My first task was to drill a stone setting in the cast piece - this was tricky - initially I tried using the pillar drill, but broke a drill bit which became embedded in the piece. I decided to turn it over and use the other side, soldering the drill bit side down. I tried bursting solder over the drill bit to cover it, but this didn't work.
I hand-drilled the other side, hoping that my hand was steady enough to create a good straight recess for the stone. I then made my brooch pin housing and clasp from rectangular wire and tube.
Then I needed to solder it them on - easier said than done! I had a bit of trouble with the solder paste - it looked as though they were fixed, but I hadn't heated it for long enough and the tube came off when I was trying to clean everything up.
Thankfully, it did work the second time, with help from Colin, our tutor - the cast piece had been soldered in place, and was drawing heat away from that area of the brooch. With a fairly low flame he heated the cast element and flicked the flame to burst the solder under the pin housing... success.
After this I soldered on my prongs to hold the enamel piece. This took more time than I had bargained for - I ended up trying four or five times, and ended the day on 19 May with only one prong in place. However, I came in fresh the next day and soldered the other prong without too many problems.
Now I needed to clean up. Although I really love the white finish given by the pickle, it is hard to maintain, so I cleaned the piece in the magnetic polisher. This gave it a very shiny finish, which I am not very keen on. I took a small brass mop brush to give the whole piece a scratchy finish.