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June 3, 2011

And it’s a good thing, too, because sometimes I find myself with a lot of lemons. Take, for example, the little piece pictured above …

That little charm started out as something my friend Jenn could add to her beautiful new Byzantine chain maille bracelet (one of the many gifts she is now enjoying for having been such a terrific hostess for my trunk show). I had just received a new shipment of PMC silver and had decided to add some embeddable eyelet doo-dads to my order (there really is a technical name for them, but it escapes me right now). I was especially excited to try out the doo-dads because sandwiching a little wire on the edge of a charm is not especially easy, and affording room for a hole necessitates making everything larger than it really needs to be. This new product would allow me to attach the charm with a jump ring secured to the side of the charm (instead of through it).

Anyway, so there I was, torching my little charm for Jenn, carefully moving the flame around and around the piece to that it maintained a nice even glow, feeling a bit smug perhaps that I’ve finally gotten good enough with letter stamping to see all the initials she wanted on the charm lined up in a neat little row … enjoying the warm summer breeze coming in through the window, thinking how nice these last days of school are for the work-at-home mom … when I decided to fiddle with the control knob on my torch … it needed just one little adjustment … and then ….

I looked down just in time to see the edge of the charm begin to melt … and the cute little doo-dad hanging off the side started to waver and glow … and then it shriveled right up and disappeared into the side of the charm. Just like that, my work went from being the perfect charm to a little lump of silver with somebody’s initials in it.

A few choice words quickly followed and I was again glad that my children were at school and couldn’t hear me lose my cool so completely. And then I decided to ponder what might be done with it. A necklace! Jenn has an amazing collection of necklaces that never cease to inspire me, but she hadn’t picked out one of mine yet.

In my vision, I could somehow incorporate this little lump of initialed silver into a necklace for her, but I didn’t want to mess with glue. Instead, I tried my hand a fusing together a basket setting using a large jump ring and some 12 gauge half round wire. In retrospect, I wish I had filed the corners of the prongs a bit, but once I had the charm set there really wasn’t an easy way to turn back. To make the charm a stronger focal piece, I created a larger hammered frame and will hang the charm inside. 

There’s a local bead show this weekend, so I’m waiting to get some extra special beads there to finish this up for her. By the way … why is it that it’s possible to have literally thousands of beads in a box and still feel as if the “right” one is eluding me? That’s probably a topic for another posting. In the meantime, I’ll be getting out the PMC again to make another bracelet charm for Jenn, but I”ll sure to let you know what this finished necklace looks like as soon as I have it done!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 3, 2011 10:15 am

    So glad you were able to make it work! I don’t do any torching or stamping, mainly because I’m afraid of losing a bunch of money after I mess it up.

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