This week I’ve been meaning to practice cutting stitches into my copper using a graving tool to help hold my copper domes in place whilst soldering, as there is a risk that they will move as the solder runs and then be off centre for the holes I cut out last week. I would’ve had images to show you but iTunes ate them and I’m not revisiting that bad mood again…
I’ve not had much time this week (same old story!) and have only had a few practice sessions so far with minimal success, but today managed to get stuck in and get the copper out and practice cutting stitches over and over again. My tutor kindly lent me a graver tool last week. It’s a tricky business as the graver either doesn’t want to budge or glides off in this or that direction totally ruining the piece.
Feeling despondant, as I want to get onto soldering in my class tonight, I got my Tim McCreight books out again and re-read the scant information about doing this technique and noticed in his picture he’s got his tool the other way around.
I’m sure I tried that in class last week and it didn’t work either and my tutor said to have the graver the other way around – we did both and both were tricky. I did a quick google with no results, so thought I’d give it another go and today it started to work – maybe it’s because I’ve been trying over and over and had a fair bit of practice now, or maybe it is because I’ve turned the tool around. Anyway I’m a lot happier with my attempts today, compared to previous days.
Here are some of my practice stitches:
And here is a circular set of stitches to hold one of my small domes in place (just practicing with the little ones first).
And here’s one of the small domes in place surrounded by stitches – it’s a little loose, but by going over a few of the stitched and making them a bit longer will solve that.
So I think I’ve cracked it, although I feel I’ve done it in an unconventional way as I’m not sure if I’m holding the tool correctly or not, but maybe I don’t need to worry about that, if what I’ve done has worked. So hopefully in class tonight my tutor will take me through the sodlering process in her studio and I can get my domes soldering onto the inner plates. I will report back later!