ScrapHappy February 2023

Back to silver scrap this month

One of the things that happens with me more often that I would like, is soldering fail.

I prefer to make many of my items in small batches; I find that it is a benefit in that it speeds up the process and makes sure that I get in the zone and creates some useful muscle memory. And of course, when I have an item that needs to be consistent, then making all the elements in one go is always sensible.

I sold my oyster necklace in one of my pre-Christmas fairs, and as it’s a piece I love I made another and also a variant – the broad bean 😉

Both begin life as recycled sterling silver wire that I coil into loops before soldering closed into rings. Soldering fails occur for me when a) the joint isn’t tightly closed before heating or b) I burn the solder, by either having insufficient flux or by missing the Goldilocks zone and heating it too long and slow / or too fast and hot.

This usually leaves me with a small piece of wire that’s been contaminated with solder at either end, and often a bit melty. I always trim off the part with the solder and put that into my dirty scrap box to send off for refining, and the clean bit of wire goes in my personal scrap pot for me to melt down for use elsewhere. But, because these loops are larger than usual I had enough within them to create these raindrop earrings for one of my regulars.

Here’s the process:

Curving the wire round my bail making pliers to a pleasing teardrop shape, I then saw through the point and replace.

I was able to make 10 of these from 4 failed links.

I line them up on my solder block (see that tiny bit of red below the points? that’s a chip of my hard solder. I colour each solder type differently, so that I can see it clearly on the block and also identify which solder it is when I drop it 😉 )

Then I pickle them to remove the oxides, and file the points smooth with my teeny needle files.

Finally I curve them with my doming punches and send them for a tumble in Betty-The-Barrel before sorting into pairs and making these earrings, which have cherry quartz – a form of dyed glass bead – left over from a batch I ordered at a different customer’s request for a specific commission. I shared these over on my instagram account, where they gained some love, so I’ve listed them in my shop . I enjoyed making them and will add a few to the range in different gemstones – I think labradorite will look particularly fabulous with the link to raindrops

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials.

It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month?

Email Kate at the address on her Contact Me page. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy on occasion.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, Edith
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti, DebbieroseNóilinViv, Karrin, Amo and Alissa   


About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?! Find me and my shinies on and as @DawnGillDesigns on social media
This entry was posted in #HandmadeHour, #SmeltyMelty, Aquaflame,, Gems, Other Blogs, processes, resources, ScrapHappy, silver, tutorial, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to ScrapHappy February 2023

  1. Susan Nixon says:

    I always love seeing what you’ve done, partly because it’s so different from anything I can do, and partly because I used to make cabochons and use them in rings and necklaces. Mostly, though, because you are so talented and creative. Those little earrings are beautiful, and I like the picture at the top of your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Lovely pieces Dawn!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. katechiconi says:

    So pretty, and frugal and creative. Would you be very kind and add our new member Karrin to your list of links? You can find her at the end of the list on my post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the idea that raindrops are coming out of scraps of wire heated and soldered (I had to peer really closely to see the speck of red)!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such intricate work for such tiny creations! I really love how delicate they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beautiful – raindrops dancing in my earlobes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rutigt says:

    Love your Broadbean necklace!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. claire93 says:

    such delicate earrings ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  9. acflory says:

    So lovely to see components re-used instead of just thrown away. Not the same thing at all, but we try to re-use garden/landscaping components as much as possible too. Being able to see uses for things is a skill everyone should develop!

    Liked by 1 person

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