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Kathleen’s Soldering Station
Bright Magenta Purple!

I’d like to show you one of the tools that I consider invaluable. This is my soldering station. And yes it is one of a kind, in terms of its color….a very bright Magenta Purple.  The man who makes these asked what color I wanted….well, it just had to be purple, of course!  I love the color.

This solder station provides a fire proof work surface when I’m using my torch. When you are working with a torch and temperatures exceed 1000 degrees F, safety is a VERY important concern.  I believe the material is a heavy duty steel.  I’m not sure how they are painted, but the heat from the torch has had no affect on the painted surface.  Believe me, you would see it with this color!  😀

Another view, looking down.  It’s just the right surface area.

You may have noticed the cut out of Lexi’s name.  That wasn’t her idea, but the folks who made these for her felt it should have her logo, as it is her concept.  She has a few available with the Lexi logo on them.  I don’t know if the logo will continue as more of these are made.  I do know she will have some available for purchase at her soldering classes in the Santa Fe during March.  She will be one of the instructors at Beadfest in Santa Fe.  I think there may still be some available slots in her Saturday class.  She’s a great instructor and having her teach you her soldering technique, well, it is well worth the investment of your time and money!

So I’ve spilled the beans.  My friend and mentor, Lexi Erickson, developed the concept for this soldering station and found the right people to manufacture it. I can tell you it works like a charm and I wouldn’t be without one. In fact, I have two! The first one I have is one of the prototypes and it is a gray color, shown below. Her current versions are the classic Lexi Erickson Archeological khaki. In my opinion, they are a must for any metalsmith that uses a torch.

One of the Prototypes

As some of you may already know, Lexi is back from Tucson now.  Check out her recent blog post about the Tucson experience.  I’ve been waiting to share this with you until Lexi returned.  I think a number of you may want one.  If so, please contact Lexi with your inquiries.  I’m not sure what the final pricing will be on the next release, so please check with Lexi if you are interested.  And I’d be happy to answer any questions you have too, just post them as a comment here and I’ll do my best to provide answers.

Another interesting note on these, a turntable has been developed for the soldering brick.  The great thing about this is you can turn the brick while you are soldering and no longer have to go through some awkward contortions to get your solder to flow where you want it. It sits on a magnet that secures to the station surface.  Because the turntable attaches to the surface with a magnet, it can be removed when you just want the full surface.  Depends on your needs.  I’ve used the one Lexi has in her studio and it’s a winner.  I have one on order, in my signature color of course.

These are great investments.  I hope you will think so too.  When it comes to safety in the studio, well, it should never be taken for granted.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Quiet Passage
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Royal Sahara Jasper, another stone that has some beautiful scenery.  For me this almost has the look of a sand dune type setting with a lone tree to the left, along with a couple of birds flying.  Warm colors in this stone are from the brown/beige family.  It’s a small piece, roughly an inch square.  Given the beauty of the stone I felt I just needed a nice, clean frame for the setting.  I did apply a light coat of liver of sulfur to oxidize the sterling.  The oxidation is very subtle.

Another stone purchased from Gary B Wilson.  I’ve heard first hand that he has some wonderful stones at the Tucson Show this month.  My source is Lexi, of course, and she is my eyes and ears at that show this year.  I’m hopeful I will be able to accompany her and the ‘posse’ next year to enjoy some of what that show has to offer.  For now, I will wait til Gary returns to Colorado at the end of April with more of his cabochons.  And I am looking forward to Lexi’s return, not only to catch up with her on a personal level, but to see all the lovelies she’s found this trip.  I hear Gollum saying something about “my Precious” about now.  🙂

Why did I call this piece Quiet Passage?  The scene I envision in this stone has a very tranquil effect on me.  It looks like there is a path to be followed and that passage will be quiet, peaceful.  May all of your life passages be peaceful ones.  I have this sense that I may be nearing the end of the pieces in my Soul Searching series with this one and another one or two that remain to be finished.

Dan’s photographic work continues to amaze me.  He’s captured the simplicity of this piece and shown it to be very elegant.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Addendum: This pendant just sold to a fellow artist.  Thank you Tami.  It heads to its new home tomorrow.

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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