Monday, August 25, 2014

Castle Rocks

When we get to go traveling I like to take home a pebble or two as a keepsake. I brought home less than a handful this time and each one is precious to me. I wanted to make something wonderful from them. This is what I came up with.

I used silver (no lead) solder to work these stones up into pendants. It was pretty simple and I really love the results. Here's how I did it.

First I cleaned the stones with dish soap and warm water to remove any sand or dust. Then I let them dry well. I wrapped each pebble tightly with a length of adhesive backed copper tape. I used a bone folder to burnish the tape to the surface of the stone. I coated the tape well with some flux. Flux is an acid that helps the solder adhere to solder-able surfaces. It cleans off any oils that may stop the solder from sticking.

I plugged in my soldering iron and  unwound a length of silver (non lead) solder. I began to melt the solder onto the copper tape until it was completely coated. I use a set of old pliers to hold the stones while I'm working.

I dipped a jump ring into the flux and melted some solder to the jump ring. Then I used the iron to attach the ring to the soldered copper tape.

All that's left is to clean them up with more soapy warm water. I'll gently file off any rough spots later on.

I really like the organic look I got using the silver solder. These will make great keepsake pieces. 
Do you collect pebbles from your travels? Or do you prefer to take only pictures? It seems to be a controversial subject. I'd love to hear your views.