I scored this incredible Chinese cookie tin at a yard sale last week. It is gorgeous: plumand red with bands of yellow and green and frolicking babies, some with musical instruments, others with fruit and fans. Usually I think simply cutting out graphics and displaying them as jewelry elements is not so interesting, but these just beg for that treatment. So, out with the 7/0 sawblades and narrow frame saw, beeswax and reading glasses -- I'm cutting them out, still not certain how I will use them. And the exercise of working in a batch has improved my tin-sawing skills quite a bit. I have some hints to share with you:
- Use a 7.0 sawblade, the kind with a rounded back, so it will turn curves easily. Sure, they are not much bigger than a strand of hair, but they have alot of teeth to attack that thin tin.
- If you push the saw frame, you will break the blade, so you need a light touch. I find that if I avoid over-gripping the saw, holding it with fingers curled just enough to hold onto it, that helps.
- Tip the saw at a slight angle while allowing it to do the work, keeping hand and arm relaxed. As you approach a corner, tilt the blade upright and saw in place before turning.
- Beeswax, soap, or a product sold for the purpose helps to lubricate the blade. Don't use too much.
- Any vibration of the tin interferes with cutting, so use the smallest slot of your benchpin to support the work.
- It helps to use a 2B pencil to draw a line where you want to cut. Then, as you cut look at that line. This will help your accuracy a whole lot.
I am not sure just what will happen to all these jolly babies, but a minute ago I discovered an old glass tube that formerly held a Chinese remedy, complete with label and waxed cork. Hmmmmm . . . . . .
Here's a first effort though -- a pair of earrings with mercury glass bugle bead tassels.
And I just happened to have a bill of hell money for the back. It's the "Last Gig in the Forbidden City." They're playing a flute and an oboe of some kind.