I’ve been down with food poisoning for four days!! 😦 That was a bummer and so hard on my poor body, but its over now. Yay, and today, I actually was able to get some work done.
I finally finished the ear cuffs this morning, the last three, and I was SO glad to be done with them. I don’t want to do them anymore, just too small. YET, I know me, I hate to waste material, so perhaps some day I’ll break out the can full of bits and pieces and try again. For now though, I’m good with just making the rings.
I got seven more rings made today. I’ve added pics of some. I ran into some real issues this time. When it comes to the newer metal, the stainless, you don’t have much to sweat other than the hammering time because steel just doesn’t want to give. It will eventually, but overall its stubborn, but the nice thing about it is how durable it is against abuse. That’s why its in all kinds of structures, it can take abuse and remain the same, strong, and for the most part unblemished.
Antique Silverware is another animal all together. Its a softer alloy and generally plated. There have been a few pieces that are nearly all silver in the mix of pieces I have, but mostly they are a brass alloy with a heavy plating. The problem isn’t the alloy, which is more giving and accepting of being re-shaped. The problem is in the soft surface of the metal and how easily it mars. In this pic you can see what time and use do to the metal.
That’s corrosion and use pock-marks. It’s like metal with blemishes. No matter how delicately I work a piece like this, filing and sanding (very gently), I would have to remove so many layers of metal to get a smooth surface that I just give up at some point. So it goes in the for sale bin at a MUCH cheaper price. It definitely looks the part of an antique that has been on the dinner table many times over the years. Some people like that worn look, so I didn’t toss it. I could actually save these rather than try to sell them, we’ll see if they don’t go, and if they don’t they go in the scrap can, and perhaps I’ll be able to melt them down for a pouring sometime.
I have a lot to learn yet. I never really thought I’d do anything with metal, but apparently the Creator seems to think its a good media for me to work with. In this picture the ring on the left has a crack in the design. I don’t have any solder presently, but was offered some today and should have it relatively soon, so I’ll save the piece for a solder repair. A crack is an easier fix than pock-marks are. To fill marks with solder and then file and sand and polish would make the time spent not worth the price asked, so I won’t go that route, but in this case the design on the ring, and it being a crack, I believe to be worth the repair. Can you see the little crack?
So I’m learning as I go along, some steps to take that make things easier. I’m going to dip some pliers (channel locks) in a rubber substance this weekend and cover the tips to have them handle the metal while I hammer. The metal is cooled from the heat forging process so it won’t melt the rubber and make a mess, but I’m getting tired of whacking my knuckles. LOL. 😛
Once you polish them they sure are pretty. Its hard though to keep that clean gleam on the surface because just handling them with finger tips causes oils from the skin to reduce the shimmer. BUT, that’s what happens when you wear jewelry, which is why there is cleaner and polish. Funny I would be making rings, because I personally only wear one ring, with occasionally adding another on my other hand now and then. I use my hands so much for chores and creativity that I rarely put on bling. I don’t live a bling lifestyle either, but you never know when an event allows for a little glamour, so I have a few I keep for such times. I kept the first ring I made, its a brass or bronze or perhaps alloy that has a golden sheen to it.
The larger silverware, the table wear, in antique pieces are much larger and give opportunity to make larger rings. I am a large woman myself, and know that there are many large women in REAL life, so I’m trying to cater sizes to all kinds of sizes of people. I like the idea of unisex rings as well. So far the sizes range from 4 to 14. I may, if I’m fortunate enough to find more tableware, attempt some bracelets. We’ll see how that goes.
SO, I haven’t soldered anything in a few years. That means the books are on the table, and I have equipment, but no oxygen to mix for the torch, meaning I have to work with a little soldering pen when I get some solder to work with. Every time I do something that I haven’t done in a while I get apprehension. A bit of anxiety precedes the effort, but I guess that’s pretty normal for all of us.
I have a few goals that I am saving money up for. One: a dual fuel generator that uses gas or propane in case the power goes out. Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but I’ve heard that hackers can take down power grids since everything runs by computers anymore, and I want to be prepared. Two: a metal roller, so I can thin metal and make it go further. Three: a hot tub. LOL. I have this stinking arthritis and hot soaks make life SO much sweeter. But I don’t want one of those big party tubs, I just want a small one I can put in my garage and heat the water with my wood stove. I know it can be done. I don’t need atmosphere, this isn’t a party, its about warmth for bones and tissues. 🙂 SO, I hope I sell many rings over time, and that in a year or two I can achieve at least the first two goals.
Its been a full day, time to rest. This is Father’s day weekend. I’m hoping my sons will be lavished with love and affection and yummy treats and fun for being the good dad’s they are. They ARE good dads. If you are a dad, have a good Father’s day! I will be giving thanks (this Father’s day) to my Divine Father, my Creator, who is THE supreme scientist, supreme supernatural being that set up planet Earth, and developed human life. The ultimate Dad who has shown me the highest form of love there is.