Friday, July 3, 2009

Adventures in Metal Smithing...

I was a guest blogger at the Spark Journal Blog and posted about my i wanted to post it here as well. Is it considered stolen if i still wrote it? ;)

Hey ya'll! Jenipher here from Cherry Runway! I'm beyond stoked that I get to guest blog! Yay!

Okay! So, i've been making beaded jewelry for approx 17 years now and am FINALLY starting to venture into actually MAKING jewelry. So i wanted to share a little bit of my experience taking my first metal smith class. Granted, it's not everything, but it's enough to get your creative juices going!

First off, if you are interested in this type of craft, you need a TON of patience. Which sadly, i have learned i need more of. Alas, i still created a really neat pendant with my limited source of patience.



First you have to sketch our your design. Choose your stone {if you'd like one} and the type of metal you'd like to use. I used Sterling Silver sheet metal. I love trees and i wanted to use some textured recycled metal in my piece. I used a round hole punch [sorry! no image] to punch out circles from random bits of scrap my instructor had.

TIP! ALWAYS keep scraps! Especially sterling ones. Whether it's sheet metal or a head pin. You can melt these pieces or re-use them later.

Once you figure out what shapes you need, your almost ready to use the torch to start soldering. This is my FAVORITE part!! The touch is kind of intimidating at first, and sometimes soldering just doesn't go the way you want it to, but it's so neat to just take pieces of metal and create something beautiful.




Once your all soldered, which takes quite a few steps to do, your piece will look all funky from the chemicals reaction to the heat.. Maybe it might turn black, or green {in my case}. No worries! You drop that lil sucker in this neat chemical they call "the pickle" and it cleans it all up for you!


You might realize pieces have fallen off if they weren't soldered properly, so this may take quite a while longer to finish. BUT this is the gist!


Hooked yet? :)


This is the start of a perdy ring I'm making...


AND THIS! This is the beginning of a piece i was enameling. So cool!

Yay! That was so fun! Thank you again for letting me participate in the blog party! I'm so so excited to see what's in store! Thanks for reading! :)

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