While I was away the other weekend, I partook in a silver ring-making workshop that was really enjoyable. Anna and I did a similar workshop a few years ago, but the rings I made are a little big now and I fancied making a replacement. I didn’t spend much time planning the design, so it’s a little more rough and ready than I would ordinarily choose, but I’m still happy with the outcome.
The first step was to measure my finger and then cut the silver down to the correct length. The strip of metal was then annealed (heated to make it softer and more malleable) so I could decorate it.
There were several options for decorating, and I spent quite a while being unsure of what kind of design I wanted. I considered trying to make the I or ! stamps into asterisks, but this seemed like it would be very challenging to make neat. In the meantime, I had already chosen the inscription for the inside of the ring…
It really tickles me to have these words visible, yet hidden.
In the end I settled on a question mark pattern for the outside of the ring, to remind me of the importance of staying with uncertainty.
If I could do this again, I would have fewer question marks in a neater pattern. You may be able to see that the patterning stretched the silver out a bit, so I had to saw it back down to length.
I then had to anneal the ring again so that it could be shaped. The first step was to clean it with some wire wool. I then bent it into a flat oval using pliers so that I could silver solder the edges together. It was then time to use a mallet to make the ring round and check the fit.
The final step was cleaning. This took at least half an hour, first using a file to neaten the solder, then two grades of sand paper and finally polish and a cloth.