To me, the care and intention behind the creation of an object is what constitutes it’s sacred quality. The personalized articulation of patterns and textures from hand-made pieces make them that much more tangible and impacting as gifts created out of a very human love and compassion.
These sentiments are what brought Ashley Teague, a previous student of mine from my Crucible silver rings classes, to me a this week. She was visiting friends up in Seattle who, after spotting the jewelry adorning her body that she had crafted herself, enthusiastically requested her to make their wedding rings.
Admittedly a bit nervous to craft such significant pieces on her own, Ashley sought me out for guidance. She came to my home studio and we worked on the rings together – thus marking my second one-on-one session [see previous blog-post] this month!
Here’s Ashley contemplating the silver pieces before we start to work
Ashley trims the silver down to the size she wants to use
Here she stamps the date of the wedding onto the interior of the bands using my grandfather’s old number stamps
Using sandpaper to roll the texture in
Placing the silver through the rolling mill
Heating the silver to soften so as to form it into a ring
Here Ashley saws both ends of the silver straight before beginning soldering
Soldering rings closed
Forming the bands of silver into rings using a mallet and a ring mandrel
Filing the seams after soldering
Placing the rings into patina to alter the metal’s tone
After polishing the rings, we’re…
It was a delight to have Ashley over and I was more than glad to help her throughout the metal-smithing process. I hope these rings – coming from a place of sincere compassion and dedicaiton that I witnessed firsthand – bring love and happiness to the lucky couple.