TorchFire Studio

Fine Handmade Jewelry Crafted in Huntsville, Alabama

Holiday Sale & Hours

My Studio, Sales and PromotionsCara MossComment
holidaygift

Thanksgiving is mere days away and the busiest shopping weekend is coming up! 

My studio hours will change this week as we take time to celebrate with family:

Wednesday 11/22: OPEN 12-6pm

Thursday 11/23 - Monday 11/27: CLOSED

If you were planning on doing some jewelry shopping this week, never fear! You can always shop online, and the TorchFire Studio Sale starts tomorrow, November 20! Now through December 1 you can save 10% off your order with code MERRYBRIGHT. 

Elegant Garden Wedding Photo Shoot

Handmade Business, Inspiration, Photography, press and marketingCara MossComment

This week, my little two-stone diamond ring set made its way into a gorgeous garden wedding photo shoot!  I'm so happy to say that Huntsville, AL is full of amazing, creative people that work together to build a supportive community. Every person involved in the making of these gorgeous images is a true gem! 

two stone diamond ring
Elegant Garden Wedding Photo Shoot: bouquet
Elegant Garden Photo Shoot : Invitation
Elegant Garden Photo Shoot: Tablescape
Elegant Garden Wedding Photo Shoot: wedding cake
Elegant Garden Wedding Photo Shoot : Wedding Dress

Vendors:
Model: Amber Palmer, Joel & Amber Photography
Gown and Accessories: Kathleen's Bridal, Meighan Winton
Photographer: Gari-Ann Kia Photography, Gari-Ann Kia
Florals: Paper Petals HSV, Thao Hoang
Dishes/Props: Della's Kitchen Shop, Ashley Erickson
Dishes/Props: Decorous Dishes, Kathi Bertsch
Jewelry: Torchfire Studio, Cara Moss
Stationery: Ledgewood Stationery; Frances Ledgewood
Cake: A Wilson Cakes, Aisha Wilson
Makeup and Hair: Brittianna J

Preventing Fire Scale with Fire Coat

How-To, Jewelry MakingCara MossComment
Magic Flame Soldering Compound, What is Firecoat, how to use firecoat, firescale, jewelry making classes TorchFire Studio Huntsville, Al

Happy Wednesday! Let's talk about a basic process you need to follow at the bench: fire coating your pieces to prevent fire scale. 

What is fire scale? This is an unsightly layer of black cupric oxide that forms on the surface of copper-bearing metals when heated (think sterling silver, gold alloys). A stubborn layer of nickel can also form on white gold alloys. This mottled black layer can be very difficult to remove even after pickling your pieces.

So what's to be done? Fire coat that jewelry!

Fire coating is a process in which you apply a protective layer of boric acid solution to the metal before soldering or annealing. It turns into a glass-like covering when heated and prevents the formation of fire scale. Most discoloration should be removed with a quick bath in the pickling solution. 

My favorite fire coat is Magic Flame 4-in-1 Soldering Compound. This pretty pink paste packs a punch; it contains boric acid, borax, and sodium fluoborate. 

You can use this magic solution 4 ways:

1. Dip: Add magic Flame to denatured alcohol. This makes a fire scale resistant coating. Add as much Magic Flame as you want to get an even heavier coating.
2. Liquid Flux: Add Magic Flame to a small amount of water to create a great Gold and Silver Flux.
3. Paste Flux: Use Magic Flame full strength as a great Paste Flux.
4. Casting Flux: Use Magic Flame full strength for a superior Casting Flux

Magic Flame and denatured alcohol burn off in a colorful, quick flame, leaving behind a powdery layer of protection.

Like most chemicals in this line of work, use eye protection and work in a well ventilated area. Wash hands after use. My most helpful bit of advice **from experience** is to be cautious if using alcohol near your torch! (I am woman enough to admit to setting a fire coat brush on fire!)

This compound may not be the cheapest, and will probably have a decent shipping charge, but it is worth every penny! 

Where to purchase: Stuller Amazon  Jeweler's Supplies

Why I Love My Job!

Handmade BusinessCara Moss4 Comments

Let's do a little exercise, shall we? 

Close your eyes and imagine a place, anywhere on this little blue speck of ours, that makes you happy. Are you there? I bet it's lovely. 

For one newly-hooded PhD, her favorite place is a spot in the middle of the ocean... She's an oceanographer and a climate scientist!

This talented woman was gifted one of my coordinates rings for her graduation. It's a simple silver band with lots of meaning : latitude and longitude coordinates are stamped into the metal as a reminder of your special place. 

The gift-giver on this occasion was the PhD's mother, Laura. She sent me a thank-you note after the ceremony and it absolutely made my week! 


Hi Cara,

I've just returned from my trip out of town to witness my daughter's dissertation and PhD hooding and couldn't wait to write to let you know how BEAUTIFUL the ring is that you made for her and that she LOVES LOVES LOVES it!  And even more importantly I want to let you know how grateful I was that you went ABOVE and BEYOND to get the ring made and shipped so quickly -- it arrived the afternoon BEFORE her dissertation, which was totally unexpected, but perfect - she wore it for good luck!  I didn't expect to receive it until the following week, at the earliest, so it was a very nice surprise. The box was beautifully wrapped, which I'm not sure you routinely do either, and it was exactly 'HER', if you know what I mean.  She's a scientist, yes, but she's also a lifelong dancer, so the 'girly' touch with the pink bow and the delicate tissue was just the right touch!  I couldn't have done a better job if I'd wrapped it myself :)

Well, I've gone on and on long enough, but I had to let you know how much I appreciated your unbelievable customer service -- can't find that much anywhere these days.

Thanks again!
Laura

This letter from Laura is one of the many reasons that I love my job! It's always an honor to make meaningful jewelry that can become a real part of someone's life. I love to imagine all of the lovely people wearing the items I've made; I hope every piece is part of a happy story that is as precious as that little ring of silver. 

Customized coordinates rings in sterling silver. 

Customized coordinates rings in sterling silver.