Misadventures in Metalsmithing

March 27, 2009

On Weds, I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and comfortable temps, to attempt making some balled copper headpins. I hauled all my soldering stuff outside and set myself up on the steps leading the the back door. Hopefully by this summer I can get a small table and chair out on the patio, because that was not comfortable at all! I recently purchased a new charcoal block, so I got that all tightened up with some binding wire first. I plucked up my first little headpin to work on, a delicate little wire. I slathered it in flux, stuck it in my 3rd hand, and lit the torch. I began the warming process, watching the flux powder up and moved to the top to make the dainty, darling little ball I longed to have and.... nothing. The copper changed colors and blackened, then began to glow red and... nothing. It took about 4 attempts before I got one, pathetic little ball on the end of some wire. By that time, I was frustrated and needed to step away from it.

Of course, the weather has gone to pot since then so I haven't had the chance to get back out there and try again. Instead, I decided to begin another project. One that does not require melting metal or going outside. I was flipping thru a chain making book and got it in my head to make some little figure 8 links. An hour later I had a nice little pile of tiny 1/4" long copper links. I dug around in my gemstones looking for something that spoke to me, hunting for the sort that was ready to become a piece of jewelry. I stumbled on a few strands of flower jade, and they were perfect. The rich brown tones would compliment the warmth of the copper while the greens would remind on of the patina that metal can develop. The past 2 days have been filled with little links, making flower jade connectors, and I am beginning to assemble now. If the family behaves, it should be up in my shop by Monday (weather permitting)

On the non-jewelry side of things, it's been interesting. My youngest, 2 years old, is teething. So if he's not being your typical tantrum throwing 2 year old he is clinging to me and whining. And sleep?? What's that? You would figure after 12 months of getting new teeth in, he'd be a little more used to the process. We also purchased a chest freezer, something we've talked about for 4 years now and finally got around to doing. To celebrate, I ran to the grocery store and filled it with meat, veggies, ice cream and of course frozen pizzas. My husband also informed me this morning, he was going to take our 3 year old daughter to see Monsters Vs Aliens on Sunday. He has no idea what he's in for!

Be sure to check out the Artfire shop. I loaded it with a bunch of the glass tile pendants. I love making them, each one has it's own little story. Not to mention, they are affordable and cute. I gave all the women in my family pendants for Christmas, as a little woman to woman gift. More things are getting added every few days in the shop, so check it often!


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