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Feel the Fire

October 24, 2010

FESTIVITY by Gr8Findings on Etsy ... Who wouldn't feel ready for the holidays wearing these?

So I finally broke down and bought a new torch. Did you see the heavens part and the angels singing Hallelujah? Well, that was for me I think. At least that’s what I think happened the first time I used my new fire.

You see, when I first started working with PMC, I used the little crème brûlée torch that came with my kit, and for years all was good. Didn’t make much crème brûlée , but I made plenty of jewelry. Then one Christmas my dear husband gave me a more fancy pencil torch with soldering tips. Frankly, that thing scared me so it stayed in the box for a good long while, but eventually I took a soldering class and came to love it. However, as happens with these things, about 6 months ago I found the flame became a lot less reliable. Even though I was essentially trying to fuse silver with the equivalent of a Bic lighter, I still hesitated to give it up.

Eventually, I had no choice but to save my flame for special situations. And I started looking into more professional torches, reading everything I could about the benefits of acetylene, and pricing different regulator kits, but I just couldn’t commit. One of the problems is that winter is coming and my formal work space is in our uninsulated back porch. It’s the sunniest room in the house, so it’s a great spot to sit and work on beads, but being able to gauge the color of heated metal there  is near on impossible during the daylight hours. And working out there after dark during our cold Pennsylvania winters …. well I shiver just thinking about it.

Of course, I was also concerned about buying another butane torch that would go south on me. I hate thinking of anything as disposable, and I will go to great lengths to keep supplies and equipment all neatly organized and functional because I rarely throw anything out … my husband swears that I would end up on an episode of “Hoarders” were it not for him, so we have a strict “don’t ask don’t tell” policy when it comes to what he decides needs to go on trash day (thank goodness he steers clear of the beading situation). By the way, have you ever seen a crafter gone wild on that show?

Anyway, I finally came to the realization that I probably wasn’t going to be able to decide on an acetylene torch before the next decade rolls around, and the need for something stronger was painfully apparent every time I tried to make something as simple as headpins. So I broke down and bought a Blazer torch. The model I went with had dozens of stellar reviews from other users on Amazon, noting its flexibility and reliability above all else. I even sprang for 1-day delivery I was so eager to get my hands on this new fire.

So how did it go? Once I had that little baby out of the box, it was like falling in love with a newer, better version of everything I’d known before. The stable base means I can use both hands if I need to (you should see all the ways I’ve been able to improvise handling various tasks with one hand), and I love having not having to mess with an extra switch to keep the dang thing going. The flame power is much stronger than what I’d grown used to, but the accuracy is a plus, and the number of earrings and links I was able to crank out in one evening left me feeling giddy. Plus, I could work from the warmth and comfort of my kitchen table.

Now if only I could see the price of silver dropping any time soon, I may be on the verge of a big inventory explosion in my little shop. Does anyone know of a charm or an incantation we could use to make that one happen? Drop me a line if you have any ideas ~ until then, I’ll be playing with fire and all the silver scraps I can find.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 24, 2010 8:12 pm

    Very nice work.

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