Adventures with Solder

On a last-minute whim, I decided to enroll in the Soldered Jewelry class offered at Texas Art Asylum here in town. The Asylum is a fabulous place near downtown Houston that is an artist's and crafter's dream. Its filled with all sorts of goodies for upcycling, recycling and creative reuse. Things like doll parts, glass vials, license plates, typewriter keys, vintage jewelry, interior design samplers, vintage picture frames and oodles more wonderful hard-to-find things.

I end up spending a lot of money there when I shop because everything screams out to me for me to take whatever it is home and create something. That's how I have a bunch of porcelain doll heads, rusty utensils, glass paint, gorgeous fabric remnants and antique casters. Yeah, sometimes I'm not sure what I'm thinking.

The class was offered inside the workshop and everything was supplied - the flux, solder, glass plates, ceramic work surface (a 12"x12" tile), copper tape, etc - but for the soldering iron which I brought. What a fascinating process! I'd tried unsuccessfully to solder a suncatcher before so this class really helped fill in the chunks of knowledge I was missing.

The instructor was Houston artist Lorraine Richardson. You can check out more of her work on my facebook page: Bits & Bobs.

All nine students made one double-sided glass pendant from vintage papers (some people made tiny collages). I used a beautiful damask looking napkin for my pendant. Here is one side:

Isn't that fabulous? If I subtract all the time I spent futzing with my sub-par soldering iron, this probably took me about 30 minutes to make from cutting the paper, to copper-taping it to soldering the tape and the jump ring on.

The instructor had several samples to show us and the world this opens up for me is tremendous. She basically made tiny shadow boxes out of metal and I instantly fell in love. I can't wait to make more for family, friends and my lovely customers!

Anybody out there into creating soldered jewelry? What has your experience been?

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