Wednesday, April 2, 2014

week 8 of 10 in metalsmithing class

I mentioned in my last post that hubby and I have been taking a metalsmithing class at our local art center. The instructor is extremely knowledgeable and skilled at both jewelry making and teaching. The first two nights were lecture. The rest of the sessions are all hands-on in the studio, making whatever we desire. 

My goal for the class is to learn to solder metal, which is vastly different from soldering stained glass pendants. The first night of open studio, week three of class, I started a ring, which would require soldering a butt joint. Silly me.... it's much tougher than it looks. The joint has to be PERFECTLY aligned for the solder to join the two edges. I filed and worked on that @#$% butt joint for three class sessions and it still didn't line up as precisely as it needed to. The instructor told me she's had new students use up all eight studio sessions on something like this. Egads! Not wanting to use up any more class time on a ring I didn't want in the first place, I changed gears and started work on a tree pendant. Things started to get fun. 

Last night, I finally got to use the acetylene torch - not to solder, but to anneal. Here's how the underneath side of the copper looked after annealing and before pickling and cleaning: 

It's pretty enough I could have just washed it up, shaped and sealed as-is, don't you think? You can see what it looked like before the annealing process in the bottom photo - it's the rectangular piece near the front. In this photo, I'd just finished pushing it through the rolling press to give it the appearance of bark. It's going to be what you see through the tree cut-out in the pendant. 

In summary, last night's class was FUN and I can't wait to for next week's class to do more! I hope you're doing something fun these days too! 


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