Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blog Challenge~ Balled Headpins from Gardanne Beads~ Part One

Oh, my! What beautiful headpins!

I was one of the lucky recipients of a pair of beautiful lampwork glass ball headpins made by Anne of Gardanne Beads from the lovely Lorelei Eurto
as part of a blog hop challenge.

Once I finally decided how I was going to use my headpins, I got to work. The first headpin twisted into shape pretty well. The second, however, not so much!

As you can see above, I used a little too much elbow grease and popped the balled end right off of the headpin. Yikes!

Fortunately, I work with metal so I knew what to do.
I took a few quick pics to share one way you can
make the repair just in case this happens to you!

If this was your average run of the mill copper headpin it would need no special precautions to repair. But, it isn't! It has a fabulous glass bead at one end. So, I'll need a heat sink.

I took out my handy-dandy tuna can which is always filled with fine grained sand and added water.
Can + Sand + Water = Heat Sink
Now the delicate glass bead end could be submerged in the water to protect it from the heat of the torch.

I hit the end of the wire with heat, but realized right away that I needed something to bounce the heat back onto the wire so I could get it hot, and fast!

I put a block of compressed charcoal behind the end of the wire, which did the trick! As you can see below, I was able to melt the end of the wire into a new ball in seconds.

A new balled end and no damage to
the beautiful glass bead on the other end.

Since I had the camera in hand...
Here's a shot that shows how I used an oval mandrel to gently shape the newly repaired wire into shape.

And finally, the first leg of this journey is complete.
Now, I'm off to cut a silhouette die to create a dimentional leaf dangle from recycled materials...

...I'll keep you posted.

It's important to note that whenever you are using a compressed gas to create a flame you should take precautions. Always work with proper ventilation, proper tools and have a fireproof surface.
This is serious business!

Images & Text © re-maker
2012 All rights reserved.

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