No excuses soldering

January 13, 2016 , In: Metalsmithing
So I decided this year that I will challenge some of my self imposed restrictions. Excuses I make… obstacles I present to myself. One of these is soldering. I studied metals in college. I fabricated things in sterling from simple to complex. Why aren’t I soldering NOW as my work cycles back to jewelry from ceramic sculpture? Excuses.

All materials present and accounted for… note dust on pickle pot. 

Excuse #1 – The tools and materials are all so different from those that I learned on…
Sure they are! I was in art school 25 years ago! I learned on large propane and oxy/acetylene torches in a fully outfitted metals studio. We had a separate room for pickle, polishing and sand blasting.

As seen above – I HAVE the materials I need for an in home/studio soldering set up. Soldering pad, charcoal block, torches, pickle pot… Flux, solder… OK. So no excuses here.

1. Caroline’s simple yet effective set up. 2. Niky’s portable, fully functional set up. 3. Lesley’s permanent soldering station

Excuse #2 – Safety and space

The picture above is a compilation of images from my dear UK team mates showing their soldering spaces. Umm. if Niky can do ALL she does in like 6″… OK no excuses there. 
Safety – Protect your work surface. Have a fire extinguisher in the studio. Don’t wave the torch around… Hmm. I can do that. So no more excuses there. Lets set up a space shall we?

Ok – let’s make this happen. 

What to make? Hmm. I have some great bangles from Nunn design that need charms. Yes – something good to wear to MEXICO when I take the Richard and Jane Salley class of a lifetime. Something to remind me that I am there to learn/relearn soldering.

A 2016 charm with soldered bail. a sweat soldered crescent. and sterling spiral. OK. Lets do this.

3 charms ready to assemble. one soldered loop, 2 sweat soldered layered pieces. 
DONE! Excuses vanquished. See below – pickle and patina! Not perfect,but a personal success. 
pickled and patina – NOT perfect! 
An auspicious start to the year… 
* Footnote – since originally writing this post I have spent that week in Mexico and SOLDERED ALL THE THINGS. Victory is mine! Details and eye candy coming soon!

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Jenny Davies-Reazor is a mixed media artist inspired by myth, folklore and the natural world. A proud Jack-of-all-trades, she concentrated in metals and painting in art school, turned to clay during her teaching career, and is truly happiest when mixing materials in unusual ways. From clay to resin, paper to polymer... Since leaving her ceramics classroom, Jenny is always in the studio: fabricating jewelry, creating ceramic shrines and decorative tiles, and teaching in a variety of mediums. " I love sharing my passion for art, and seeing sparks light up in student's eyes..."
  1. Reply

    This post has reminded me to stop making excuses for not soldering. If Niky can do all she does in like 6" space, then I can do it too

  2. Reply

    First conquest of 2016 – way to go!

  3. Reply

    I'm so impressed! I too have everything I need to solder just sitting there collecting dust. You have inspired me to get started!

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