Monday, 2 June 2008

Ripple band ring started

The ripple band ring, which will be part of my Ripple suite (with earrings and bracelet), will be made from 1 mm thick silver sheet, decorated with little ripples made from 0.6 mm wire. I've made a start on this.

Each mini-ripple was made from a 6 mm diameter ring of wire. These differ a little from my other ripples as there is no loop, and I cut off a little bit of wire after shaping each.

I spent a lot of time on fixing the ripples to the silver sheet, because it took a long time to work out how best to do it. I started out trying to solder all six ripples at once. None of them joined to the sheet, and the end of the wire balled on a couple of the ripples.

My next attempt was to fuse the ripples, as they heated up very quickly. I tried just one ripple, and although the wire looked very hot and liquid, it didn't attach. I decided this was not the time to do my first fusing project after all.

The next change was to hammer the ripples flat, and solder just one at a time. I finally had some success here, but success was strongly related to how I was supporting the sheet. I had to give up on a couple of runs as I was heating the sheet, my tweezers and the soldering block, and just couldn't raise the temperature high enough with my little butane torch. Holding the sheet above the block with the tweezers covering just a tiny bit of metal in a distant corner was the best approach. I suspect if I had been at the class with access to a bigger torch, this would have simply changed, rather than solved, my problems. I would have had melting crises instead!

Before taking the piece to the class to finish, I have cut the silver the right width and length. The surface finish is going to need some work.

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