Friday, September 16, 2011


I've not posted for a while, but have been busy this summer creating and doing some local art shows. While at an ArtieGras show in Sharon, PA, at Quaker Steak and Lube, I met a lovely gentleman and his daughter who told me about the Appalachian Rock Shop & Jewelry Emporium in Harmony, PA and the various classess they offer. My friend, Jeanne, and I took a ride out there to check it out! What a wonderful shop with beautiful rock specimens, beads, findings, beading tools, and hand crafted jewelry! Owner, Leslie, was very helpful in getting me set up in the fall silversmithing class with instructor, Jolan Naleppa. My first class was two weeks ago. Jolan gave us an overview of the upcoming classes and what we would be learning. She demonstrated the various tools in the shop and how they are used. Printed hand-outs were distributed, one with the fundamentals of soldering and the other about the projects we would be doing.

Yesterday was the first hands-on class. The project - a soldered pendant using two pieces of metal that would be sweat soldered. We had to pick out a design that would be cut into one piece of metal with a jeweler's saw. After sawing out the design, we learned to clean up the edges of the metal with various filing tools. The piece was then cleaned in pickle (an acid bath) and prepared for sweat soldering, covering the entire piece with flux and then strategically placing solder on the back of the pieces. Jolan assisted with melting the solder. The pieces were put back into the pickle for cleaning. These are the pictures I took this a.m. showing the nickel silver and copper I chose for the pendant, the design cuts, and the melted solder. Next - we have to reheat the solder to fuse the metals together, add a bail or pin closure, and learn the process of cleaning and polishing.

More next week. There are eight more classes to go and two or three more projects.

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