But I wanted to post what I made in my Metalsmithing class this weekend since I'm quite proud of it. This week we learned about sawing and drilling (YEAH!). We got to use the Flexshaft which is kind of a like a Dremel tool with a footpedal. It takes all sorts of attachments so you can use it for drilling and a bunch of other stuff as well. I expect to learn about that other stuff in the coming weeks.
Anyway, here are the earrings I made from a 3x3 square of flat copper sheet metal:
First I drew the shape on paper, photocopied it and pasted them onto the metal. Then I used a punch to "start" the holes, and then drilled them out with various sized drill bits. Finally, I used the saw to saw out the square shapes, then used a needle file to file all the uneven bits.
Class was awesome. I did learn that big drill bits don't work well with the Flexshaft. I also learned that it's going to take a lot of practice for me to properly load the teeny tiny blades into the saw frame, so that I don't snap them every 2 seconds. I went through about 6 blades because they snap if you don't load them with enough tension. I mean, you are sawing through metal with a tiny flexible blade that's only a few mm thick.
I'm now starting to consider buying some of the equipment to start a small home studio. The acetylene torch might be out (since my studio space is actually one of our guest rooms) but I could definitely saw, hammer and drill in there. And solder too. We'll see how it goes.
I've ordered my copy of Tim McCreight's book called "The Complete Metalsmith" which is supposedly the bible. I can't wait for it to show up.