Recent Posts

Friday, October 14, 2016

Art Project Tutorial 4: Soldering Glass, Porcelain Charms, and Oprah......

Art Project Tutorial 4:  Soldering Glass, 
Por­celain Charms, And Oprah...

By Lynne Suprock­­

I first learned how to solder glass back in the 90's, designing beautiful stained glass pieces.  The process was 
a-m-a-z-i-n-g. However, I have always been about the tiny, so it was natural for me to shrink down the designs to charm sized lovelies.  


Along my art journey, I met Carol Novak, and she encouraged me to make charms that were more personal, as that was what she adored. Another opportunity came when my good friend, Cheryl Hayes, wanted a few momentos of some cherished Boxers. 

I made family portraits, art work and general affirmations small enought to wear on bracelets and necklaces.  I began adding the charms to head pieces and matching magical wands, such as the one below. One thing that was crucial.....using no lead solder in the jewelry making for my friend and for others for obvious health reasons.  And so it began......

Soon after the birth of Simply Pretty Stuff, I decided to try my hand at sending a few marketing pieces to celebraties. Oh my! I sent a few pieces to Ellen DeGeneres and to OPRAH.  Why not give that a whirl, right? (BTW, I would not reccommend this as a marketing strategy for anyone.  I don't know WHAT I was thinking!)  

Ellen's charms turned out amazing.  I had photoshoped her onto the cover of a few magazine titles since she had mentioned on a show that she had wished to be on one of them at some point. She did recieve my package, and I got a call from her agent with a small thank you.  I also got asked how I knew her personal address. Guess I was good at research?!  sigh.  No follow up or written correspondence came after the call, so I was a bit dissappointed.  

The piece I made for Oprah, I also made and sent a duplicate to Stedman Graham, her friend at the time.  My box was returned from Oprah's studio unopened, but I recieved a delivery confirmation for the one I sent to Stedman, and it was never returned.  We will never know if he really got the package or if Oprah ever saw the charm necklace.  Such is life and my attempt at impressing the stars!!  Sigh. The duplicate necklace is seen below.

No time for feeling blue over not being part of the Hollywood crowd's couture....... it was on to other things.  Soon after, I was contracted to use the art of Brian Andreas and the StoryPeople to incorporate Brian's art into ornaments and charms. How lucky to work the next few years with his team, creating with his art, his words, and affirmations, making them into pewter charms and soldered ornaments!!  I was over the moon to be able to have this opportunity with these wonderful artisans!! 

Fast forward to today, where I now enjoy creating a variety of mixed media art.  My heart sings when the solder flows and I love to change up the norm and the rules whenever possible. I have enjoyed seeing some of my soldered pieces in the Stampington Publications and continue to teach classes sharing techniques.



SOME TIPS:  Its always a good idea to have adequate ventilation in the room you are working and to wear a solder fume mask and run a carbon filter when you flux and solder, even with lead free solder.
I use a white paste flux that is water soluable to brush onto the copper foil for prepping.  Paste flux stays in place and is easier to clean off the piece when finished.  It is also less toxic as it is a weaker acid. The least expensive I found to work well is Worthington found at Lowe's hardware store.   
The pieces above were done using a soldering iron.  You can also use a torch for other projects.  I have done so in my workshops making little books with solder.
To make the beads, every artist has their own technique.  I like to make sure the solder is on the piece.  Then I clean the piece well with baking soda and water and then rubbing alcohol.  I add a plop of solder where I want a bead.  Then I brush a bit of flux onto the plop of solder just laid.  I quickly touch the plop of solder with the iron and it melts down a bit, leaving a nice bump!

Follow me on FB where you can instant message me with any questions.  I also have an Instagram page at lynne_suprock

Stay tuned for Segment Six with more stories, images, and tips throughout the weeks and months ahead



carolqn65 said...

I LOVE it......:)

Post a Comment