After the festive season, it seems one of the key skills of metalsmithing, soldering, had desserted me, so this month I thought it would be a good idea to concentrating on getting this right.
If you have been following my metal smithing journey, you will know I have experimenting and playing around with different techniques and ideas
In January I was looking at the different forming methods, using doming cubes and swaging blocks.
But I soon realised that my soldering skills had gone to pot, so last month I decided to concentrate on getting to grips with this essential technique, especially as I have some big making plans in the upcoming months, which will be very dependent upon soldering.
I decided to go back to basics, and play around with a design that was very popular in the run up to Christmas at the various markets I participated in, the sterling silver bar studs.
I started very simply, with small sterling silver bar studs:
I love the simplistic minimalist design of these studs, which make them so versitile, and played around with different sizes 10mm, 15mm and 20mm, making sure that I was creating a solid join between the 2 metals.
Then I decided to see whether I could solder textured copper to sterling silver, and this what happened:
I think I may have used a little too much solder on this one, but in a kinda mistake way I quite like the effect, so I might just call it a design feature!
Things on the soldering front are going really well by now, and I am getting into the creative groove, which means that my brain is coming out with so many ideas with regards how I can add a bit of a twist to these bar studs, and go back to my textured curved studs:
It's about 1am now, and that's when I sem to be the most creative, and I come up with idea of a twisted bar stud.
When it comes to soldering I have to admit this was the most challanging as I have to find 2 relatively flat metal surfaces to solder, but with a bit of swearing, alot of perserverance I manage to create 2 versions 15mm and 20mm:
Personally I have to say these twisted are my favourite out of all the bar studs I created in this session.