Silver One is a class offered at the Sun Lakes Rock, Gem and Silver Club that introduces the member to the art of making pieces of jewelry using metal fusion. Members are taught how to form and fit solder brass, copper and silver into functional pieces of art.
Once the desired piece is selected, it is formed either as a ring, pendant, or pin and soldered together using a torch, flux and fine pieces of solder. Joints must be carefully cut and fitted prior to the soldering process. I joined the class to get reacquainted with precious metal classes I had taken many years ago. Steady hands are a necessity when putting the different pieces together for the soldering process.
The class consists of six sessions over a three week period. Richard Sanderville, the instructor, is very patient and skilled at the art. He has been a member of SLRGS for eight years and an instructor for four years. He is a hands on instructor and checks each piece for proper fit and conformity.
He begins the class with a short introduction to Silver One, then moves on with a simple soldering of two pieces of copper. Then students advance to forming and sizing a brass ring, soldering the joint, hammering a design on the outer surface and then polishing it to a high gloss.
The next project forms a bezel which is sized for the stone it will hold, then soldered into a ring. Once it is shaped to the stone, it is then soldered to a backing plate, trimmed and fitted with a chain ring. The entire piece is then closely trimmed and shaped to take the stone. After a polishing process, the stone is fitted and the bezel firmly pressed all the way around to hold the stone in place.
The possibilities are endless using silver or other precious metals along with polished stones for creating pieces of art. Of course once the students have shown proficiency with the equipment and passed the class, they are free to use any of the open shop equipment available to members and make projects on their own time.
Sun Lakes Rock, Gem and Silver Club welcomes new members. The shops located at Sun Lakes Country Club, Cottonwood and Oakwood are all equipped with the latest tools, metal grinders, saws, torches and polishing wheels. Open shops and classes are held several times a week for different arts so all members can be accommodated.
Remember the meetings are held on the third Monday of each month at 10:00 a.m. in the Navajo Room of Sun Lakes Country Club. Refreshments are served and members have the opportunity to talk with instructors and see the art produced by each class. Field trips are also offered to areas where members can find and pick their own rock specimens. For the collectors there are also rock identification classes available. Check out the website, www.slgrs.com for complete information. Past articles on other classes are posted to the website.