Monday, August 10, 2015

Beginners Making Their Own Rings in Silver and Gold

Last week when Gabe and Sereen came to visit between internships and school starting again, they asked if they could make some jewelry while visiting, so I said we're going to solder some rings.

Gabe designed and made Sereen's ring and Sereen designed and made Gabe's ring.  Each measured the other's finger and used a jeweler's saw to cut the amount of silver needed (shorter if hammer texturing was involved).

Before we go any further, let me add that they wouldn't let me so much as breathe on their rings.  They made everything from start to finish without teacher intervention.  If something didn't go right, they kept at it until they got it.  No parts of their rings were even touched by my hands.



Anyway, then they annealed the metal, cleaned it and stamped it with their own names on what would be the inside of the rings (they're own names, because remember they're making the ring for the other person to wear).

Next came the task of filing the ends flush enough to be soldered.  They did better than I did.

Soldering went well, so we moved on to sanding then polishing.



For Gabe's ring, Sereen wanted a texture so she spent a long while hammering and making him try the ring on (one second too much hammering and you have a ring that's too big, trust me).



We did have to break out the dental floss a couple of times (see my next blog post for the explanation on that).

For Sereen's ring, Gabe asked if he could put a thin gold ring around the wide silver band.  So after he polished the silver band, he cut some gold wire to be just a smidge shorter than the circumference he needed.  Next he soldered the gold ring, sanded and polished it, then began to stretch it on a ring mandrel until it JUST fit over the silver band.  Again, one second more of stretching and he'd have to start over.



When he had the exact size he needed, he soldered the gold ring onto the silver band, and after pickling, began the sanding and polishing process all over again.



The end result was worthy of the time and care it took for these two novices to make their own matching but not identical rings.


While Sereen was waiting for the polishing station, she decided to make three skinny gold stacker rings that played nicely with the ring Gabe made for her.


Making similar rings is a staple in my workshop, so check the calendar frequently if you're in the area and want to try this out.  It's a full day class.  Here's my schedule.

Alright... see you guys tomorrow!  Have a nice day.



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