Soldering Next Steps: Make My Silver Flower Ring and a 10-Part Soldering Series

Last week on Jewelry Making Daily, I shared how to make the beginner soldering stack rings project that master metalsmith Lexi Erickson taught me to make in her studio last year (also found in the May/June 2011 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist). Back then, after only one day under Lexi’s guidance, I couldn’t believe myself as I was making what has turned out to be my favorite piece of jewelry, my silver soldered flower ring.

saw flower petal shapes out of sterling silver sheet

Lexi showed me how to saw out the petal shapes with a jeweler’s saw, how to file and texture them, and then taught me how to solder with the “big” torch setup, instead of the butane torch soldering and fusing that I’d been used to. Then she did the best thing I think a teacher can do–she let me loose, handing me a piece of silver sheet and a Sharpie, and told me to make something.

sterling silver soldered flower ring

The result was this flower ring, and I’ve worn it nearly every day since then–and nearly every day, someone comments on it. Other jewelry makers have sent me photos of their version it, and I’ve gotten emails from teachers who want to teach it to their advanced jewelry-making students. The idea of so many people walking around with flower rings on their fingers makes me smile. It’s also a great way for me to share my “from micro torch to big torch” story and encourage other jewelry makers to make the leap as well.

torch fire sterling silver flower ring pieces on firing brick

To help you make that leap, I encourage you to check out Lexi’s extensive, multi-issue series on soldering in recent issues of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine so you can learn this often intimidating process from the same experienced master who taught me. In it, Lexi gets in-depth about every aspect of soldering jewelry, including the various tools used in soldering jewelry, the differences between propane- and acetylene-fueled torches, all about flux, how to choose and create the right size and type of flame on your torch for the task at hand, and much more.

Lexi’s soldering series began in the December 2010 issue of Lapidary Journal, and the ten-part series continues through current issues and until the end of 2011. If you missed the first parts, those issues and other LJJA back issues (as well as Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry back issues) are on sale now, so you can learn soldering from a pro, be inspired by the silversmithing projects from top jewelry artists in each issue, and have a little cash left over to buy some silver!


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