If you follow my blog/jewelry design journey you'll know that I have a really awful time with following instructions. But, I really want to learn how to solder. Soldering will open up a whole lot of doors for me, and help me make things I wouldn't be able to make with cold connections. I watched a few videos on YouTube, but I just can't figure things out until I can do them myself. So, I headed to Iowa Jeweler's Supply, picked up some supplies, and got started.
The thing about soldering is that it's more like baking than cooking. Wire wrapping and cold connections, even some metal work is like cooking in that there's a lot of leeway for your own personal touches, and a lot of techniques work to achieve a delicious result. A pinch of salt, a hint of garlic, add in some basil, or if you're out of basil oregano will do. Don't like onions? No problem. But, with soldering you have to follow the recipe or it just won't turn out. And, I am terrible at baking.
I had a customer who wanted a ring for his girlfriend, so I decided to hone my soldering skills by working on that ring. And, I know I'm crazy to have started my first official soldering project with 3mm bezels. Yes, that's right. 3mm bezels.
Here is what I came up with:
I really like the design of the ring. But, I have a lot to learn.
I winged it. Sure, I watched videos, but I had no idea what the instructors were talking about.
I was able to fit the flattened wire together to make a bezel, and I was able to successfully solder the bezels onto the shank of the ring. But, I wasn't able to keep the crystals inside of the bezel without a little help. I used a bit of steel reinforced epoxy to hold the stones in the bezel, which is a HUGE faux pas in jewelry design.
It may be a good idea for me to take a class... but I have a feeling that I'll get frustrated. Perhaps a one on one session with a metal worker would be better for me?
Last week I made a Bold Swirl Ring for a customer, and I used a bit of copper solder to fuse together the wires that formed the shank. That made for a much more comfortable fit. So, it's not an entirely lost cause... not yet, anyway.