Monday, December 14, 2009

Got Headpins???

The look of hand made headpins is so pretty. Buying them can be pricey! And I'm always amazed when I see lampworkers buying handmade headpins. Why not make your own???

The down side is the fire scale that occurs when sterling is heated in a flame. You can always use fine silver (.999 pure as opposed to sterling's .925 pureness) but the softness of fine silver can be a turn off if you are hard on your jewelry.

It's easy to avoid fire scale with jeweler's flux. Just cut your wires to the same length - I use 2.5" and 3" of 20 gauge. Light your torch, dip into the flux and heat. Once you have a nice ball on the end, toss it in a jar of hot water. The hot water melts the flux.

After all the head pins are made, I heat another jar of hot water and scrub with a metal brush. Then they are all tossed into a tumbler with a little liquid soap, warm water and mixed stainless shot. In under an hour, I made enough to finish off bunches of holiday gifts!

I'm headed out of town for the holidays but I have several posts scheduled so please check back. Just know that comments may take some time to appear.

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