Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Conquered...Sort Of

I've had it in my head for years that I want to master a tap and die connection. Why? Well, when I was a student I had a go and I completely screwed it up. Pardon the pun!  
I made a brooch for a lovely lady Deborah Drearley, who's having a hard time fighting battles to save some beautiful coastal Moonahs.  She loves the brooch but was wondering if I could cap it somehow so it wouldn't catch on cloth.  

The perfect opportunity to take out the tap and die set.  I am convinced the best way to learn is to have a problem to solve.  This is a one off mind you, I'm sure there are simpler solutions, like a rubber tip perhaps.
It was a bit like fitting pieces of a puzzle together; where does this bit go, and what do I do with it?  I think I figured it out, or at least I was confident I had when I produced a silver screw. The female/tube, however was tiny and I thought it would just be too fiddly.  
Given the brooch is a cast Moonah seed pod I thought I could use the same idea of a single pod that I had used for Tara's ring.  This, I have to confess was after an unsuccessful attempt to add a silver ball to the end of the tube. I must have been delusional to think a pod would be any easier to attach but the solder took on the first try.

Now if I could only conquer Mandarin and piano!  As far as jewellery goes, I'm looking at these Moonah pods and thinking they have a natural bezel, am I crazy?  Would it be possible to mount a stone?  I also have a box of enamels which I must have used at some stage but can't remember how.  I never had a kiln.  There is a tiny bottle of lavender oil in with the colours.  So now I'm on the hunt for a good tutorial on torch or cold enamelling, if such a thing exists.


pauline said...

I've been experimenting with torch firing enamels...the metal needs to be super clean, and it's really easy to overfire them.

Suzanne said...

Was the result good?

pauline said...

It took a few times, but so far I've had good luck. I'm really just doing test fires of the colors, the orange and reds have held up to the torch quite well.

Anonymous said...

I loooove my brooch..(.also seeing what icon gets to you )

Cat Williams said...

Artist & teacher Barbara Lewis has excellent tutorials on torch fired enameling. She also has a brand new book out on the subject.

There isn’t a way to do enameling “cold” because you are melting glass, but you could try working with resin instead. Good luck!

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