Playing with Fire

When I began silversmithing, the thought of using a torch fascinated and simultaneously frightened me. I had watched the men in my life (my father, my brother, my husband) use various torches and was duly impressed. I felt they knew a secret to which I would never be privy. When my instructors began talking of using a torch, I was reluctant to try. The POP when lighting the torch was frightening. I could blow the place up! But as I began to understand how to control the flame, to heat the metal without melting it, to use solder to “marry” the pieces of metal, then I became more and more comfortable. It took a few months before I became confident enough to set up my own torch. But I finally set it up and now I am a soldering fiend! It almost feels unnatural to create a piece of jewelry now without at least some soldering!