Writing my school essays at the moment, but thought I should take a break to update you on my exciting silver smithing class. My teacher was Victoria Delaney and I think I put up a link to her webpage in my last post, here it is again, she’s amazing and young (wasn’t expecting that after viewing her work and achievements).

It was a cosy class, we were supposed to be 3 students but Jack (who seems to be a serial defaulter) didn’t show. I shared the class with Angela, a retired teacher, who is also a student at a sculpture class. She is in the process of building a massive Red Indian head out of metal cans. She has attended some jewellery classes so she knew lot more about the processes, but I tried to soak up as much information as I could.

Our project was to create cufflinks out of a sterling silver sheet and chain, I decided I wanted mine to be amoeba shapes, instead of regular everyday shapes but during the course of cutting and shaping, Victoria decided mine looked more like clouds, so clouds they became!

Here are the pictures from the journey :), I don’t think I’ll be able to take this many again as it was quite distracting, but I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the class.

Leamington Spa Train Station

Another Station Picture, I seem to like these.

A Statue I saw at Birmingham Snowhill Station, He seems quite the gentleman.

Arrival 🙂

Took another picture for good measure.

Plaque at the station entrance

Plaque at the Station entrance.

My Very patient teacher.

My Seat: Note the cubes of scrap metal I’m going to be working with before I’m unleashed on the silver….in the clear plastic bag.

Worktable.

Other Table where we worked the silver.

Trying out patterns and designs with a hammer, we spent about 3 hours chatting and hammering away, I was told I’d do this a lot as a silver smith. hmmmm I also realised I wouldn’t be able to do this in my room, I’d wake everyone up. *sigh* my trustee hammer of choice pictured below.

There were so many hammers, round one’s, polished one’s, long ones, here’s the one i chose for my work.

Annealing my scrap metal, burning it to soften it after all the pummeling.

Picture of my metal after annealing and pickling, I don’t really like the patterns on it though.

Lunch Time…..then the real work begins.

Yup….taking pictures even as I had my sausage roll 🙂

Yay! I finally get to pummel the silver, trying to make wavelike patterns.

Angela melting pieces of her gold earring, which she wants to use to decorate her cufflinks, it wasn’t very successful though, the pieces kept coming off.

The gold melting into balls, the other lumpy stuff is gold as well but they aren’t hot enough yet.

Stuck on amoeba shapes which became clouds.

Victoria showing me how to pierce; cutting with a saw is called piercing the silver.

Yay! I got one out on the first try. I was told that was really good for a beginner……it took quite a while though, painstaking work.

Two equal clouds cut and ready to be filed. I have no pictures of the filing though cos it was hard work and I was running out of time the day was almost over.

So I’d filed out the silver lining of the clouds; slanted edges, pummeled my tubes of silver to make matching bars for the cufflinks and cut out my jump rings for attaching everything together.

Cloud and ring ready to be soldered.

Bars ready to be soldered.

Victoria helping me out as I very nearly spoilt the clouds with my shaky hands, I was happy to take the picture as she did this for me.

….and you shall be named cloudies!!!! I’m so proud 🙂

My almost identical cloudy amoeba’s.

It hasn’t been polished yet, so hopefully it’ll look shinier than this.

*Sigh* back to the books…….writing on India’s plant protection act and how it disagrees with TRIPS. I’ve got a post of pictures i took in Iona and I think would make perfect Iona postcards, an interview with Moira Killin the jeweller I met there and a random post of my friends and the jewellery they wore to a colour block party…..I hope I remember to put them up.

xoxo

Angelbaiye

P.S. I don’t think they look finished but………….leave a comment to let me know what you think.

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