Sunday, March 4, 2012

Metalsmithing Basics Class Part III

My silver ring is finally beginning to look, well, ring-like. I'm not quite up to soldering the ends together, but I'm close.

As everything else with this class, each step was a time-consuming procedure. I don't know if it's just this teacher or the process of metalsmithing in general that accounts for there being so much time to each step; I guess it's a combination of both.

I filed the ends of that ring for what felt like ages and even worked on it over the weekend, but it wasn't smooth enough for the instructor. She ended up filing it to perfection for me. Then I was finally able to heat the metal and soften it so I could mold it into a ring shape. Actually holding the flaming torch was a little scary, but it was cool! I felt like a badass knowing that I was melting down solid silver. I then had to dip it in acid to clean it, which again was a little unnerving, but the silver came out looking nice and shiny.

I then hammered the ring around a mandrel until it formed a round shape. And next class, I should be ready to solder the ends together ... uh, I hope.

I'll admit, I'm still not thrilled with this teacher and I can tell that she doesn't much care for me, either. I can be a dumbass when it comes to using machinery. I need a lot of instruction. But I know this. I know my weakness. I know that I need some extra times being shown how to work stuff, but the thing is, I also know that I WILL eventually get it and then I'll be really adept at using whatever computer, drill, torch, etc. So I ask a lot of questions. I suppose it can be annoying when you have to show someone how to do something multiple times, but I'd rather be annoying than pick up a torch and not feel 100 percent with it. I'd rather be safe and ask the "stupid" question and make sure I know what I'm doing.

Unfortunately, I can tell that this teacher who likes to rush through instructions, is fed up with me. She got a little snippy with me when I asked for the third time which way to turn off the gas on the torch. And you know what? I'll probably ask again. We have these classes a week apart (two weeks since the last, actually, since she went on vacation) and that's plenty of time to forget a procedure, especially when you're dealing with dangerous chemicals and there are multiple steps. So she may not like me for my incompetence, but frankly, she can kiss my ass. I paid good money for this class and I am going to learn the way I want to.

I'm still debating whether I want to take Jewelry II. I'd still like to learn more because I like the actual skill, but this awful teacher has soured me on the classroom environment. I've been watching a lot of videos about soldering and am trying to learn more on my own.

For more of my jewelry, head to Naomi's Studio or Naomi's Designs.

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