Class, Run, Weekend, Tools….

Busy week last week… Taught class at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek Wisconsin. Thank you to Rick and Maryann as they drive along way and were back for a second year in a row. I hope they return next year. It’s been amazing to see what they have done in a year. Beautiful creative work ~ both of them! And thank you to Silversmith Sylvia Youell who stopped in to show us her work. She graduated from UW Madison a number of years before I was born and is still making amazing pieces of jewelry. She has a class at Peninsula School of Art first week in December and also during the summer months. Students work done in class…..


I have had a problem for years teaching class…. Students do not want to buy torches, regulators and tanks. It’s an expensive investment. Hand held butane torches I find frustrating: too small, run out of fuel, not hot enough, not adjustable enough, short life expectancy of the tool itself… (There are a lot of people that do all their work with a hand held butane torch. My hat is off to them as I do not have the patience for that kind of torch.)

Yesterday I got this in the mail from Euro Tool…. I did not have it in time for class but that is fine since I have been waiting for this for a few years. A torch that is simple, reasonably priced, interchangeable tips, easy fuel source: propane refillable tank (your gas grill tank) or propane disposable tank (little bottle of propane for a coleman camping stove). THANK YOU EuroTool!!!! I tried it out yesterday. I was impressed. It’s not as hot as propane and oxygen which I use but it gets the job done easily, quickly and the three torch heads are perfect! Four feet of hose and the torch handle swivels, very comfortable for hours of use. Yippeeee!!!!!!!!



Other tools I tried out….

Power Max Full Flush Side Cutter and Euro Tool Rotary Flexible Shaft: The power max full flush side cutter I have had for a while. It is my favorite pliers. It has its’ own hanger next to my hand at my bench I use it so much. Effortless cutting with minimal distortion of  12 and 10 Gauge material ~ Nice.

The flex shaft is good quality at a reasonable price. If you are currently using a dremel this will be a nice upgrade.




Another amazing looking bug…. Walking Stick that was on my porch yesterday. What is it with the weird bug sightings? This bug was about 3 1/2 inches long and would have matched a pine tree/needles perfectly.

Side note:  ran the half marathon in Appleton Wisconsin on Sunday. It is a great course and had great cool fall weather to run in (7am 44 degrees). My sister in law ran that distance for the first time ~ 13.1 miles. Great job Jen! She has been training faithfully for at least six months. The energy at a race is so positive it’s addictive. I hope she wants to run another one.

Got to go! I have lots on my bench in the making. Show this Saturday in Fish Creek Wisconsin at The Settlement Shops ~ one day only 10-5…..




About Wild Prairie Silver

Silver and Goldsmith for Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry View all posts by Wild Prairie Silver

2 responses to “Class, Run, Weekend, Tools….

  • barb

    So glad I ran across your blog and this post!! I’m one of those students who learned on Acetylene/Air but didn’t have the guts at home, so started with a jumbo butane torch.. I have now completely outgrown it. About ready to take the plunge and I’m torn between two solutions. Smith Acetylene/Air or Smith Little Torch for Propane/Oxy…?? your recommendation?

    • Wild Prairie Silver

      Barb- I use Propane/Oxy. I love it. Why? It’s super hot. Negatives: Propane is a dangerous gas to store inside. It is heavier than air and can form a cloud on the floor and be dangerous if you have a pilot light in your home..etc… This taken into consideration about half the jewelers I know use propane. The gas is scented on purpose for this reason like rotten eggs so you can smell it if there is a leak. I also check all my connection points with soapy water. You can see a leak with the bubbling soap. Many jewelers I know take their tank out to the garage daily and leave it there until the next day.

      Acetylene/Oxy is safer indoors but has a sooty burn to it. It is super hot as well. I did not want the black soot but I have and used acetylene/oxy and it’s fine with a good ventilation hood. Have fun! Take the leap!!!!

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