First Firing Of The Torch

Tonight was a momentous occasion for me.  I fired up my torch for the FIRST time!  Nervous?  Yes.  Exciting?  Yes.  Results? Thrilling for me!

I have read, heard, and been counseled a lot about firing up my acetylene torch.  You must respect the equipment and take the necessary precautions.  Lexi was kind enough to set up my torch system last month and as I built up my confidence to have a project that I would solder here in my studio, it was time to fire it up.

Soldering stained glass is nothing like soldering metal.  And I absolutely love to solder a stained glass window.  I have soldered jewelry with Lexi’s guidance and I was eager to do it on my own.  Lexi is known in her circles as The Torch because she is an expert solderer.  I am her apprentice in a sense and not only did I want to do justice to her mentoring, I wanted to prove that I could solder something on my own…that is without Lexi watching me do it!

Tonight, I was ready.  I am working on a piece for one of my glass cabochons that is in that lovely Crinklized dichroic glass from Coatings by Sandberg.  I love that glass.  I’ve worked on a design and now I was ready to solder the bezel for this piece.  The bezel is the component that fits around the cabochon and holds it in place on the main back piece.  You have to cut bezel ‘wire’ to just fit the cabochon.  Not too tight and with just the right about of leeway to allow for the setting of the cabochon.

My husband, Dan, was kind enough to preserve the moment in digital so at the top of this post you see me quite focused on the solder process.  The end result, the bezel is soldered together and fits the cabochon nicely.

Bezel And Cab

I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish this piece tonight, so I will end with a tickler showing you the components that will be put together to form this pendant.  In this photo, I have the bezel placed around the cabochon to confirm the proper fit.  The base plate and bail are ready; both are bronze…this is my first time working with bronze.  I find it quite lovely and rich.  It’s one of Lexi’s favorite materials and I couldn’t wait to start working with it.

The Components

My obligations are such that I may not get back to finishing this until Sunday.  So I will leave you with these views of what is to come in my next post.