Friday, April 02, 2010

My First Friday

My first post about the art I'm working on! =)

This is the first metal-smithing project I have ever created. It's got some major problems- I'll be able to fix a couple of the problems, but the rest I'm going to have to let go...

However, I like the end result- it's just not exactly how I envisioned it.

First, I cut out the copper flower- It was the first time I EVER had used a jeweler's saw, and it wasn't easy. I'm a lot more comfortable with it now after working with it since January. Now I feel pretty confident of my ability to do what I want with the tool.

Next, I cut out the silver flower, which was much easier than the copper flower with the cut-outs in the petals.

Here's where it starts getting tricky- Because this is actually the second reincarnation of this pendant.... I almost totally destroyed the original piece., but I was able to save it. I am still in the process of becoming completely happy with it.

After cutting out the flowers I soldered the copper flower onto the silver flower- my first soldering attempt! And it was very successful and easy. I haven't had such an easy time soldering since that first time.

After soldering, I carefully hammered just the edges of the silver flower. It was beautiful! I was so thrilled with the way it looked.

However, my next step was to attach the bail (the little metal thing attached to the back so that I can use the pendant as part of a necklace.)

Arrgh!!! Here's where things went awry! I could NOT get it on there, and by the time I got it attached firmly, I had gotten the pendant too hot. The copper flower had melted into the silver til it had almost disappeared. (You can still see shadows of the original copper flower underneath the second one.) Plus the silver had started to slump and stick to the heating block. It was not pretty! I could have just thrown the whole mess away, but I wanted to save my FIRST metal-smithing project.

So I took it back to the anvil room and hammered the whole silver flower and got rid of most of the weird buckling from the slumping. It wasn't the smooth shiny surface from before, but it was attractive. I tried to save the shape of the silver flower, even if I couldn't save the surface. It had deformed on the right side and looked really weird. Not pretty, not ugly. Just weird.

Then I went back and cut out another copper flower, and attempted to solder it back on to the front. And I couldn't get it to solder on there! Probably because I was terrified of destroying the whole thing again...

So, in my mind I see the beautiful pendant I had before I tried to attach the bail and caused the whole thing to self-destruct... While I like the finished product I have now and will keep it just to remind myself of my first project. I'm not thrilled with the project now, because I keep comparing it to what it was originally. However, I think I did a pretty good job of saving the piece.

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