On the day of the workshop, we will have a play around with copper and other base metal. They will have the chance to form up rings from wire, learn about annealing, soldering, use of the saw, and especially filing, sanding, and polishing. Perfecting these techniques won’t happen in a day, but the “students” are much more smiley once they see that solder run and they see that they can do it.
Boys and girls have varying opinions on these special rings that they will be wearing for the rest of their lives – many guys don’t want a bright, blingy ring, they may well choose a brushed, satinised, or frosted finish. This is something that can be done during the workshop. Girls may well choose narrow and elegant because it may need to sit with an engagement ring.
Not everybody wants standard bands. Ronnie and Daffyd came to me with an inherited 22ct gold band that had sentimental significance and they wanted to use half the gold in one ring and half in the other. They also wanted to be involved in the process of “making”. Now this was a tricky one – none of the process was really easy enough for them to do. In the end, we designed the 2 rings between us at meetings. Once all was agreed I invited them to the studio to come and saw open the 22ct gold band, anneal it, and hammer it flat so that I would be able to proceed with the rest of the making. They felt really happy that they had commenced the work – it was a special moment (the kind that brings tears to my eyes!). As to the rings themselves, Daffyd’s had a ring of 22ct gold sandwiched between 2 layers of silver – it was rectangular in profile with a brushed finish. Ronnie’s ring had a silver base layer and around it was wrapped the 22ct gold, which was beautifully engraved with a floral pattern – she tells me that she smiles every time she looks at it.