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!


Knotgypsy said...

Congratulations! Well done.

I have thought of learning some soldering. Conveniently, I have a partner that knows a lot about it. Convenient, he can show me how, or convenient, I can maybe get him to do it for me! (So I can just keep beading).

Miachelle said...

Good for you! I'm so jealous! :-)

You did great, and I can only imagine how much more confident you must feel.

I can't wait to be done with my college degree-it's killing me not having the time to learn these things.

Beaded Desert said...

Thanks you two! It was a fun little adventure, and I highly recommend learning, just to say you did.