Monday, June 30, 2008

Metal madness

My quest to take my craft to the next level has hit a bit of a road bump. This past Sunday I went to my first of five metalsmithing classes. I've been looking forward to them since early spring and when I finally got there, I'm sorry to say it was a bit disappointing.

There are a few things about the class that I wasn't happy with, compounded by my difficulties with the technical stuff, including the stupid jeweler's saw. The jeweler's saw and I are not friends. I'm afraid we may never be friends. What's more, I believe the jeweler's saw hated me as much as I hated it. It was a mutual fountain of hate between the jeweler's saw and me. Not only did I keep breaking the blade while attempting to cut a piece of silver sheet metal, I also hurt my hand badly from trying to hold the sheet metal at an awkward position. And it's all the fault of the jeweler's saw.

To add insult to injury, the studio uses these hard core acetylene torches in giant industrial-sized tanks with a monstrous nozzle for soldering work. Now, I first learned how to solder on the smaller butane torches. And it worked beautifully. The acetylene torch, on the other hand, was so huge and so unwieldy that I ended up melting the ring I was making. Because of its weakened state, the ring broke apart while I attempted to hammer it in shape.

What makes things doubly frustrating is that I thoroughly enjoyed the soldering class I took a few months ago. I was on such an artistic and technical high when I got home from it. I loved the whole experience; I picked up on the technique immediately.

This, however, is a slightly different story. I attribute some of my difficulties to my unfamiliarity with working with sheet metal. I think I much prefer wire.

So it has not been a very auspicious beginning, but I'm hoping these are just growing pains and that things will improve as the weeks go by.


meridith said...

oh I'm sorry -- I know how much you were looking forward to it.

Hazel Designs said...


Now I have nowhere to go but up in that class (hopefully!)

Thanks for the sympathy, tho :)