Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Let's get started!

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm excited to start a brand new year - let's hope it's a peaceful, prosperous and full of creativity year for all.

A lot of the jewelry-community people chose one word to inspire them for the year to come. I'm greedy, so I'll take three! The first two are the words on the prayer box I got randomly at this year's jewelry workshop I attended:

Playfulness - because my life has been too serious in the last few years. And everyone needs to play more and rediscover the child in them. Mine has been quietly reading in a corner - like I actually did as a child. Now I want her to go out to the playground, run with the other kids, stumble, fall and get up again and have a wonderful carefree time.

Gratitude - because I want to remember and honor all the good things in my life (and they are many).

And finally,

Reinvention - because I do want to reinvent myself a bit this year, and try things I haven't done before. And not all of them are actually jewelry-oriented, and may take some time away from that and from the blog-writing (not that I'm the most prolyfic blogger), but I need to indulge the Curious George in me. Besides, 13 is my favorite number, so I might as well be optimistic about this year.

At Susan's workshop, she taught me to solder prongs and a ring band. My mom snatched it from me when I made a pit stop in Portugal on my way back. And I hadn't tried soldering again since I got back.

Until the first day of this year, that is (what better day to start?).

So I tried making a soldered ring as a gift for a friend's birthday today. The prongs were easy-peasy but when it came to the ring band... I tried soldering it 5 times unsuccessfully. Each time going back, removing the solder, pickling everything again, and again fluxing and prepping... But I am very stubborn when I want something...

Before the sixth time, I sat and thought for a while. What was wrong? I was using solder wire, which is round, and make a gap between the base of the ring and the band, and I know there can't be gaps. So I hammered the wire flat. I was also using a Dremel butane torch I recently got which has a very pointy flame. Was it hot enough? I used my butane plumber's torch, which has a much larger flame and quickly heat the whole ring. And in three seconds, it was soldered!

I don't know which of these did the trick - nor do I care right now. In time, I'll go by elimination to find out. For now, I'm just proud of my second soldered ring. Hope my friend likes it.

Happy Birthday Mila!