Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Best. Class. Ever.

I have loved ALL of our classes to date, but last night's was the   most fun for me from a crafting perspective.  We're calling this particular class "Girly & Glittery", which is kind of a dorky name, but the 3 soldered charms we're making are on the feminine, glittery, lacy end of the spectrum---perfect, really, just before Valentine's Day.

The first charm our crafty students work on is fashioned after one I bought a while back from Sally Jean Alexander, and I want to make sure and give her credit for the inspiration.  I took her concept of choosing a simple word, affirmation, whatever-you-want-to-call-it,  and then surrounded it with a frame of glitter.  We use a German glass glitter, which is composed of tiny shards of silver glass (unlike the typical crafting glitter which is usually plastic, and/or foil, die-cut in uniform shapes) that is the same type used in vintage Christmas decorations and will tarnish over time to a wonderful patina.  Pairing the glittered charm with rosary-style pearls was how I made this design my own, and I love the X-treme Girliness of the combo:

These are ones I made recently for a sale.  I'm still soldering the ones the ladies made last night, and will be sure to post those photos later, and include the cute treatments they put on the reverse sides.  They all worked really hard and after their first charms were finished, it was time for an M&M break:

Our second charm is a wrapped and soldered shard of china.  Working with the "Girly" theme, we take beautiful old floral-patterned plates, break them into shards, and then further shape them with nippers and grinders.  Once the piece is smoothed, it is wrapped in copper, ready to be soldered with a silver frame.  This project took a bit more elbow grease, but the results are RIDICULOUSLY gorgeous!  I'll post the finished charms once I'm finished soldering, but here are pics of our gals hard at work:

With all of the china shards flying around, oh-so-fashionable protective goggles were a must!

The first step is nipping the shard into the desired shape (here we're shaping a heart):

Then, using a grinding stone, smoothing down the roughest spots:

Finally, the wet electric grinder is used to get all the edges perfectly smooth:

After they are wrapped and soldered, the charms turn out like this (these are ones Chris and I made for samples last night, and I believe Chris wore the pink one to school today!):

Lastly, Chris worked with the ladies on the final "Girly" charm.  Using vintage lace (and I do mean vintage:  Chris brought in bits of her Auntie Mary's bridal veil from the 1930's!  We also had some vintage French lace I picked up at an antique shop),  a charm was made by sandwiching snippets between two pieces of glass.  The resulting charm is transparent, highlighting the lace beautifully.  Pictures of finished charms will be posted later, but here are our fearless students, still hard at work:

Now I am off to finish the rest of the soldering.  We'll have another "Girly & Glittery" class next week, and there are still a couple of spots open.  If you want to take a FUN class with FABULOUS end products, call me!   You'll love it!


  1. Chris wrote: Great addition to the blog! I did wear the rose charm to school today and I proudly shared it with others. Maggie is so right! This class is just plain fun and easy, but the best part are the finished products! Check your calendars and join in on the fun next Tues. Thanks Maggie-you are the BEST!

  2. This is the best yet! My favorites are the china shards, but the glitter ones are sweet, too. Can't wait to see the lacy ones. Love how you've combined some of your old passions (broken china!) with the new soldered charms. Poor Dan, if you keep this up, he'll NEVER get out from under the bits and smidgens!
    Love you much! Fafi

  3. Would you be able to add a more detailed description of how to make the lace charms and where to purchase all the materials? Thanks so much!

    - Jessi