Tag Archives: suitcase

Advanced Class Round-Up!

So last night was the last official class of the advanced session.  There’s going to be another meeting next Monday, where we can just pay for studio time and finish up some things.  I’ll probably go, because I have an idea that involves a cross-peen hammer, which I don’t have (perhaps I can talk to Santa about this.)

Anyway.  Here’s what I’ve gotten done.  First, the Divorcee-inspired, art deco pendant:

norma4This practice one came out so much better than I hoped, although it has a few imperfections, and I never did make my own bail (that’s a piece of scrap tubing I slapped on there).  Someday when I have the money and the energy, I’m going to make a larger one out of 18 gauge silver so the layers really stick out dramatically.  Since I’m getting better at grinding and polishing with the flex shaft, I’ll probably round off the curves really nicely too, and make a chain out of square wire.  Meanwhile, I’m just going to wear this guy with a prefab chain.  Proudly!

Last night I put a little silver black on the top of my clasp to make the design pop.  Stuck it in the tumbler for a little more polishing, and now it’s done!

boxclasp2 boxclasp3Not too shabby, especially since I couldn’t figure out what the hell we were supposed to do the first couple weeks my teacher was talking about it.  If I get some Christmas cash, I’m going to go buy a string of beads to put on this.

And . . . the suitcase.  My lesson in patience and care.  He’s still ongoing.

suitcase3I did get the other hinge done last night, and fairly quickly, too, as the pieces were all cut and ready to go.  Then I found out I had to make them actually lay correctly against the back of the box, so I cut out some spaces for them with a grinding wheel (messy but useful) on the flex shaft.  They need a little cleaning up and squaring off, but the hinges fit and that’s cool.  I also sweat soldered a lip on the inside front, and might add one to each of the sides as well.  I’m getting to the point where I have to figure out which thing I want to do next–solder the hinges then the handle?  Add little wire clasps or no?  Rivet the corner protectors last?  The next class session isn’t until January, so I’ll have time to think and research, plus practice riveting.

Meanwhile, back to practicing wire work.  Maybe I’ll try wire-wrapping stones.  Someone wanted to commission me to do that recently, but I wasn’t sure I could do it properly–so yeah, let’s add that skill to the toolbox!




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Two main things this week.

Here’s the first:  my box clasp in progress.  After some experimentation, I decided to put some wire doodlies on top, but they’re only 22 gauge and I was afraid I’d melt them.  Not to fear–they went on fine, and I even got to try something new:  wire solder!  I love it and wish I’d been using it all along.  I got these three wire bits on by placing small bits of wire solder inside the six loops at angles, so as they flowed there was nowhere to go but down and all along the join.


And I used My-T-Flux, which I also love for not bubbling up all over the place and moving my stuff around!

This was so exciting, that when I proceeded to add the silver ring to the disc, I completely forgot to put the ring’s solder line where I wanted to cut out the notch (you can barely see it in the picture, to the right of the notch).  I don’t care quite as much as I should.  I’m more worried about the mechanics than the aesthetics right now–but yes, I could put something decorative over the join, and more of the same on the other side to make it look deliberate.  We’ll see.  Next week I need to get the base disc on the bottom, which means moving around bits of solder I can’t see with a pick shoved through the slot.  Good luck, huh?

The other box is giving me a bit of trouble, though I got the lid all folded up.

IMG_3328The sides are not folding as sharply as I’d like just by using a vise, and a hammer, and a hardware store bracket that isn’t really working out anyway. I just started the bottom of the box, and the edges are pretty much rounded.  I had a hard time sleeping last night–a bit of insomnia–and at one point I just woke up completely and it hit me between my big stupid eyes.  Hey, remember all that fold forming I tried over the summer?  You know, where you fold a bit of copper over itself, anneal it, and open it back up?  Now wouldn’t THAT make sharper edges than what I’ve been doing?  I’ve been trying to get the sides to 90 degrees . . . shouldn’t I try to fold them just a bit more, then go back?  Something else to consider next week, because I’m going away until Monday, and though I’m sorry to leave all my projects behind (except one that will fit in my bag), maybe it’ll be good to take a wee break and recharge.



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