Monday, 9 January 2012
Birds On The Brain
I've been working for months on and off, trying to make bird clasps. It's difficult when you're working in your kitchen and don't have a range hood to vent the fumes from the soldering. I don't want to poison the dogs or me with the fumes. So every setback or thing that went wrong took weeks more waiting for good weather and time off from year-end bookkeeping.
The result is pleasing - haven't strung them yet so there's always a possibility that they won't hang properly. In which case I might give up until spring.
Each one is slightly different, even though I'm using the same hand-drawn pattern. The cutting is fun, I love using the hand saw and following the lines, like a little kid with crayons. The soldering was a stinker and a few birds were sacrificed before I came up with something my hands could manage. Shaky hands run in our family and it's painful watching my father or my son working with screwdrivers or anything that requires precision handling, although both of them are quite adept. Mine haven't been too shaky since I was a teenager but they seem to be getting worse as I get older and trying to solder copper posts was not going to work. I tried bending the wire in a "u" shape and soldering and even then I couldn't hold it steady enough. It was so bad that it made me giggle.
The solution was to coil a small piece of wire with a tail, solder the coil to the back of the bird and loop the tail over. The coil was flat, the bird was flat and I didn't have to hold it. Or jiggle it, as was the case.
These pictures are really bad - taken in the dark on a piece of paper towel but waiting for the time to do a decent daylight shot might be another week.