Monday, March 12, 2012

Sent to the back of the class

I’ve been sent to the back of the class.

Yes, it’s jewellery again. Must try harder. Must conquer fear of fire and soldering. Last week Khun Chaiwat told me that my next piece of jewellery had to include lots of soldering. Oh joy; (I’d been planning to design something that needed no soldering in an attempt to avoid it. Always best to avoid all awkward things whilst maintaining British stiff upper lip.) No, alright, that’s not the answer: must conquer fears.

The truth is it’s not the jewellery; it could be crème brûlée. (Damn it, why isn’t it crème brûlée?)

So here’s the problem: in my right hand is a raging fire. I mean raging; as though flames aren’t scary enough, then we send gas rushing through to make it really aggressive. The solder sits on top of the join – or next to it – but it’s microscopic. Alright, it’s not microscopic but it might as well be; it’s tiny. And if I cut it bigger, then it makes a mess all over the copper or brass that I’m working on and then there’s more filing to do... I have to point the flame at the right part of the metal but not for so long that my piece of jewellery starts to melt… And if one side gets hotter than the other, then I’m in trouble and the solder spews all over one side of the piece, and not down the crack at all. In my left hand is a titanium stick that I can use when the solder falls off the join. Which it does because there’s that raging flame blowing a kind of Hell-like gale towards a tiny piece of silver solder… When the solder falls off the join you have to let it melt and then scoop it up on the end of the titanium stick and push it back on the bit you’re trying to solder. Simple.

Except my hands don’t seem to work together properly. It’s just like learning to drive… It should be straightforward; it’s only my hands I’m asking to cooperate with each other. Like eating, yes? I manage that all right. NOOOOO, actually I don’t manage that very well. I have a familial reputation for dropping stuff down my front. (That’s all invitations for social engagements retracted…)

I’ve thought and thought about what my problem is. Years ago, I found an old school report from my piano teacher. It said ‘Jenny seems to have problems sending messages from her brain to her fingers.’



These cufflinks are my latest piece:


Sue Guiney said...

I was reading this and thinking up some slightly snide comment to post about how at least writing isn't physically damaging, but really -- these are beautiful!

Jenny Beattie said...

Aw Sue, you are funny and thank you. Writing was beginning to physically damage me!

Chris Stovell said...

Those are bea-yooo-ti-ful so all that suffering you're doing for your art is producing some very pleasing results. (I feel like saying those cufflinks look quite lickable... but lord knows what that's going to attract!)

Unknown said...


CL Taylor said...

Gorgeous cufflinks! I know what you mean about soldering - I was similarly terrified when I did a stained glass making course & kept coming up with excuses for the teacher to do it for me! Snapping glass was a bit scary too. Still, the resultant piece was beautiful and I was so proud. You should be too x

Jenny Beattie said...

Chris, but I know what you mean about the lickable. The enamel is gorgeous when it's dried. Thank you.

Liz, thank you.

Cally, thank you. Stained glass? Could I remember that? I bet the pieces were gorgeous.

BEAST said...

They are awesome, and I'm wearing them right now in the office.

I've had a few admiring glances already. But that may have more to do with my cute behind than the cufflinks...well one can dream!

Jenny Beattie said...

Bea, I'm sure it's your backside, hon. ;-D

Anonymous said...

Oooh, they are gorgeous! I'm so clumsy, I'd never be able to solder anything without causing severe harm to myself, lol.

CJ x

Anonymous said...

Wow I think they are really nice!

Anonymous said...

They are beautiful, keep up the great work - have faith in yourself, you are soooo talented!!! Jane xxx

Jenny Beattie said...

Thanks all. xx