small metals

 I'm taking a class in small metals, which includes making jewelry.

Project 1: "Cold Connections" project.  We were to design, make a model of, and build an item using metal.  Cold Connections refers to the lack of soldering, mainly.  It involves rivets and tabs.  

My project is a little decorative/artsy item that will have a small spinner inside it.  The spinner can be turned to indicate the weather outside.  

After my initial model, I spent more time working on the design, including sketches.  I decided to do away with the tabs holding on the top piece, and include it in the spacers and rivets.  I had to design the axis on which the weather elements will turn - it will include  

Sawing, let me tell you, is a bitch.  Behind, a saw blade:

I broke about ten of these little bastards while cutting out my pieces. 


After cutting out the pieces, my next step was to drill holes.  This involes a drill and hopefully, not turning your piece into a ninja star as it catches on the bit and begins spinning wildly with it.  

then filing.  Lots of filing.

And then sand.  And sand.  And sand.  

Next, I started drawing in some design for the pieces - they'll be painted with an etching solution that does not react to the sharpie--it will etch around it.  

So what have I learned so far?

1) Small metals and jewelry making requires a precision that doesn't come naturally to me . I'm an impressionist.  

2) Maybe I can be really good at making myself some trinkets, and gifts for others.

3) It's hard physical work.  Trying not to break those tiny, thin saw blades is a nightmare.

4) I do feel pretty badass handling an acetylene torch.  

Maybe I need to use more organic forms in my work.  When I said 'circles are hard' out loud several veterans laughed.  Apparently, they're hard for everyone.