So I had metals class last night. The first thing we did–after all the safety lectures, good to know–was use a jeweler’s saw, copper wire, and a dowel to make jump rings. This is actually not that easy for a newbie, which the instructor admitted after the fact. This is why I instantly liked her: she started us off with something challenging.
The other thing we did was to take a small square of copper sheet and do whatever the hell we wanted to it. I hammered it up and tried to cut an oval shape out of it. My sawing was pretty wonky and I broke two blades (hey, it’ll happen.) My second blade broke about five minutes before the end of class, when I only had a little ways to go to finish. The instructor grabbed someone else’s saw and finished it up for me. I was a bit dismayed about it at the time, but now I’m glad that happened because her sawing is clearly something for me to aspire to (you can see on the left side of the piece in the picture how smooth her sawing was compared to mine.) Today I think I’ll try my hand at filing away the edges, or maybe Dremel it a bit. Maybe both. And as soon as John makes a bench pin for me (he says he will!) I can practice my sawing some more. I thought I was crazy for wanting to do a curved shape right off, but she said no, doing a starburst would have been crazy–or should we say, ambitious for a beginner. Now I’m wondering if that would be a cool practice idea.
Also on my list of things to practice on: this.
As I said before, I’m very interested in the concept of making a ring out of an old silver quarter. I shined up this 60-year-old beauty (it was not much of a looker when I started) and started whacking away at it with an old gravy ladle. Pretty neat, but this is clearly going to take much time and many whacks (I may try different hammers, too) and I’m guessing ear protection is going to be a good idea. So doing this while watching t.v. or whatever–as the author of this article did–maybe isn’t what I want to do.
As always, I’ll post progress shots as I go.