(NOTE: Click on images to enlarge for better viewing) I bet a lot of you don’t know that I got my start as a professional artist in the medium of Stained Glass. My sister had been in business for a couple of years and taught me the basics. My career took off from there. I did craft shows, custom design work and even helped her in a custom commission for turret windows in the rebuilding of a Victorian Mansion in Ventura County. The mansion had burned to the ground during restoration work. The Historical Society was able to pull together the best crafts people of the modern age and recreate the home, it was amazing to see.
One of the things that convinced me to give up doing stained glass work was the poisonous nature of the materials involved. Lead and other dangerous compounds were in almost every supply I used on a daily basis. I valued my health too much to compromise my life-expectancy for art.
Fast forward to the CHA show and I discovered some wonderful soldering products that can be used for creating jewelry and are entirely lead free. Simply Swank has a delightful range of products for making very fun and contemporary charms and other jewelry pieces both easily and safely.
In the picture above, There is a delightful contraption that holds your piece so that your hands are free and don’t get near the extremely hot liquid metal. This is quite helpful especially in soldering tiny charms. This item can be used for many other projects than making jewelry. It literally is your “third hand!”
Think of all the uses that this jewelry craft can make of the digital art you probably already own. Think of the heart-touching jewelry you could make with your treasured family vintage photos. The look can vary from Victorian to contemporary to very feminine! I’m hoping to get my daughter, Jennifer (the jewelry making daughter) started in this so she can make me some fun jewelry pieces.
You can also use copper foil and solder to create magnets, sun-catchers, wind chimes and dozens of other crafts. HERE’S ANOTHER LINK TO SOLDERED ORNAMENTS FOR IDEAS.
Later I’ll share a company that produces a microwave kiln for producing fused glass! Talk about AWESOME, wow that looked like so much fun.