04 May 2010

How A Hot Tool Releases Stress

We all need to focus on meditative tasks that bring us to our center, right? Especially in turmoil and stress we must. I must. I have been working on it and there are a few things that make me feel better. I tend to project to someday how nice a vacation would be. Someday I would love to have a margarita and sunshine and time.  But, someday rarely happens and today is the one that needs help. Someday is just fine out there all by itself, dreamy and tan. Today needs the lift.

One of the things I do to find some peace is make lists of what needs to be done. Making my list clears the circling, disorganized thoughts. Marking an item off the list pulls that pendulum a little more to the middle. The other thing which helps is busy hands. Busy, creative hands especially. I recently learned a new skill and it has been so comforting. It involves a hot tool my friends, one very hot tool....

In March, my twirly, sparkle Kim suggested I take a soldering class with her. We did a whirlwind road trip to Dallas to Heather Ales' Soldering Class. Heather really knows her way around a hot tool. She knows how to work it and how not to get burned. She taught us like the well trained Madam of the Tool she is. Here is my first piece.

Oh and there's Charlotte Perez, vital, vivacious, a bit of a vixen. Oh I like her...

Of course home, alone, I struggled. BUT the great thing about soldered charm making is there are many steps. It only takes a few minutes to sit down with the images and blade (oooh, a sharp tool) and make small collages. Time and energy have been so limited around here that my wee collages themselves have been such a respite. You can accomplish something really sweet in such a little time.

I have had three soldering sessions and have come up with these charms.

Here are a couple completed necklaces.

Here is my favorite. I have always been drawn to chairs. Perhaps I just like sitting but mostly it is about form, function and textile.

I used images of my old button cards for the back and some encouraging words meant to be worn against the skin.

I hope I have made Heather proud. I know I am.

Thanks for the new skill Heather, what a pleasure it is.

That's what she said...


  1. You did fabulous work Robin!!! Get your ass out here to Phoenix and we will lounge by my pool and I will keep your glass full of Mango Margaritas. This offer is open ANY time- I'd love to spend time with you!!

  2. You have a beautiful blog! I really like your profile write up - it's very nice. I've enjoying looking at your blog - you're very talented.

  3. TWSS--haha! Your pieces (ha!) are amazing! Get out of here with those 3 red square beads.

  4. Robin I love them ALL! Each and every one of them! I have always wanted to learn this craft and I'm hoping to learn from a friend this Summer. I know that it takes patience and skill and I also know that you have both. I am not so blessed, but I will work at it and hope to someday be able to create some of these little works of art myself. But for now I will enjoy the ones you have shown here.
    Every time I go to a flea market or show, I ususally bring home a soldered charm. Love them.

  5. Ah! I love them! you certainly know your way around a hot tool! I *tried* to learn to solder with the book Pretty Little Things. My poor soldered creations resembled something between cake icing and tin foil. T'werent pretty :S so yes, I admire your skillz ;)

  6. What! You are new to this? Those are incredible pieces of work!

  7. They are so beautiful!! I wish you would teach us all how to do it!:) You seem to have a knock for it! I love the chair one too and it gave me an idea for you!!!

  8. I love those little works of art! You do such nice work, and your compositions are really great! Hope to take a soldering class before Silver Bella, but doubt my work will be sooooo smooth.

  9. Oh Robin! You made me cry! For real! I was at work when I read your blog post, and couldn't comment then (dang site blockers!).

    You did a brilliant job with your hot tool! (and your sharp tool too!)

    I so wish you and Jemellia lived closer - I absolutely adore being around you two and listening to your banter!

    Muah and all that stuff!

  10. robin,
    soldering scares me...! i took a class with sally jean at silver bella and my piece was bumpity and so sharp in places, i could've cut myself...bravo!!!

  11. Way to go Robin......love your soldering projects. Looks like you have mastered the technique perfectly!

  12. I love the charms, especially the chair. It seems I'm a big ball of stress and anxiety, and just generally a Negative Nancy these days, so I might have to look into getting a soldering iron....

  13. Robin, these are really great! I have been wanting to try my habd at soldering! Beautiful!


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