Introduction - Hi I'm Darlene


Hi.  I just found the ArtMetal site and wanted to introduce myself.  My name is Darlene, I live in Northern Virginia, and I make jewelry for fun.  I've sold a few pieces along the way and have managed to earn back the money that I put into buying equipment and materials.

I started making jewelry almost two years ago. I started with beadwork and moved into doing some silver and copper wire knitting.  And then into working with silver and have done some brass as well.  I've worked a little with soldering.  I've only done a couple of pieces so far.  When we moved last year, I lost the basement area.  Since we now live in an apartment there isn't anywhere that doesn't have a sprinkler.  I'm currently looking for a place that I can solder once in a while since I can still do most of the work in the apartment.  I look forward to reading up on the ArtMetal members and all of the work that you do.  Below are a few items that I've made so far. 
 Sterling Silver with Sodalite Earrings Brass Cuff Bracelet Brass and Sterling Silver EarringsSterling heart pendant Copper Viking Knit Bracelet

Rich Waugh's picture

Welcome to ArtMetal,

Welcome to ArtMetal, Darlene!

I understand you issue with wanting to do your work in an apartment as I was in much the same position myself about forty years ago. Fortunately for me, back then there were no sprinklers to contend with so I could do my work without fear of creating a sensation by setting the alarm off.

What I would suggest you might try is doing your soldering on top of the stove with the exhaust fan turned on. The kitchen sprinkler should be set so that a hot stove won't set it off but a big blaze would. If you can talk to the complex maintenance supervisor he/she might be able to give you some assistance - provided, of course, that such things are not prohibited by your lease terms. If they are prohibited, then you need to maintain a very low profile and not risk it by asking.

If all else fails, you should be able to find a craft center, community college or even a senior citizens' center that has craft facilities where you might be able to take your work to do your soldering. In the case of a senior center, you might find that they are thrilled to have drop in, regardless of age - us old folks can get pretty bored seeing the same faces every day and actually enjoy something new. I know that the retirement community where my Pop lives has an art/craft area and they were very open to my stopping by to use their facilities for an hour or two when I was visiting and needed to repair some stuff for Pop. Something to think about, anyway.

As a last resort, there's always the park bench with a little folding windbreak you can carry with you - not much fun in the winter, but you can't have everything, I guess. Be creative and think outside the box and I'll bet you come up with a solution.


unicorT's picture

wind break

I just love the picture of Darlene sitting in the local park soldering jewellery behind a wind break. You could make a specially compartmentalised suitcase with your workshop laid out inside when you opened the lid.

Very creative thinking I like it.

Although soldering in parks is probably against regulations somewhere or other.


dweberg's picture


I'm gonna give it a go this weekend if the weather holds up. We have a picnic table at the community grill that no one ever uses in our apartment complex. I figure I can work on some soldering and indirectly cook a chicken at the same time. Last time I cooked on the grill out there I was hammering a silver cuff bracelet. (I've since ordered a sandbag to help muffle the hammering noise.) I figure the worse that can happen is that the apartment folks tell me I can't solder at the picnic table again. We'll see.

Bob Wilkerson's picture

soldering space

I'm not sure where in Norther Virginia you are, but there is always the jewelry class at the Torpedo Factory. If that doesn't work for you, I'm happy to loan you some bench space in my basement or garage. Who knows it might convince me to clean off the space which would be a positive move. I'm still trying to cultivate Rich's talent for putting things up when you finish with them.

P.S. my neighbors are used to the hammering noise.

Rich Waugh's picture

One important thing to keep

One important thing to keep in mind is that it is almost always easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission.


allen3's picture

keep moving

You never walk alone
Keep moving,Darlene

Allen Tseng

zhzubair4's picture

 Hi there, Im new to

 Hi there, Im new to Jewellery Making and would like to know if there are any courses or workshops in the Peterborough area to get me started!