I got it figured.
And not a moment too soon.
As you know I’ve been having a bit of trouble with the Sneak Peak.
First off, you should never sneak peak anything because then you’re committed, and once you’re committed it all starts to go terribly wrong, and once it all starts to go terribly wrong, you’re stuck with having to come up with something. And, if you’re me, you can’t let it go and it starts to niggle you all day, every day, and begins to wear you down until you can’t think straight, you can’t sleep, (you can still eat though so you know that, even if you do go out of your mind, you won’t starve to death). You even decide that you would be willing to sell your first child just to solve the mystery of the non flowing solder. But you just have to go on alone as none of your children live with you anymore, and the one time they would have come in handy, the ONE time, they’re not available to sell. Darn it.
Yes, it took me almost a week of fret and tears, but I did it!
I won the battle.
(Told you I would.)
So, if you remember, here is the Sneak Peak from hell.
I had all good intentions.
I was going to show you my process, from the initial sketch through to the end piece.
And, it started off fine.
Drawing the design.
Fitting the bezel wire around the stone.
Soldering the bezel wire.
Sanding the bottom flush.
(Don’t look at it!)
Tracing the design onto the clear sticky back paper stuff.
Sticking the clear side to the silver sheet,
and cutting out the base.
Sanding the base,
Soldering the collar onto the base.
Twiddling and soldering the wire to make the stem.
Cutting out the other little bits of the design.
Until they all fit perfectly
Oh yes everything seems fine and dandy until –
IT ALL GOES TO POT!
Eventually I had to give it up, not forever you understand, just for a brain rest.
So I got out a new design, because I am, after all, a sucker for punishment.
Here it is.
I found it a stone.
And made it a collar.
But, the darn collar wouldn’t solder to the base!
That’s when I started to get really ticked. I’ve been soldering for ages now, and haven’t had this much trouble but once before – with the Amethyst, which is now banned from the studio.
I cleaned the silver. I pickled it, I sanded it, I filed it. I agonizingly worked it until the collar was so flush with the base that the bottom of the stone would never see the light of day again. I did ALL of the things you’re supposed to do, but the solder just wouldn’t flow. I tried all the different fluxes I’ve got. I threw away my pickle and made some more. I nigh on nearly went bald from pulling my hair out. I even dreamt about the darn thing.
The only difference I could see was that the pieces I’m making now are bigger.
And that’s when I had the hallelujah moment.
When I first started to make jewelry I bought myself a small head for my torch as the one that came with it was like a gigantic flame thrower, and, during my student phase, sizzled up every bit of silver it even looked at into a sorrowful blob mess. And the smaller head worked great …
So, I changed the head back to the larger nozzle, the flame was now able to evenly heat the larger surface of silver, and, oh for heaven’s sake, the solder flowed like a dream.
So annoyingly simple.
So here they are.
The nightmare pieces.
Mexican Agate cabochon
Indonesian Coral Cabochon
I don’t ever want to look at them again!