by Suzanne on June 15, 2011

At midday yesterday I had an epiphany that it would be special to make my daughter a ring for her 13th Birthday. She has been eyeing off the Moonah rings, perfect. Tempted just to give her one, I told myself that 13 is a significant year and it’d be worth the effort. Her Birthday, by the way, is today. Have I mentioned I work well under pressure!

I planished the band and soldered it no problem. I was even feeling quite clever until I realised it would be way too big! And the day went downhill from there. I sawed a piece off and soldered again. This time the steel pin holding the ring sprung in and the join folded over itself. Worst of all, when I took it off the block, the solder had already run and it was now firmly joined…overlapping! Since I had nothing to lose I thought I’d just muck around with my disaster. My daughter would never be the wiser, I’d just give her a ring I made last week. So I put my mess of a ring back on the forge and fused the “fold” firmly together. The ring was now tiny.

Just for the practice, I planished it into shape and played with the texture. The more I hammered of course, the bigger the ring got until I thought, just maybe I could save this project after all. It was much thinner than the other rings but it was quite a nice band and I thought Tara, my daughter, might just like it.

Then I got foolish! I had a little seed pod left from another disaster, so I sawed it off it’s stem and bravely tried to solder it to the band…Not a good idea! I had visions of a molten puddle, but still, all good practice, right?

I knew as soon as that torch hit the ring my little pod would go flying and I just didn’t have the patience for binding wire, although I know I should have tried. So I got out this paste solder I hadn’t used before. I thought without flux and being a paste, it was worth a try. Well, this stuff worked like magic. I obviously got an easy paste because it didn’t take long at all to run, and when it did I had a good join. Really solid. I still can’t believe I pulled it off. When Shane, my partner, called me in for dinner I proudly showed him my gift, boxed and ready to give Tara. Then, I cried! I’d made something special that I think a young teenage girl would like. Best of all, she’ll always have a little reminder of Queenscliff, and me. I’m also giving her the ring she likes as they make a nice pair.

The proof, of course, will be in the unwrapping. Being 13, she may just prefer a bottle of nail polish….



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