Friday, April 18, 2008

soldering for dummies

today i tried my hand at soldering, as i will soon be doing alot of it in sally jean's class in hampton. however, even before sally jean, i had pre-ordered stephanie lee's semiprecious salvage [creating found-art jewelry]. it is a how to book packed full of neat projects. i really like the rustic look of her jewelry designs. i decided to start small, so i began by soldering two sizes of copper jump rings. i used 20 gauge wire, wrapping the wire around a glue stick (as a guide) to make the larger ones. the smaller ones were wrapped around a beadalon jump ring maker. at first the solder was like working with mercury (out of a broken thermometer).
so far was so good; on to my next project ~ make a sea shell pendant. i wrapped the top of one of my stashed sea shells, burnished it with 1/2 " copper tape, and soldered it onto the top of the shell. i then attached one of the small copper jump rings on top. i was actually surprised at myself for being so patient. even though my jump ring fell off many times, i finally got it to stay and i like the way it turned out.
my final project was my most challenging. i soldered a bezel using a narrow piece of copper pipe i had the friendly guy down at the hardware store cut for me. (this way i didn't have to use a hacksaw or pipe cutter~thanks Chris for the warning). i cut a piece of copper sheet for the base; then put the copper pipe on top. i then soldered them together, making sure to always use my flux so the metals would stick together. it was an interesting time, to say the least! thanks to natalie at wired designs, in san antonio, for giving me hints on how to use large paper clamps as holders for my work while i soldered.
now, all i have to do it blacken my pieces tomorrow with liver of sulfur, sand and seal. then i plan on adding a great picture of audrey hepburn into the bezel, using resin as the well filler. i have never worked with resin. i will let you see how it all turns out tomorrow.


Susan Tuttle said...

Wow! - you go girl! - nice work!

I can't wait to see them finished.

Thank you so much for pre-ordering my book!

Have a great weekend Diane.


Mei Tan said...

Interesting work. I have never tried soldering but may venture into it one day.
Nice work.

Anita said...

I am so impressed!! I've never soldered anything creative... lol Speaker wires aren't too creative... ;)

Chris said...

Oh my!!!! I leave my computer for a weekend, and you do three of the projects in Stephanie's awesome book! I love it~ I'm soooo impressed! I love the way your bezel turned out. How did you use the paper clamps? And you made the shell pendant!! I still must find copper tape to do this one. And links too!!! You have blown me away. I'm so way impressed with your work!!!
And I think I used 12,000 exclamation points here. I just think you rock!

Dragonstar said...

Wonderful projects. You're doing a load of fascinating stuff here. Keep going!

Tammy's Treasure Chest said...

Yay for you! Isn't it exciting to do something new? I so envy you, getting to take a class. There are none in my area, and I must teach myself! Keep up the great work!

Paulie said...

I applaud you for your work with soldering! It is not my cup of tea but am glad it si yours! Fantastic job!

Anonymous said...

How exciting!!!!!!