Going to jewellery classes has made me want to conquer my still slight anxiety about soldering. I don't know why I'm anxious about it - the worst that can happen is you melt something (done that), get solder where you don't want it (done that too) or the soldered parts come apart when you quench (yes, done that too). So I thought I'd do something easy and make a few pairs of stud earrings.
I started simple with some flat discs in copper and silver that I textured using wire and my Bigshot then hammered in areas. I use the posts with the pads as I don't think my hand is steady enough to hold just a post in position while I solder it in place, in fact I know it isn't! I flow some solder onto the pad first then solder into place to make things easier.
Then I made two pairs of concave disc studs with a fine silver ball soldered in the centre. I like this design and the fine silver forms a smoother rounder ball than sterling. I textured the discs with a Vintaj folder and my Bigshot again and flowed solder onto the back of the silver balls. This a bit fiddly but I find you're less likely to get excess solder flowing where you don't want it by doing it this way, especially when you're soldering onto copper.
I made myself a silver ring in this design a few weeks ago and kept meaning to make some matching studs to sell so now I have!
I've been sadly neglecting my beloved spirals for quite a while now but seeing the necklace Professor Alice Roberts was wearing on that BBC2 program last week (that I can't remember the name of!) made me want to make spirally things again. Her necklace is a series of linked silver spirals and very cool. I started by annealing some 14g copper wire, straightening it then hammering it a lot to flatten. After annealing the hammered wire again I coiled it into two spirals which after a bit of tweaking and pickling I soldered together......... then I soldered it again at the ends to make it more stable. After a lot of filing and sanding and thinking.... "Do I like these? Do I? I'm not sure, I think they're ok, I'll see what they look like when they're oxidized....." I've decided I do like them but there's room for improvement! And they look nothing like Alice Roberts' necklace :D
I'm going to make a silver pair but form the double spiral shape from one piece of wire which will do away with the ends which I should've hammered flatter on the copper pair so they would be easier to file and taper in a bit more neatly. I'm planning on putting a hole at the top so I can thread a balled piece of wire through to add beads (or something, not sure yet). Silver solder on silver will look better too :D