Have you heard of Craftsy yet? I signed up for a class over the summer, but I really haven't had much time to try the projects. Today, I went to their site and noticed that they have a free class called Micro Torch Basics. I'm not sure it's a great name for the class. Yes, it does introduce you to using a micro torch - but what are you using it for?
Basic jewelry soldering! That's really what the class should be called - an introduction to jewelry soldering.
I am surprised, but I really love the Craftsy classes. I don't usually like video classes very much (like the ones on YouTube) - but these are so well done. The instructor for the soldering class is Kate Richbourg. You may have heard of her, since she has had projects in magazines like Step by Step wire jewelry and also recently authored a book called Simple Soldering: A Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Making
The free Craftsy class teaches you to make a set of simple copper stacked rings and a simple half round band ring. In addition, it covers how to properly handle a micro-torch, supplies that you need to solder, how to anneal metal (and why), pickling and finishing. The projects are explained thoroughly, with lots of tips and tricks to make you feel comfortable getting started. Honestly, if I had the right size wire on hand today, I would have been making the stacking rings already. I'm actually planning on going to Lowe's (or Home Depot) tomorrow to pick up some 12g copper wire to try my hand at the stacking rings.
Actually, watching the class today did make me pull out my torch - just because I haven't in so long. I didn't finish anything that I can show - but I did anneal some metal and do some stamping for a jewelry challenge that I am participating in. The reveal is early next month, so I need to get moving on the project.
Now, I also really want to go back to try the class I signed up for on Craftsy this summer. It is called Wire Wrapped Stones Crystal and Clusters. I think that's one of the nicest things about Craftsy. Once you have signed up for a class, you can access it again at any time and watch the video over again.