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!

1 comment:

  1. You did good. I have never tried prongs etc but they look wonderful on the ring and an interesting and attractive way to set the stone.I think it sounded like you needed the extra heat.


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