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I have been diddling around in the studio with some fine silver wire teaching myself to fuse rings.  I started this because Precious Metal Clay fires up to fine silver and fine silver wire can be embedded into the clay without needing to change the language used to describe the result or the temperature of the kiln.  It is still fine silver regardless of the source, clay or wire.  I was wanting to explore options with fine silver wire.  I mean why solder if you can fuse directly?  Nothing to hide, no color difference at the joint.  I made a few links and have started adding them to some new clasps I am making.  So the topic of fusing is on my mind.  Then I received Kate McKinnon’s new book Sculptural Metal Clay.  First off, the photography in this book is great.  Second off, I was delighted to find a section on wire fusing.  I learned some things I want to practice next, ways to heat the piece to be fused and how to go about joining the rings to form chain.  Also on the topic of fine silver fusing I found this blog post by the Etsy Metal Clay team about making a fine silver charm bracelet using fusing to make the chain.  Their twist on it is not to flush up the ends on the ring but to wrap them together so that when the ring fuses you get a sort of vaguely ball shaped bit where the twist was.

I am still absorbing the material in Kate’s book, I want to post a more involved review of the book when I am done reading and thinking.  I found her first book thought provoking and have found her techniques to be quite useful.  I guess when I say I am largely self taught I must give credit where it is due.  Books like these and the ones I have by Hadar Jacobson and Barbara Becker Simon have given me a wealth of ideas to try and techniques to use.  I have no lack of inspiration to start with but sometimes the things I doodle in my sketch book can be pretty elaborate and figuring out how to accomplish them is the challenge.  I do like a challenge though!

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