"If you can use a glue gun, you can use a soldering iron."
Those are the words of Lisa Bluhm, author of Simple Soldered Jewelry and Accessories.
I took a soldering class many years ago and found it fun to find tiny pieces of art to use inside the frames. You can see here (at left) that my first attempt was very rough as I tried to control the flow of the solder and create a smooth frame. It's not wearable as a pendant, but I keep it pinned to a bulletin board in my office. (It's good to keep some of your early projects just to remind yourself how far you've come!)
While the aesthetics of my first pendant leave a lot to be desired, the frame itself is rock solid more than seven years later. It's never going to come apart, making it a great technique for making lasting pieces. Like anything, it will take a little practice to get good at it, but you'll find it worth the effort.
About the Book
Simple Soldered Jewelry and Accessories by Lisa Bluhm is the 2014 paperback version of this best-selling book first published in 2007.
The book includes instructions for more than 40 projects. The basic building block for many of the projects in her book is the framed piece which sandwiches decorative paper, fabric, broken porcelain, photos, and other flat items between glass. The glass is wrapped in metal tape and then lead-free solder is applied to the tape. The soldered edges of the frame create a permanent connection, preserving the items inside.
The instructions are text (no step-by-step photos for individual projects), but the techniques section in the front has ample step-by-step photos showing you how to cut glass, use the copper foiling technique, soldering, embellishing and finishing. There are also a few guides in the back, including templates for cutting glass shapes and shaping wire letters, a page of clip art, and a few gift/display ideas.
Most of the 40 projects are jewelry. They're grouped together in several sections: using glass squares and rectangles, simple shaped glass projects, embellishing soldered jewelry, combining pieces, and altered keepsakes for the home.
I love the Oval Neck Cuff and Earrings that uses decorative toggle clasps (the ring halves) as embellishments for the front of the pendant and earrings. (You know I'm all about using findings in unique ways!)
I also really liked the Beautiful Bobby Pins, which were simple but striking. They seemed like a great way to experiment with smaller elements and unlike earrings, you'd only have to make one.
Enter the Giveaway
I am giving away my review copy of this book by random drawing.
This giveaway is open to everyone.
To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post. You must leave an email address in the "Email" field so that I may contact you if you win. (Email address typed in that field will not be viewable by the public.)
You can get a second entry by spreading the word of this giveaway on your favorite social media source: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, etc. Just post a second comment letting me know where you posted the giveaway. Only one extra entry per person.
Deadline to enter is Saturday, May 2, 2015 at midnight Mountain Standard Time. I will contact the winner via email and also publish the first name/nickname of the winner here on this page.
Update May 3, 2015: This giveaway is closed. Thanks for entering! The random winner is Roxanne at Roxi Designs. Congratulations, Roxanne!