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Melt and Destroy

Hi All,

I’ve had a rough day in the studio. I am in a melancholy mood and
I’m wondering how many of you, even after years of experience at the
bench, still manage to destroy pieces you have been working on for
days. Destroy, as in start from scratch.

As I said I’ve had a rough day…I’m off to start drinkin’ :slight_smile:


That happened to me just recently. Sometimes it’s the simplest
things that seem to give the most problems. In my case I destroyed
two, and the one I did do successfully vanished without a trace from
my studio. Dratted trolls!

Janet Kofoed


Oh Yeah! I can relate. I always love it when you’re at the very last
step of fabrication of something intricate and the whole thing melts
down before your eyes… irretrievably. That always tells me I
haven’t been giving the Jewelry Gods their requisite attention and

That’s usually the point at which I quietly pack up and walk away
from the studio to do something completely non-jewelry-related.
Clears my mind and lets me come back to it fresh, without freaking
out too badly and making more mistakes.

I don’t know anyone that it doesn’t happen to once in a while.

In commiseration,

Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs


Aw. That is rough. I can sympathise. I just changed torches, from a
butane to an oxy/acetylene set up and one of the first things I did
was melt down a granulated ring, I gave been working on for days. I
did play with the torch first and thought I had it figured out, but
as I was soldering on the bezel for the stone, the whole thing
crumpled. It took about 30 seconds to completely ruin days worth of
work. But then again I’m fairly new to this, so it was bound to
happen eventually.

Off to play with the torch again.

I’ve been frustracating with jewelry for nearly 30 years and it
still happens now and then.

The trick is not to let anyone know!


Hello Laurie,

Certainly peaks my apatite for a bevy too. There is often a part of a
job where all things are supposed to come together and you risk ten
solders in one last effort. It wrecks my nerves, big time. I melted a
ring the other day when I mounted a platinum head to an already set
gold band and this particular gold alloy was new to me and it was a
flowing type. I was surprised at my calm when it sucked away onto the
platinum at about the same time the medium solder melted. I had to
start from scratch. I had to cut off the melted part, file out the
platinum head and re-polish it, re-pave the new part before I mounted
it again, add 5mm to the band and basically start from scratch to
finish a ring which was paying me next to nothing. Sux, but it
happens. It is much easier when you have somebody to blame, unless it
actually IS there fault.


Laurie: Yes but for me it is the Fire Fairies. They occassionally mis
direct my tourch flame and increase its temp for beyond any normal
flame. Then total melt down. So now before I start a soldering or
other tourch work I take a small piece of what ever material I’m
working in and melt it. That seems to appease the little buggers and
the work goes fine. If I should forgettheir share?? You got it
"MELTDOWN" time or the piece with the most work to repair.

John (Jack) Sexton

Hey Laurie,

Sorry you had such a traumatic day/event. By this time, hopefully,
your “drinking” and depressive mood should have

If it happens again — and it does to all of us – Put this
scenario in your mind…taking on the responsibility of casting a
master wax for someone who, you know, worked on it for 2-3 days
getting it “just right”. AND during the burnout/casting of it,
because you’ve refused to make a Faustian contract with the Devil
about always getting 100% casting results, something goes WRONG and I
mean WRONG to the point the piece is totaled, kaput, unsalvageable,
and probaly unrecognizable. Now after the diaster not only do you
have to self flagellate but you have to explain, in sometimes
nebulous terms, that, what they saw in their eyes and held in their
hands with so much planning and care, is now given up to the Universe
for very, very unknown reasons.

Some people understand (those that have a good working knowledge of
casting, some don’t (those that are seen immediately appply for a
handgun permit or shopping for baseball bats at Walmart.

Now, after beating your head on the wall and near full sobriety sets
in, you begin thinking about “making an appointment with Satan” to
get it right next time and not have to go through the anguish again.

So, not only do we have PAIN, but also a moral

Hope a smile has returned after your mishap and that this little
story helps to maintain it.


Laurie…don’t dispare. After more than 30 years of jewelry making
I still have projects that go awry. Some sit there till my mind works
out the problem, others just wait fo the melting pot. Remember what
Winston Churchill once said, “The key to success is going from
failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” Don’t lose your
enthusiasm…just do it again. We all need the practice no matter
how long we have been doing it!

Cheers from Don in SOFL.