I haven't been in the studio yet today; I've been working on some designs to etch into silver for various projects, including as a test for a commission. I'll be putting in 3+ hours tonight, though.
Yesterday I got some stuff done:
1. I soldered the round blank in which I may make another cloisonne smiley with IT solder. The IT didn't run as badly as the eutectic, staying mainly right around the border. Good to know! I'm still undecided about whether I need to make a new smiley, though; as I've built up the color on the original the cloudy areas are a lot less noticeable, though they're still visible in some lights. Sigh. I'll look at it again tonight, and also ask my student what she thinks. There's also the fact that I do not want to have to try to get everything done at the last minute, and the other fact that this is essentially a carefully constructed joke. I'm not sure how fastidious it makes sense to be under the circs...
2. The argentium ring blank for the Confetti Ring is now formed into a circle, and the outside sanded smooth. I'm reasonably happy with the argentium solder. I used the hardest, and it worked well. However, the color match isn't ideal; there's a definite line where the join is, if you're looking for it (and I was). I think that it will be fairly invisible once the thing has a high polish, though, and that was part of the point of using this alloy- I can get a high polish, and it'll stay polished better than in regular sterling.
The next steps here are to lay out where the stones will go, and to research whether quartz (citrine and amethyst), garnet, and peridot can withstand argentium's heat-treating temps. I can always use all sapphires if I must, but I'd love to use a mix...
I did refine my technique for turning a very non-round ring blank into a round ring, and I'm pleased about that. I am also happy with the working properties of the argentium thus far.
3. I polished a carved wax so it is finally ready for casting.
4. ...and other various bits and pieces.
Tomorrow I need to spend some quality time working on photos for my site and for Etsy. Tonight I plan to get the bail and loop onto the plique smiley, so I can start the enameling. Yay! And make a smile and eyes for the new cloisonne blank if it seems I need to; if not, maybe start work on the setting for it.