Metal for my neck

My new favorite thing is hot, liquid metal. So radiant. So quick. So impressive. I’ve been making charms (when I haven’t had soldering iron issues) and I just learned how to make charms with a torch. Yep, fire.

At Laura’s house the other night, Natalie, of Life is a Collage and Serendipity by Natalie, was nice enough to come over and teach us the art of the torch. Natalie teaches at art retreats all over the country, so it was extra wonderful to have one-on-one time with her. Plus, she’s super fun.

This Believe charm is the first one I made. It’s about an inch-and-a-half wide and I brushed two colors of patina over it.

Laura made the soar charm (below). I thought it was super cute and I like it better than either of the ones I made, so she sent it flying home with me.

I had good intentions with this Corazon, but it kind of melted a little too much. Oh well. I’m just so excited to know what goes into making these.

I’ve been busy soldering and making charms like the one above. However, this week, I experience a major problem: I am a destroyer of soldering irons. See the nice and clean and perfect iron below…well that’s what mine looked like for two seconds. But after not much use, I completely mangled TWO brand new soldering irons.


It’s crazy! I just don’t get it! I’m going to give it one more go with a more expensive, larger, higher wattage Weller, so I hope it works. I also just got an order of a different kind of flux and a bar of Sal Amoniac that is supposed to be the miracle worker for soldering irons. Let’s hope!

The soldering iron on the right was the one I used for maybe four soldering sessions. It looks totally chewed and won’t even melt the solder. And the one on the right, well I only had that for THREE HOURS before it started to do the same thing. Bummer!

Help, anyone?

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8 Responses to Metal for my neck

  1. joniphippin says:

    Have you tried wiping your iron on a damp sponge every time you put it back on the holder?

  2. Lauren says:

    ummm, I did with the first soldering iron, but not EVERY time I put it back in the holder. I heard it’s not good to do that because it cools the tip off? I think I need to work on keeping a bit of solder on the tip even when it’s just sitting too. Something about oxidation.

  3. love this! esp. the circus quote. 😉
    very cute!

  4. Ryan Jay says:

    The tips should be replaceable. they are meant to go bad after a certain amount of use. You just replace the tip by unscrewing the screw, while it’s off and cool.

  5. cindy says:

    Lauren, my dad always said that the trick is to heat the “pipe” not the solder directly.

    Re your next post: is the garage, barber shop, stage really a garage and barber shop and band stage? I love the shared space concept and your pic of the crowd outside looking in

  6. little lotus says:

    wow that is pretty good going 🙂
    Those necklaces are really lovely xx

  7. anartsychick says:

    Hey LOL….. Those wrecked wands totally crack me up! How the heck are you demolishing all of these irons? You must be soldering the ironwork on gates or somethin! Love the charms…super adorable and your fotos rock as usual! Lets’ talk lunch or artday…or maybe both.
    Big love~ artsy chick

  8. Dee says:

    Try the damp sponge and some soft steel wool.

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