||Get started in a hot jewelry-making trend!
So many of
today’s stylish jewelry designs seem to include more metal, wire, and
chain, so chances are you’ll be tempted to learn to use a torch. Do you
have a bit of anxiety about using a flame? Fear not, because using a
micro-torch is easy, fun, and safe when you follow the expert guidelines
of a pro such as Denise Peck.
||Add fusing to your repertoire
In Denise’s DVD, Metalwork: Wire Fusing & Other Micro-Torch Techniques, you will learn how to use a micro-torch to make just the right findings and looks you want for your jewelry.
Metal components and accents are so popular to incorporate into designs in almost every medium, so using a micro-torch is a valuable technique to be able to customize your designs, from ball-end head pins to chain links.
Here are 10 tips for fun and safe use of a micro-torch:
1. Fusing can be done with a small butane torch, so no large tanks of gas or hoses are needed.
2. Face your torch away from you. Remember the tip of the torch will be very hot, so avoid touching it.
3. Save your furniture! Cover your work surface with a nonflammable surface such as a large ceramic floor tile or a square sheet of stainless steel.
4. Torch your pieces on a magnesia soldering block, charcoal block, or solderite block.
5. Use fine silver for fusing: it melts and fuses to itself without using solder. Sterling contains traces of other metals and will not fuse to itself with a butane torch. Fine silver also resists oxidation so less polishing is needed.
6. Keep a set of cheap “hot tools” to use exclusively while fusing and grip hot pieces with these tools.
7. Always keep a bowl of water nearby for quenching, or cooling, your hot metal.
8. A good metal file can be used to clean up and reshape edges you’re not happy with.
9. Remember that heat will soften your metal: hammer cooled torched pieces with a rawhide or nylon mallet or tumble to work-harden them.
10. Propolish pads or a jeweler’s polishing cloth will give your finished pieces a high shine.
I learned fusing from Denise. After melting away parts of one or two rings (turning them into lucky horseshoes) I got the hang of it, and so can you. Show us your favorite fused pieces on Beading Daily!