The inspiration behind the Universe of the Silversmith was a simple drawing of two bezels on a dome and the assumption by a novice that hard solder could not be used to produce the piece. The piece was drawn up side down or at least that is what I thought. Later this person explained that the reason it was drawn up side down was to challenge me to show that surface tension could not possibly hold two bezels in place on a dome if it was heated to the point the solder melted. That is why I made a dome of 46 square wires, solder two bezel on it, then a bezel on the back side, and then 28 wires, four of which begin in the back and come up through four openings in the dome.
But I thought this was not exactly what this person wanted to see.
So here is his challenge just as requested.
I first made a dome with 26 gauge sterling silver, and put a high polishon it.
I put a high polish on to prove that the bezels would stay put even on a very smooth polished surface.
I also made it a very high dome to also proove that the bezels would not slide around.
Two bezels were solder on just like the drawing indicated. Notice no binding wire!
This is the sterling silver duplicate of the drawing of the challenge and I am using the $10 torch.
I soldered onthree wires standing straight up with out useing any method to hold each one while soldering.
Before I began to melt the piece down, I decided to proove how easy it is to use hard solder.
All three wires where just solder on about 1/2 inch from each other with all hard solder.
Then I began to heat the piece to melt it down as challenged.
The piece began to get red hot, and the wires began to fall as they became unsoldered.
The piece was held in a third hand with the bezels on the bottom.
As the entire piece got hotter the wires fell.
I heated the piece to a brillant red, near the melting point of sterling.
I kept heating the piece to get it to melt.
The piece was so hot that the wires began to fuse to the inside of the dome.
Just before it began to melt it became distorted with the high heat, but notice the bezels, no movement!
The bezels stayed in place, no movement what so ever, even though the whole piece began to melt.!
I just kept melting the piece, but the bezels never budged.
Silver began to drip off the dome? Bezel stayed put!
The entire piece began to glow and show even more signs of melting, but the bezels held on!
The entire piece began to melt in to one big blob. The back began to have an interesting texture.
With silver dripping off the molten piece the bezels clearly did not move. And then I decided I liked the looks of it, and felt I proved that hard solder is easier to work with. If easy of medium solder had been used then most likely the bezels would have have fallen off.
I decided to keep the molten piece. It will make an ideal experiemental artsy, craftsy piece. It will make me a nice profit