The Art of Living by Making Art

Jewellery inspired by nature and made by hand.
How I make it, why I make it, the challenges I face and the successes that come my way.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I know that everyone makes mistakes and does thoughtless things in the studio but sometimes when you are on your own and make a doozy of a blunder you have the feeling that no-one else would be as stupid. Here is what I did over the weekend so you all can learn from my disaster...

By the end of Friday I had completed five new necklaces in silver and enamel. All that remained to do was to add a sterling silver jump ring to each piece and to carefully solder it closed. I have done this before quite a few times and using extra-easy solder and a very small torch flame have been successful. I have also briefly pickled the pieces to clean up the jump ring with no problems.

Saturday morning: I went ahead with the process as described but as I took the pieces out of the pickle pot I noticed the enamel was matte not glossy and pitted looking on each piece. Eventually I figured out that the pickle I was using was stronger than normal - I recalled I had made up a strong batch some time before and it was much evaporated and so even stronger. So there I was holding a bunch of ruined pendants.

I spent all saturday removing jump rings, stoning down enamel and refiring and re-soldering rings. As for re-pickling, I just poured some pickle into a small container and held the pendat upside down so only the jump ring was submerged - worked fine.

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