How did I spend my summer, you ask? Soldering and sweating, I answer. It’s all about heat, baby! When I’m not behind a torch, I’m in front of a fan, trying to ward off either the honest hard-earned sweat of work, or the devious annoying sweat of a hot flash. Torch, fan, torch. Repeat.
Early in the season, maybe even in the spring, I took a class in texturing metal. It was great fun, even though from the moment I registered, I felt like an imposter, a sham, a pretender, a massive loathsome blob in the cozy glorious world of real metalsmiths. In fact, I absconded with a few secrets.
For the a process called Shibuichi (hold the wasabi), we melted down scraps of copper and fine silver in a small crucible to make one big scrap. Already an exciting development, but it gets better; then I found out that if you heat silver to a point just before it liquefies you can break it into these fantastic jagged edged pieces. By soldering those jagged pieces together you can make something really interesting.
|Shibuichi (with Wasabi)|
Well, you can make something really interesting. The process was so cool and simple and inspiring and awesome that I had to put it on the back burner. Instead, I have been trying like a melting fool to become a “master” solderer.
|Django Jingles Necklace|
Yeah, well, don’t call me Master just yet. Yesterday was a soldering bust. Nothing I touched with a flame worked the way I wanted it to. I’d been boldly bonding all summer and suddenly I had to pay some unforeseen toll—the toll of abrupt inexplicable incompetence. At least this time it did not involve lighting my arm on fire.
|New hand wrought clasps|
But the nice thing about life is that today is a whole new day. With new energy and enthusiasm, and a shimmer of fresh sweat, here’s what I am working on today.
|Today's experiments are tomorrow's treasures!|