Today my Sunday fun day was spent working with fire, heavy tools, sharp metals and high velocity rotary devices! I very much enjoyed taking a soldering jewelry class at The Beehive by local Atlanta designer, Amy Peroni. If you’re local to Atlanta, I highly recommend this class. A few of the jewelry designers who sell their product in Beehive took the class with me. It was great meeting other local designers. It also made me realize how we are all still learning new things no matter how advanced we are in our craft.
Basically soldering is a process where two or more metal items are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal (solder) into the joint. The end result is beautiful jewelry from bangle bracelets to rings like the one I made!
I’m excited to take my jewelry to the next level and start making jewelry using this technique. Be on the lookout for some new designs!
Here are some pictures from the class and me playing with fire!
My first soldered ring with a hand cut heart
These are the steps I took to make this ring:
– 16 gauge wire (or whatever thickness you desire)
– Easy Solder Wire
– Ring Mandrel
– Wire cutters and pliers
– Jewelry File
– Rubber Mallet
– Copper Tongs
– Charcoal Block
– Safety Goggles
– Butane Torch
– Crock Pot
1. Wrap your wire (I used 16 gauge wire) around a ring mandrel on the size of your choice. Then cut the wire so you’re left with a circular band.
2. File the edges of the wire so it’s nice and straight with a jewelry file.
3. Push the wire together so that it forms a circle with no gap showing between the joint. It’s ok if it’s not a perfect circle yet. After the ring is soldered it can be reshaped.
4. Place your band on a charcoal block and put a tiny piece of soldering wire on the joint.
5. Use a butane torch and heat the band in a circular motion until the solder flows.
6. With your tongs drop your ring into a bowl of water.
7. With the copper tongs remove the ring from the bowl of water and drop in the crock pot with the pickling solution (Add 1/8 cup of Sparex to 1 cup water in a small crock pot. Plug crock pot in on a low temperature. Sparex works when heated.).
8. Place the ring on the ring mandrel and mold into a perfect circle by using a rubber mallet.
9. To add a charm like the heart on my ring, cut a heart from a metal sheet. Then place solder on the back of the heart and heat like in step 5. Once the solder flows place the band on the back of the heart and heat in a circular motion until the solder flows again.
10. Polish the ring with a dremel or sandpaper.
This video is also great if you want a visual to go along with the steps.
It was a fun project and I was excited to share the experience with you with this tutorial.