Monday, March 1, 2010

New Found Metal Skills

I completed a metalsmithing course this weekend. So much fun and I must say very time consuming in order to come away with a pair of earrings and a pendant. From hand sawing the shapes from copper and brass sheet metal and breaking the tiny saw blades multiple times (cutting brass is tough), filing and sanding the edges, soldering, quenching, pickling and polishing. Then soldering again the pieces that fell off in the pickle pot, tumbling, hand polishing again with multiple layers of sanding papers. Then finally texturing/hammering (very therapeutic) and finishing with findings, chain, clasp and beads. Whew!!! I now have a much greater appreciation for all metalsmiths out there and why they often charge what they do. Perhaps more than materials cost, and design itself, it's the labor time involved. I'm sure with time and practice, speed would increase. I plan on keeping these pieces, since so much effort and care went into them.
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