Monday, March 12, 2012

Keep your pants up!

This weekend I had the pleasure of taking a Belt Buckle making class with instructor Sharon Massey of Jewelry N'at at SCC.

After some confusion involving not knowing that Day Light Savings time occurred, I managed to get to SCC just in time for the 8 hour workshop. I've taken a class with Sharon before and loved her teaching style - flexible, accessible, and extremely knowledgeable - so I was looking forward to spending the day gabbing and sawing.

Sharon Massey's Belt buckle entry for the World Championship Belt buckle Competition!

In 8 hours our small group designed, constructed and finished our very own belt buckles. It has been 8+ years since I did any small metals constructing, so I found all of the cutting challenging. I think I broke a record number of saw blades, but I am very happy with how it turned out in the end. The pieces we made were fabricated from brass and copper, primarily, with some nickel and found tin. We also used a liver of sulphur concoction to patina the copper a deep black, which added a nice contrast. To secure all of the layers we used both a sweat soldering technique as well as a variety of riveting techniques.

This one is mine. I was thinking old western meets modern city = Urban Pioneer. 

What was especially nice about this class was the small size, which allowed us each to work one-on-one with the instructor when we needed to, keep our own pace, and kept us from having to fight for tools or wait in line to solder. All in all I can't think of a better way to have spent my Sunday.

One of the other students brought in her own Dale's Pale Ale can to use. It turned out great!

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