I really enjoyed my first three hour workshop!
I can tell already that there is a lot to learn, and this workshop will be more about them telling me what to do and me doing it to make a final product (ring with a stone set into it) than about them teaching me how to be a silversmith. There is however a variety of courses available at George Brown that will teach me that kind of stuff.
If the first class is any indication I am going to love Silversmithing!!!
First we went over some basic safety rules, like point the end of the blow torch that the fire comes out of *away* from your face. We also learned some basic stuff about metals and the different types of metals and what they are used for/ with.
Then we were given saws with blades so fine they were like string. After being shown how to string the blades and wax them, we were given squares of copper and told to score one straight line (with a ruler) and one wiggly line (free hand). Then we cut the copper
Here are my cuts. She said my first cut was impressively straight for a first time.
Next we learned about ring sizing and the math to translate a band size into a rectangle of material to make a ring from. We were then shown a bucket of silver scraps and stock and told to choose either a flat strip of silver to cut out our rectangle from or a piece of stalk to cut to length. I, of course, decided to do the harder one and cut from a strip of metal. I only took a photo of the scraps, because I didn't actually think about documenting the progress until it was significantly progressed.
Then there was much filing and sanding to make to two connecting ends completely perfectly flat. There was more filing and more sanding. In fact, the bulk of the work shop was spent filing and sanding. Next we heated the metal with a propane and oxygen torch. It was pretty fancy. We did some technical stuff involving pickle brine and baking soda, and we bent the metal until the two ends were touching.
Because it took some people so long to get the ends perfectly flat and then to bend, we were not able to begin soldering. That we will do next week. The goldsmith who runs it also told me that I could bring in some sketches of designs of anything else I would like to try making.
I guess since I progressed the farthest in the first class and she could tell I was all with the seriousness, she told me I should be able to make another project if I continue at that rate.
So I guess I'll get to sketching, and see what she says!