Late summer is always a bit quiet work-wise for me – the lull before the storm as everyone spends their money on trips abroad rather that shiny trinkets, and I was glad to have a extra special project to work on this time around.
Two of my dearest friends, Laura and Sam, are now engaged and the creation of Laura’s engagement ring (as well as the proposal itself) was particularly magical.
Both Sam and Laura are incredibly talented designer-makers themselves and Sam was keen to learn some metalwork skills and craft something beautiful and meaningful for Laura with his own hands. We discussed ideas and formed a plan, and I taught him how to make a very basic silver ring from chunky 3mm round wire… It didn’t look like much at that stage, but knowing Sam I had no doubt he would transform it in to something astonishing, which is exactly what happened!
Sam left the studio ladened with borrowed files, hand tools and a bolt-on bench peg and returned a few weeks later with a unrecognisable ring. He had carved it beautifully by hand to resemble a twisting tree branch – of special significance to the couple and also representing the fifth anniversary gift of wood, as they have been together for five years. Twined around the branch was a spiralling trail of gold wire, like a fine gold thread… It was a lovely thing and far removed from the clunky basic band we had made on the first day.
Sam left the ring with me for soldering (seamlessly fixing the wrapped gold wire in place required some advanced skill). The beautiful texture of the carving would have been lost with a high polish, so we agreed to leave the silver soft and matt with the just the raised highlights and the gold thread brought to a shine in contrast.
Not content with creating such a lovely thing, Sam planned the day of the proposal as a fantastic rural adventure for Laura, complete with clues, feasts and surprises… The ring was finally presented to her encased in a perfect eggshell lined with gold, which she had to crack open to find the enclosed treasure!
I am so proud to have been a part of this wonderful collaborative project and I couldn’t be happier for my two great friends. Huge love and congratulations to them both.