Friday, 15 June 2018

A memory ring

I actually finished this ring a few weeks ago, but I have been struck with a mystery virus which means I've mainly been lying on the sofa, watching TV and moaning.

When we lost mum, I kept hold of her wedding ring.  My dad is the most unsentimental person in the world and treasures his memories of mum rather than her possessions.  I am not over sentimental, but this is her wedding ring.  However, I don't much like yellow gold, it's far too big for me and it's not something I would wear.  After a quick discussion with my brother, we decided I'd make a piece of jewellery for each of us using some of mum's ring.

My brother wanted a skinny ring.  After seeing a demo by my silversmithing tutor a couple of months ago on how to inlay gold into silver, I knew what I was going to do.  The wire in the picture above is argentium.  It is basically sterling silver with 1% of an element called Geranium in it.  This means it doesn't need soldering and will fuse to itself.  This was my first time using it.  The ring is mum's wedding ring.

I pierced a piece out with a saw and filed the edges.  This was incredibly emotional.  I didn't think it would effect me like that, but it did.

The sliver of yellow gold was then inlaid on the silver wire before forming it into a ring.  I don't have many pictures of the process, but I took a few of the finished ring.  I hope you can make it out.  After picking, filing, sanding and barrel polishing, the yellow gold went very dull and hard to make out.  My brother reports that it is becoming more yellow as he wears it.

The yellow is to the right of the centre in this photo.  You can also see where I fused it at the back.  I didn't do a great job, but the lack of solder meant I couldn't hide the join more.

The sliver is more obvious in this photo.

Next up is a pendent for me.  Not sure if you'll see it soon as we only have 3 more classes left before the summer break and I've also been working on a necklace for the past 300 years that I'm trying to finish!


Rachel said...

Germanium doesn't need solder? That's a really useful quality! And I like what you've done with the ring. Simple, unusual, classy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy yes i know how you feel i had the same feelings when my sister wanted me to cut into one of mum's good dress's to make her some cushions,i couldnt do it and have given the dress back to my sister to do herself,it becomes very emotional for you.
I love the ring you made for your dad,such a lovely piece of jewelry with beautiful memories,hope you have a wonderful weekend my friend xx

Jane Galley said...

What a great way to remember your mum, that's a really special ring!

tialys said...

I imagine that must have been a very emotional thing - cutting the circle of the wedding band. However, if it means you can both have a small piece of it in something you will actually wear rather than having the whole thing tucked away in a box somewhere, it must have been worth it. I look forward to seeing the pendant you make.

Alex said...

Not only is that an utterly beautiful piece of jewellery, but an inspired way to make your mum's ring into something that will continue to be cherished by being worn. Fabulous!

Ellie Foster said...

Dear Wendy
What a lovely idea to incorporate your Mum's wedding ring into pieces for the family - a really tangible link.
I think the end result is beautiful and am looking forward to seeing your pendant.
Best wishes

Karen S said...

What an interesting process.
This is a lovely way to use and keep the wedding ring.

Shirlee Fassell said...

Love the result!

Hillview Embroidery said...

I imagine this process has been incredibly emotional for you. But what you have done is really lovely- the two of you will have this memory of your Mum for a long time!

Christine B. said...

What a great idea to make a piece of jewellery for both yourself and your brother Wendy and although it was emotional, as a crafter herself, I am sure your mum would have thought this was a great idea too! You created a lovely ring for your brother and I can't wait to see what you make for yourself! Christine x

pennydog said...

You're so brave being able to cut it!

Sum of their Stories said...

This is such a brilliant idea. I think the finished ring looks great.
I wear my nan's wedding ring but can't bring myself to wear my mum's but I don't think I could cut it up either. But it's wasted just sitting in my jewellery box.
Isn't it funny how emotional things can be and how it can all just rise up and hit you when you are not expecting it. Just part of the process I think.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what you make for yourself - no pressure though, whenever you are ready!