The Girls Got Gothic class was another Sold Out class I attended at Art & Soul. I had signed up for this class, hoping to learn all I could about soldering (in one day) from the great Sally Jean Alexander. Like she says in her book, Pretty Little Things, if she can solder a plastic doll, she can solder anything. Yes, I decided to skip registering for the class, Soldering for Virgins, offered on Thursday because I wanted to go home with a completed piece of jewelry. Nevermind, that I had not soldered but once before using Stephanie Lee's book for instruction-whose soldering by the way, is completely different from Sally Jean's! But, via an e-mail beforehand, Sally was so encouraging and assured me on what I should do while in class. Thankfully, I did. And, I absolutely loved it.
The morning was our time to collage the pieces before soldering in the afternoon. She gave tips on how she collages-using beautiful ephemera consisting of vintage wallpaper, German die cuts, maps, words from special old books, vintage journal pages, sheet music, tissue, tickets, foil pieces, old photos, lace, ribbon, buttons, crystals, and just about anything you can put between 2 pieces of glass. She used paint next-cerulean blue, yellow ochre, raw umber and Golden Soft Gel medium, to enchance and mesh the collage together. Finally, she showed how she uses soft charcoal pencil to give it an aged look.
Her husband Brad is her assistant. He is great, and can solder as professionally as Sally. He cuts all the glass she uses, and showed us how to do so as well. Loved it!
In our class packet, we received a large and smaller gothic arch, several sizes of rectanges, and bubbles. We received 2 sizes of copper foil tape. She explained and demonstrated the set-up/workstation, cleaning the glass pieces before soldering, wrapping, burnishing and finally the soldering of the charm itself. She taught us how to clean our irons with the sal ammoniac bloc. Her tips on adding the jump rings was priceless. She is a great teacher. I believe she could solder in her sleep.
We cleaned our pieces with flux cleaner, and then polished them with Blue Magic metal polish.
Last, she had a roll of nickel silver wire which she used to show how to make our own necklace chain. I hammered, soldered and made about 8 rings before I left.
I soldered 4 various rectangles, 1 gothic arch and a bubble in class that day. The bubble, which I loved making the most, is now in a custom designed necklace made last Satuday. I added it to a 20" nickel chain; hung a small yellow agate rondell below it, and finished it with a dragonfly. It is now hanging on my massage therapist's neck! She adores it, and we decided to call it "The Melissa"~shown at the bottom.
I did leave without a completed piece of jewely that day, but left with much more. A new passion for soldering.