Friday, January 28, 2011

There's A Chink in the Armor, A Crack of Light in the Doorway, Someone Just Threw a Rope Ladder Over the Wall

Whatever you want to call it. It's happening...was it just this week that I wrote about the growing pains of last year? Not to worry, they are definitely still with me every single day so far. *But* I am starting to connect parts of the fabrication puzzle. And how gratifying it is!

Today's agenda included:

- soldering some production items (most worked the first time; a couple had to get re-soldered)

-soldering two domed halves of metal together to make sterling silver beads (one worked initially; the other three fell apart in the pickle and had to be re-soldered. Also I forgot exactly *how* to solder them (didn't take great notes from that class!) and had to wing it a bit. Probably why the other three didn't take right away. They turned out nicely in the end, but what was fun once in class became an exercise in drudgery and a study in persistence when I sat down to make *four* of them.

- making two ring shanks and soldering them to the ring tops. Why two? Well, it was supposed to be *one*, but I made it the wrong size. Okay...that's not quite right. It likely started out as the right size, but something I'm TERRIBLE at is filing an open shank (not a technical term, but it's on the ring pictured here) flat. Instead of filing one shank top, I have to cut out the center part and file both sides evenly...definitely NOT a strong suit of mine. I have to keep filing...file some more...make faces and call it names, and file, file, file...which means I am losing shank-ness constantly. It ended up at least one size too small. So I overcompensated on the second one (and *how* excited do we think I was to have to make a second one? Yeah.) and miraculously, it fit. Fortunately this ring is going to be cast for me, or I would never be heard from again, because every time someone wanted one of these, I'd spend 4 hours on it...all other rings will have a closed top. Otherwise I might just stab myself to death with the damn file.

- and finally, soldering a new design idea that didn't work, but taught me a lot. Right now I am learning more from the failures than the successes, which I guess is a little expected.

Notice a pattern here? Solder, solder, solder...After not picking up the torch for weeks and weeks, I am back with a vengeance! Now if only I didn't have all this other stuff going on...the only thing that I actually should have been doing today was the production work. And there's still much, much more of it to do. It's my constant battle - making the stuff that is selling (not a bad thing in itself) at the expense of time to play and practice failing so I can figure out which failures will lead to successes.

It's so exciting that I am having a hard time winding down and thinking about bed, even though it's 2 a.m. almost and I have to be up *early* tomorrow. I want to hide away from the world and start to see some more light coming from that crack in the doorway.

...Of course, yesterday's fabrication work was an utter exercise in frustration. Notice a blog entry from yesterday? Oh yeah, I was cranky and didn't write one. Plenty of lessons in humility along this path...

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