First Soldering Experience

I accomplished my first silver soldering projects last night! Perhaps I’m more excited about this than I should be, but this is something I have wanted to do for a long time. My hope is to do more metalworking (silver) and move a little away from the beads and especially the chunky jewelry. Don’t worry…I will still throw in some funky, chunky pieces once in awhile for those who love them. I mean nothing against those styles, but I really love simple elegance.

So, back to soldering. Here is what I started with:

A 12” piece of sterling silver wire (I only have a small piece of it left here), a few jump-rings (the little circles) and some solder, which looks like wire but it’s much softer and melts more quickly and easily than wire.

This is what I ended up with:

They are supposed to be figure-8’s but I have to work on getting the wire to line up exactly. Practice makes perfect, right? The jump-rings are attached to the tops of the smaller figure-8’s to prepare them for earrings.

The interesting thing with soldering silver is it’s done with a torch, not a soldering iron. Silver needs to be heated to a higher temperature than your standard solder (like what you would use for electronics) to get it to melt and a soldering iron doesn’t get hot enough. Needless to say, I was a little afraid of the blue flame on the torch at first.

After adding some parts and pieces, this is what I now have:

The necklace is a leather cord with glass  beads. It’s the simple everyday elegance I am striving for.  Even with the figure-8’s not quite lining up, I really love the style of these pieces and I’m looking forward to doing more soldering. What are your thoughts on primarily metal jewelry? I think it’s really pretty, especially for an everyday look, but it might not be for everyone. Thanks for reading!

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