Friday, June 26, 2009

We 3 Art Play Day: Solder

We began our play day by looking at images and various projects that Kathy was planning to make. We spent a great deal of time just discussing various projects and such. It was then that Dana suggested we should just get together once in awhile to talk about our art.

In this photo, Kathy has her work station already set up, while Dana sips her tea, looks at some instructions, and admires her new soldering iron. The day was starting out good.

There wasn't enough room on the table for all the charms, embellishments, and such that each of us brought for the project,

so Kathy and Dana's boxes of goodies were stuck in every nook and cranny we could find. This is less than half of what they brought. Of course we had to ooh and ahh over what each was planning to make, then we finally got down to business.

Dana was now eager to start and wanted to cut one of the glasses, so she grabbed a glass cutter and went to it. However, it didn't want to cut, and I suggested we use the bottle glass cutter she brought, rather than my hand held one.

Dana suggested we practice on a bottle, so she grabbed one of my many bottles and went to town.

We could hear the glass scoring and grinding as she turned the cutter around the bottle. After tapping it, we decided she sort of knew what she was doing, so it was off to cut the stemware. That's when things got a bit dicey.

Dana tried to position the bottle cutter around the glass, but we just couldn't get it at a 90 degree angle that was needed for a good cut. So she took a different tact and tried cutting it by standing it up on a shelf on my workbench. She dipped the cutter in oil and went to town, turning the glass as she went.

After scoring all the way around the glass, she tried to "whack" the base away, but had no luck. When that didn't work, I laid the glass on its side, held it in place with the black rubber coaster you see in the photo. My problem was the shelf was about six inches too high for me, so I was working with my arms above my shoulders and got no leverage, although I could see I had scored the base.

Next, Kathy tried it, and determined, after several attempts that all we were doing was beating the paint off the glass cutters. Determined not to be defeated, I suggested we look through my various jars and make something in a jar. Since the glasses were so small, each of us had images for a small jar.
Kathy cleaned all the jars with Goo Gone and/or alcohol, depending on which was needed, then Dana spotted my Play Dough, which I had never used (I don't even know when or where I got it except that it was brand new and never opened). Here, Dana has created a small scene using the green Play Dough as a base for the tiny jar she will be using.

Kathy created a scene using the Play Dough as a base, images she cut, and tiny flowers. She also added a winged horse after I took this photo. If you click on the photo, you can see her scene better and my instructions showing what I thought we were going to make from the stemmed glasses.

We almost ate before we assembled and soldered our jars, but decided to finish our pieces first. I think we were all a bit frustrated. I didn't take a photo of my scene outside the jar, but I didn't use Play Dough as my base. Instead, I used hot glue and the shredded paper I called "seltzer," but I think Dana called it something else. After it was cool, I added shells at the base, and placed my back-to-back images between two shells.
Dana had to leave after we ate, so took hers before I got a photo of it. I cut off the top of the jars in this photo, but you can see our final results better if you click on the photo. Kathy's is on the left, mine on the right. Kathy chose to place copper foil higher than I did. I just wanted a good solder joint, while Dana and Kathy both wanted to cover their lids. I didn't use a lid, since mine was an old baby food jar. We all decided that we would not be soldering any time soon, unless it was to practice. However, we had fun, ate till we dropped, and had a wonderful day of friendship.

After we ate lunch, Dana left to visit her husband in the hospital, while Kathy helped me clean up the mess we left in the basement. She then packed up and went home around 5:30. It had been such a long, exhausting (and a bit frustrating) day, I simply collapsed and slept for several hours before documenting this for posterity. I wish I had taken more photos, but sometimes you get caught up in the process and forget to click. I gave Kathy the glasses to see if her husband could cut them. I really think we needed a wet saw for the bases, something I don't have, since we think the stems are solid glass.

Next month we will meet at Kathy's, and I bet soldering is NOT on the agenda! I'll try to remember to take another photo of my finished project tomorrow that doesn't chop off the top of the jar.

4 thoughtful remarks:

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

Getting together with art friends is always exciting! Too bad the glass cutting didn't want to cooperate, you all are braver than me, not sure I would have attempted it, I shy away from power tools and sharp tools too ;) You do a nice job of recording the fun. I seem to take more pics when I'm by myself!

Findings Art by Donna said...

You guys just have way too much fun. :) I enjoy watching all the neat things you do together.

Mary said...

It must be very nice for the three of you to get together and create. I would have been a little fustrated with the glass cutter and afraid that the glas would break. Your glass jars came out awesome!


Tina said...

You were on the right track using the cutter, you just have to hold your breath and tap off that base of the glass. It's usually jagged but that is why you solder up over the top and make those caps on doesn't all ways come off easily. YOu have a good memory..but, I did say to cut the glass and tap the base off of the stemware in the article.