Thursday, 6 March 2014

New pieces completed at last

My workbench looks like a bomb has hit it  with piles of little beads everywhere and I really need a good old tidy up this afternoon whilst I mull over what I would like to make next. I need to get some new things done to put on my website as my welcome page hasn’t changed in a while. Spice Trail is done at last. I’m really pleased with how it has turned out and it is one of my favourite pieces ever. It feels substantial and yet is light and supple – which is just what I want to achieve in a bead embroidered piece. It will go off to a new home within the next few days.

My experiments with spirals in silversmithing class have been interesting, if a little stressful. I now know why they call this technique ‘sweat soldering’. It reduced me to a perspiring anxious heap! I made a disk which I had hammered and textured and wanted to solder on the seven hammered spirals that I had made out of thin tubing. I melted spots of solder on the front of the disk then placed the spirals on the solder spots. The tutor told me how to heat from the reverse using firing bricks and a piece of wire screen to raise it up so I could get the torch flame underneath. I thought I had fused the spirals in place and dropped the pendant in the pickle bath to clean the firescale off. Imagine my horror to see all the pieces come off! It took several attempts before I eventually ‘got it’. But I felt so good when I came out of class to have mastered something new that was so completely out of my comfort zone. Here is the finished piece.



Ankie said...

Wow Valerie, it looks great , feels good hey, trying something so new and succeeding from there it can only get better, great to read you love your classes so much, Take care , Ankie

Valerie Jones said...

Thanks Ankie, it seems that you are never too old to learn something new! Sometimes I find that the things that are hard to do are the ones that turn out best in the end. Val

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