“One-a-Day” Recycling Challenge – Day 10: When is a Cupcake not a Cupcake? …

… When it actually turned out looking like a bakewell tart!

This reminded me of a blog I read called “Cake Wrecks“, which is great and well worth checking out every day – it’s really hilarious!  I wonder if they accept photos of jewellery “cake wrecks” as well as edible ones?  I’ll let you know…

Back to the disaster! My poor, tiny cupcake (it’s about the size of a pea) looked so pretty before I put it to the torch.  It had tiny sprinkles and icing and even a cherry on the top.  Okay, the paper-case was a little bit on the thick side (hence looking more like pastry) but everything at least looked cake-like.  The bottom of the cupcake was made with PMC (after trying a few times with silver sheet).  It looked okay before it shrank while sintering (firing with the torch to burn off the binder and bring the silver particles together) – it is meant to shrink about 10% but this time it also seemed to make the cupcake case shorter and so looking less like a cupcake.

Well, as I soldered the top and bottom halves together with easy solder (to make it easier to solder the two together, I had already attached a sterling pillar in the centre of the PMC bottom half), everything seemed to go okay but then – disaster!  My flame was just a little too hot and too close; the little sprinkles melted into the icing and all the fine detailing disappeared under the solder which ran just where I didn’t want it. I sadly withdrew the flame and quenched the ” little baked item of no fixed identity” in cool water along with all my enthusiasm for this piece.

After a few moments of reflection and silent swearing, I got out some more tiny pieces of silver wire from the scrap box and made a few more “sprinkles”.  This time I managed to solder them on without them melting away, and then quenched the “cake” before dropping it in the pickle.

I left the “cake” part with just a light polish and the rest (icing, sprinkles, cherry & base) was given a high shine.

Before I show you the finished item, I wanted to say that I started this challenge for a lot of reasons, one being to try new techniques/materials.  Usually, if I try something and either it didn’t come out as planned or it just ends up in the scrap box, I don’t have to admit it and I can keep it a secret between me and my workbench.

But now, I feel that in this challenge, it would be cheating not to document the bad as well as good. Well, I don’t mind admitting it – I’m not perfect (well, almost) and I’m not a master craftsman (who probably have off days too – please tell me they do?), so I do make mistakes.  Well, this one is not my first, and certainly not my last; but hopefully you’ll not mind if there are a few here and there in these posts.

Well here it is (please remember it’s less than 1cm²):

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