Yes, yesterday I took time out and turned my attention to learning a few things about working with metal. Fine silver to be exact, in various gauges worked into various findings.
I made these....and more, they need finishing, some liver of sulphur and a tumble with silver shot....but they are acceptable.
It is sometimes hard to realize during the course of the day how much you are actually learning. I have a character trait that makes me always want to start out at the top, just skip the whole learning process. Unfortunately for me it never works that way. I really can't think of something where I didn't have to pay long dues to arrive at some level of proficiency.
With Kate's guidance I learned how to fill my butane torch, turn it on, and aim it appropriately at the silver, not the table, not my lap.....how to use a rotation of the wrist to move the flame away from the silver when it was complete.
I learned to wrap and cut a jumpring using the rap and tap and a flush cutter, to flow the silver across the cut and close the jump ring and to work harden it with a hammer held at it's end for leverage. I learned to solder one ring to another by cutting a groove in my kiln brick, holding the previously soldered ring and presenting the join of the new ring.
I learned to ball up and end, and then to flatten that end into a paddle and cut a hole. I learned to smooth the interior of the hole and solder a jumpring into it.
I learned how to rivet something onto that paddle and how to make an s clasp and an earring finding and to pull my jumpring into an oval or a rectangle.
All in all, that was a lot of learning for one day, dontcha think? It all needs re-enforcing, so I added a couple of tools I didn't have to the arsenal and a little more silver. I'm less intimidated but also far from a professional result. My mind doesn't think metal, so I'm not entirely sure how to use it design wise yet, but learning new skills is always a positive.
Kate has a way of being passionate but low key, always watching, jumping in with the right information as necessary while letting one learn from their own process. I had a great day.