Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Hard Work is Good January 16, 2015

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 11:24 am
Tags: , ,

I am beginning the new year with some challenging work. And although there are some definite frustrations going on, it feels really good to try something hard. Before Christmas, I took a class on tinning pendants with a soldering iron…Always wanted to give this a try. It seemed pretty easy under the watchful eye of the instructor, so I sent in a last-minute request to Santa for a soldering iron and jewelry quality silver solder. And just in case Santa heard my plea, I mailed away for some glass slides.

Super excited to give this a try. However, neglected to read up on tinning the soldering tip before tinning a piece and think I ruined the tip. Luckily there was an extra couple of tips in the package and I realized I’d better do some internet investigating on how to do this. Better luck the second go round. Still learning and my efforts were a bit gloopy, but think I’ll get the hang of it with more practice. Adding the jump ring required several tries and a third hand tool.

paris ornament

             Eiffel Tower ornament made in the class.

                       Love the touch of silk.















I also gave tinning a try one of my polymer clay hearts,

just to see if it would work.

Might make some cute Valentine necklaces.

soldered heart button 2


This is my first and only attempt at home with my new Christmas present…pretty rough edges, so I decided to add some silver blobs at the top corners and make it look “organic”, “rustic”, and “artisan”.  Covers a lot of imperfections, I hope.

Tinned pendant


Hard Work, part two…I enrolled in the adult school metals class again, mainly to work on bezel setting stones.  I have been inspired by the work of  Deborah at Cold Feet Studio. Love the flowing, organic look of her pieces. She paints, quilts, doodles, and writes, too. An amazing artist.

So, instead of just the bezel and stone, I am trying a little bit of detailed work. I mean a very little…just a few silver blobs and a vine-looking bail for a pendant. Here’s a peek at my progress.  These were my choices for the stone. I chose the lapis agate. It took me three tries to successfully solder the bezel. Grrr…

Three stones














The bezel is now soldered to the back plate, but these details are just sitting there for this photo. Next week, I’ll attempt to attach them. Then, there’s the finishing work of setting the stone and filing and sanding the back plate. Not sure if I’ll antique the silver yet, but I definitely want to hand make the chain, with perhaps some silver wrapped lapis beads. The best news so far was an easy-peasy sawing experience for the back plate.

Not one broken blade!

Lapis agate 2


I’ll keep you posted on it’s progress. Wish me luck !


6 Responses to “Hard Work is Good”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Oh how beautiful is this pendant you’re making – very nice! I love the tinning pendants you’re making above, too. Sounds like fun stuff to try!

  2. Soldering takes practice to perfect — either method! Really nice details on that silver pendant! Remember to keep the heat on the plate — don’t melt the bezel 🙂 I did melt part of my first bezel when I soldered the short edges closed, but I quickly pickled it, and managed to hammer it flat and file it smooth; then I showed it to the teacher, who said it was ok… you couldn’t see the accident, in fact. But the brief panic!! And how pleasing to see the finished thing!
    Loved that Cold Feet link, felt there was a kindred spirit when it comes to inspiration, lots of botanical detail 🙂

    • Morning, Monica! Thanks so much for your encouraging words and sharing your experience. I was terrified I’d melt the bezel too. Another piece advice I’ve had is ‘just stay in the game’.
      Hard work is good work, isn’t it?

  3. I bought a book on tinning metal, but that is as far as I have taken it! :). LOVE Deborah’s work…bought one of her cuff bracelets recently, too, and I always read her blog! Beautiful work on your pendants so far! I took one class ( 2 very long days) a long time ago on soldering bezels, pendants, etc. it does take, for me, lots of practice, but, man, when it works, it is the best feeling! The hardest part for me is actually setting the stone!!, your vine-like bezel is awesome…I love it! Have fun!!!!,

    • Hi, Patti! Always an encouragement when someone says from experience, ‘I feel your pain’. Thanks for that! The best part is that I know I am not alone. Surrounded by very supportive people and teacher in this class. And so, I persevere! I’ll post pictures of tomorrow night’s success or epic failure!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s