Thursday, July 05, 2012

Memory Glass pendant

On AFTCM, I signed up for a 1x3 glass pendant swap which I have been working off and on for the last few days.  Having never soldered before I did a bit of research to find some instructions and information.  Discovered that jewelery should be soldered with lead free solder  - a no brainer but I had not considered that when I signed up for the swap.  So as an alternative, I started searching for the Ranger Memory glass frames which hold the slides.  Was not able to find any locally so I needed to find a different way.  Someone on the list suggested that most solder is now lead free so I did a search on the Canadian Tire website and lo and behold they do have a variety of lead free solder so off I went and bought a roll.  I am a happy camper!!  I created a collage sheet using images from Graphics Fairy for the inside of my pendant - background paper, butterfly, script, flourish and a scroll border.  I delved deep into my Photoshop Element skills and developed some new ones on my way to making all these elements suitable for my collage.  I made a yellow butterfly from the blue one, gave them all transparent backgrounds and changed the colour of several of them.  I found lots of helpful information on line for doing what needed to be done but I did have to stretch my PSE muscles and follow the instructions CAREFULLY.  What a great resource the internet really is!!!
So my pendant is finished!! The front and back are similar which means you can wear with on either side and the charms flip over from back to front.  I cut a strip off of my laser printed collage sheet and cut two 1x3 pieces for the inside.  Glued them back to back with only a LITTLE dab of glue because moisture between the two glasses combined with the heat from the soldering causes steam which could ruin the look.  I applied copper foil tape (1/4") all the way around being sure to center the glass/collage sandwich and then burnished all the copper tape with a wood burnisher ( popsicle stick).  Then, I started soldering with DH's variable temperature soldering iron (600F) following directions I found on line.  Here is a link to a video on Stampington that was useful as well. Worked out pretty well.  Adding the jump ring was a real challenge.  I ended up adding solder to the wire and then creating the jump rings which worked better.  Not a bad job of soldering for my second soldering project.  I created a prototype with the other solder just to see if I could do it.  I sanded off any little bumps and nibs, cleaned the glass and polished up the whole thing.  This morning I added a little butterfly charm and a few beads with a jump ring, tied on a length of white seam binding and added an adjustable waxed cord.
I love joining swaps and challenging myself to learn new techniques!!