I'm excited about these rings because it's something I've been wanting to add to my shop for a long time. I only recently took some classes on silversmithing (previously I'd spent years working with metal clays, which are excellent because they turn from a malleable clay into a solid metal with an intense amount of heat). I was out of practice using a torch and I've never had the knack for soldering, until this year. Now that I feel as comfortable with solder as I do with metal clay, I've been soldering up tons of new designs, including the more recent silver rings and today's initial rings. Solder is awesome for several reasons.
- You get to play with fire...really hot fire.
- Watching the flux bubble up, then knowing exactly when that solder is about to flow is somehow extremely therapeutic. That incredible amount of control you wield in your hand from the torch...it's addictive.
- I can solder silver metal clay pieces (i.e., fingerprint items, any shaped piece of metal, these initials, those design rings I listed earlier this month, the possibilities are truly endless)
- Everything turns out high quality sterling silver with an extremely strong bond. Solder is basically adding metal between two metals to join everything together. So to break that bond, you'd basically be breaking into strong metal...so getting a ring caught on your clothes will do nothing more than maybe bend the ring slightly...which is usually pretty easy to bend back in place.
There's no worry of pulling the ring apart no matter how hard it's yanked (within reason, of course...I had this ex-boyfriend who bragged to me that he thought his sterling silver ring band would save his finger if a fridge fell on his hand---he worked at Lowes---I almost had to hold back my laughter...don't try that people, the fridge will win and your ring AND hand will lose that battle any day)
So there it is, my story about my new obsession with soldering. Now that I know how to do it, I can't go through a day without firing up my torch and melting some silver together. I absolutely love it.