Monday, February 11, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Yesterday was one of the coldest days of the year... so far! The actual temperature was -8*F (-22*C) and the wind chill factor made it seem more like -35*F (-37*C). Brrrrr, baby that was cold!

After spending most of the day freezing... I decided to play with a little fire. So I went to my studio, dug up a few projects that were ready for some heat and fired up my torch.

First, I annealed a strip of sterling silver that I cut to become a cuff bracelet. Annealing is the process of softening metal by exposing it to a high heat source, thereby making it much easier to bend around a bracelet mandrel.

Then, I soldered sterling silver earring posts onto a few PMC disks that I made. Soldering is another fun thing to do with a torch of fire. By heating the two pieces that need to be joined (the disk and the post) along with tiny snippets of solder, a permanent bond can be made. The trick for me is always to figure out the right level of heat, because I'm notorious for melting my work. Actually, I did melt a ring that was going to look fantastic. Oh well, practice makes perfect and that's how I learn best.

So that's how I stayed a little warmer on a very cold day. Tomorrow if it's still freezing, I'm going to find something to do with my kiln. Firing metal at 1300*F just might do the trick!

4 comments:

High Desert Diva said...

That's just way too cold! The torch was a good idea, but the kiln is a stroke of genius!

Ophelia Miller Boutique said...

BRRRRRRRR. Nice way to keep warm though!!

amy said...

I am amazed by your craft. Way to use it to stay warm too. It's going to be below zero out where I live for the next couple of days, wish I had a kiln...

Jeanne said...

I like the way you explain things for someone like me who knows less about the processes, like Annealing, and the tempatures. Your blog could become the basis for teaching.