Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Adventures In Soldering (I Didn't Burn Down the Studio)

Well, as you may have read last week, I took "Soldering 101" on Saturday. This was one of my Crafty Resolutions for this year, so it feels good to be able to cross something off the list.

Let me just say, I went in a little apprehensive about using the torch and the chemicals. I have taken basic bead lampworking classes, so holding my hands near intense flames was not new to me, but I knew that soldering would be a little bit different. But really, it wasn't that scary or difficult. In fact, I had fun and I can't wait to get some things designed and cut up so I can rent some studio time there and do some more soldering!! I have a small torch of my own, and I can get solder and pickle and the tools, but I may want to take those first few in to the studio so if I need some help or tips, I may be able to pick some one's brain there.

I didn't burn myself or anyone else, nor did I burn down the studio. So I was quite proud of myself. And I didn't even have to remind myself NOT to touch the hot metal with bare fingers. Good me. ;D

We spent the morning going over the different types of solder, safety concerns, and looking at examples of soldered pieces. Then we broke for lunch, because lunch is very important, and had the afternoon to cut up metal into pieces and the practice soldering bits and wire together. A Saturday well spent in my opinion. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. I feel more confident about soldering (though I still really love the things you can do with cold connections and rivets), and I plan to start experimenting with metals more when the temps here start to cool down (so I can be out in the garage without melting from the heat).

Here are a few pictures of my practice pieces. One didn't work so well, the solder didn't take, but I want to show it anyway, its part of whole "trials and tribulations" of learning to make jewelry.

The other piece I am quite proud of. I may even clean it up and use it in a piece for myself. Or I may just drill a little hole in it and hang it from something on my work table, as a reminder of what I can do now. Taking this class was very empowering for me.

Well, that's the update for now. Thanks for reading and happy beading!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Week of June 19-23, 2007

Wow, where the heck did May go?! I came back from vacation and became a total blog slacker!! I have actually been working on a few things, nothing ready for photos yet. And idiot me, I did an earring swap with the Bead Circle gals and I didn't take pictures of what I sent.

Well, that's one crafty resolution I dropped the ball on I guess, weekly blog updates. But at least I'm making good on some of the other resolutions I made. This coming Saturday, the 23rd, I will be taking the "Soldering 101" class from the Metal's Edge Studio. I'm really looking forward to this. I haven't really had a chance to mess with the metals in almost a year (I'm going to be so rusty with the jewelers saw, hopefully they won't have us do much cutting, just lots of soldering), and I have all these ideas and sketches that I really couldn't do much with until I learned to solder. So I will be taking pictures of whatever I manage to not destroy or totally screw up and next week I'll share that whole experience with you!!

I've been looking forward to this class for the past two weeks now, and its put me in the mood to work with metals, so I think this weekend I'm going to break out the wire again and start working with that some more. I need a break from eye-straining, hand-cramping stitches.

I also made my first sale on Etsy in May! I sold one pair of the Rawhide earrings to a gal who also works with shelter dogs. How great is that?! And I completed a cute pair of earrings that look like oranges. I just need to get some pictures and then those will be listed in my Etsy shop. So keep checking back for those. No, I don't plan to go with an all fruit theme in my shop, I was just on a role.

Off topic, I've also created a new blog, just for promoting the dogs we foster. I'll be posting pictures and updates there, along with plugging various upcoming RESCUE events and fundraisers. If anything, you can check it out for the "Awwwww" factor. Head on over and check out our newest foster, Jade. Of course, I'll still do a little shameless promotion here, but I figured that topic deserved its very own blog. ;D

Wish I had more to report, but I just wanted to check in and let everyone know I'm still around, still beading, just slacking on the blogging.

Thanks for reading and happy beading!