Awards include first place in the Indiana State Fair Professional Division (2004) and second place Indiana State Fair (2005). In Prescott, AZ, she won second place with the Disabled Veterans Display (2007). She has also won first place in Metalsmithing/working and Jewelry at the North Carolina State Fair in 2012 and 2011. In 2012, 2011, and 2010 the work took first place in the following fairs: Moore County Fair, Cumberland County Fair and Hokle County Fair in 2012. Beginning and advanced instructors were Mack Thornton (Pomona Park, FL) and Ralph Giehls (Tucson, AZ). Both teachers have extensive histories in designing and producing southwest style jewelry and participating in the Tucson shows every year in AZ. In addition, she has attended several silversmithing classes at William Holland from 1990 to present in silver fabrication, stone cutting and casting. Gail is currently a member of the SFMS and provides several volunteer hours teaching and promoting this art every year (1990 to present). She takes pleasure in watching students grow in their skills and advance in the lapidary arts.

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Marji Ferrell

Stained Glass

Marji began her artistic life as an art major in college, but decided that being a “starving artist” was not such a good idea and, returning to college, became a nurse. She never gave up her love of art, though, and began taking stained glass lessons in the 1970s. Shortly after, she started taking jewelry lessons and was hooked. After moving to Florida, Marji opened a stained glass studio in Sarasota and in her spare time continued taking jewelry classes. In 2003, Marji and her husband relocated to Murphy, NC: just ten miles from William Holland. Now retired, Marji is able to devote herself to the design and fabrication of custom jewelry and to pass along her knowledge to others.

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Betty Jane Fetvedt

Lampwork Beads

Betty’s fascination with glass brought her to a beginning lampwork class at William Holland in 2003. It was the first of many workshops and classes with a diverse array of talented artists. Betty’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Convergence II, Surface, Indelible and Three x Two. Betty is a member of the ISGB. She teaches both for William Holland and for the Crafts Center at North Carolina State University. Contact Betty at:

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John Fetvedt

Cold Connections

John, who retired from IBM in 2005, was introduced to chain making in 2003 at William Holland, and has since done extensive research on chain patterns. John also teaches chain making at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, WI and the Crafts Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Several of his projects were published in the Lark book, Chain Mail Jewelry: Contemporary Designs from Classic Techniques, by Terry Taylor and Dylon Whyte (ISBN 1-57990-723-7). Many of his projects have also been published by Art Jewelry and Wirework magazines. John’s mentors include Mary Ann Scherr, Blaine Lewis, Charles Lewton-Brain, Thomas Mann and Betty Helen Longhi. He can be contacted at:

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Barbara Fields


Barbara has been working with silver and stone jewelry since 2004. She has taught a silversmithing class in Nashville since 2007. Her own designs tend to be very whimsical and imaginative in nature. Barbara also works in cabochons, silver, channel, enamel and intarsia.

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Kaska Firor


Kaska has been involved in various arts all her life. She graduated from University of Cincinnati with a BA in Interior Design. Her love of handicrafts led her to pursue other creative avenues as well. She has spent time with clay sculpture, stained glass and sawing, eventually arriving at wire art. Kaska has been designing and crafting wire jewelry since the summer of 2000 when she took her first instruction in the medium. Since then, she continues to advance her skills in jewelry arts by attending classes at William Holland, taking classes provided by local and visiting artists and through her own experimentation with various tools and materials. In her work, Kaska uses traditional and innovative wire techniques including wire wrapping, crocheting, weaving, knotting, looping and coiling. She displays and sells her work at art shows in the Midwest where she has won numerous awards. She teaches locally at her studio in Cincinnati as well as at national shows including Bead Fest and Bead and Button. Kaska’s work has been published in Step by Step Wire Jewelry and Art Jewelry magazines. She is the author of Weaving Freeform Wire Jewelry released in Nov. 2013. For more information visit Kaska’s website:

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Scott Forward PG

Gem Identification
Junior Rockhounds
Mineral Identification

Scott graduated with an MS in Management from the University of Georgia, Athens, GA, and has had a lifelong interest in geology. His undergraduate degree in Geoscience from Northeast Louisiana University (Monroe, LA) combined with many years of owning his own environmental consulting business evidence his expertise in mineralogy. He is a registered Geologist in four states and an Internationally Certified Professional in Erosion and Sedimentation Control. Combining these experiences with his remarkable management skills and years of service in the Air Force and Navy Reserves, make him just the kind of instructor to teach the ins and outs of mineral identification. Scott’s many interests include numismatics, mineralogy, racquetball, golf, running, hiking and family-oriented activities.

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