The best gift you can give anyone is intangible. You touch lives when you share your knowledge.
Teach someone a new skill and you never know where the road will take them.
My friend Kate is all about teaching me the things she's discovered. She is retired from her day job, so she has time to work out all the tricks when it comes to a new technique. Last summer, she taught me how to copper tape glass and china, and solder the edges.
In the photo above, I am now teaching my sister-in-law, Donna, how to do it.
We still struggle at it......here are a couple of pieces I have made:
It's obvious I need a lot more practice before I'll feel I can sell my work in this media. The one on the right is the one I made with Miss Kate last summer; the one on the left, I made last night with Donna.
Kate came to see me last weekend. She brought me Sal Ammoniac, which is needed to tin the tip of the soldering wand. (Some don't use it, but we found it was better if *we* did). She bought me two pieces of plywood Mike (her husband) had cut, to put under the work, and a stick-free pad made JUST for soldering with the wand.
I had purchased the good Weller unit. If you buy a soldering wand, don't even mess around with the cheap under 10.00 units from the crafts store. They don't heat evenly and they are frustrating to use. My unit was found on Amazon and with shipping it was less than 50.00.
Besides that you need microscope slides, old broken china, clear glass marbles, old perfume bottles (rats, I forgot to photograph that! Mine came out great!) ....and copper foil tape, a popsickle stick as a burnisher, flux.....maybe a couple of other things.
Yeah, we're not experts yet. Donna was saying something when I took this photo, not sure it was repeatable. LOL! We're instant gratification girls, are you like that? We want it to come out first try. Hey, you NEVER know.
Miss Kate did say, she initially took to it like a duck to water. Yep. It will just take more practice for Donna and I, that's all.
Kate made me this necklace, which I have been wearing constantly every day since she gave it to me a week ago:
She used chain and little bits from B'sue Boutiques along with a big glass marble (you can buy them in the dollar store) and copper sheet tape on the back, which she soldered over, as well. These photos don't at all do the necklace justice.
Under the marble she included a little image collage that says B'sue Boutiques and she soldered a tiny heart on foil tape to the top of the marble, too. It shines like sterling!
Donna and I will get this all worked out and then I will give Kate something *I* made that is very special. It will come full-circle.
Two books on the subject that are worth your time:
Simple Soldered Jewelry and Accessories by Lisa Bluhm (this volume is Kate's number one choice)
Solder Technique Studio by Josie Cirincione (which I liked, but gotta agree, get the one Kate recommends first, then this one as an add-one---lots of info in Josie's book about structural pieces)
Thank you so much, Miss Kate, for the gift of soldering with a wand! My skill set is truly increasing!