Sunday, October 16, 2011

How RED HOT STUDS Got Their Name

For the past 3 weeks, I've worked intently on my latest brainstorm for a niche market-- the hundreds of avid Duplicate Bridge players from many countries converging on Seattle for our National Championships in November. It's a big deal for all of us addicted to competitive Bridge. I designed a line of wire-art & metal-art jewelry & bookmarks to commemorate this Big Event. After days of Designing, it was finally time to Create:)

I stacked my charcoal block atop the fire brick on my torch table & sat down on the tall bar stool. Satisfied with the 4 card symbol shapes I had cut by hand from copper sheet & already prepped for soldering, I carefully dabbed tiny snippets of silver solder near the Diamond's edge, & with upmost care placed the Club overlapping the Diamond, "just so." Everything was ready for the torch. The room was already hot & the torch made it hotter. The Club & Diamond began to glow red as I moved the Blazer's flame over their surfaces. I carefully positioned the titanium pick onto the top of my glowing-hot copper stack to assure the Club was absolutely horizontal & flat as the solder melted, sealing the 2 surfaces in the "just so" position. Then I sneezed. The pick jerked, sliding the double-wide, firmly soldered, red-hot copper off its "tower" of bricks. Before I could grasp the situation, it had bounced, onto the table, then onto my thigh. I looked down amazed at the smoke coming off my new Bermudas. But piercing heat shocked me back to a scream, a quick stand-up, & a final bounce of glowing redness onto the vinyl floor. Dilemma: Should I save the floor or my thigh?

I saved the floor, but not before yet another burn-freckle left my husband a reminder of my favorite work. Finally, ice wrapped in a wet cloth cooled down my burning thigh....

That was about 8 days ago. My thigh has survived. The new Bermudas got demoted to the gardening-only clothes pile. I finished the copper stud earrings... very carefully, BUT decided their name must commemorate my latest lesson learned, so "Red Hot Studs" was born.

I just received the new US Forge welding apron I ordered the next day from Amazon. I LOVE it. I'm 5'8" tall &, as you can see, it covers almost all body parts. (Actually, it's more like a suede "gown":) In addition, I will take a suggestion from a colleague & put a metal plate on the table & on the floor to protect those surfaces from more freckles. But most of all, I hope I have a line of eager females fighting over RED HOT STUDS.