This month I’m going to take a break from documenting the brooch project to tell you the stories behind two very special commissions which I have just completed.
Sophie and Ed
The first project was a beautiful engagement ring; a secret commission from Ed for his fiancee Sophie. Sophie loves pale jade and rich rose gold, so we took those elements as a starting point and worked up some designs. The winning option featured a square, faceted jade seated on a platform between unusual triangular claws, and with a split shank adding the height needed to accommodate a wedding ring underneath. The design is subtly inspired by art deco jewellery which Ed knew Sophie had admired.
The stone had to be specially cut from a piece of lovely natural material supplied by Holts Lapidary, after which I set about making the shank from 9ct rose, which complemented the colour of the jade perfectly.
Fortunately Sophie loved it too, and a little later the happy couple sent me some photos of them on their wedding day, with the engagement ring complemented by a new rose gold wedding ring. What a fantastic end to a project!
Rah and John
….but that wasn’t the only wedding taking place this month. My good friends Rah and John also tied the knot, and making their rings was an equally exciting opportunity. They had two family heirlooms – wedding rings belonging to Rah’s mum and John’s dad – which they asked me to melt down and rework in to their own wedding bands.
As the rings were two different carats of gold (18ct and 9 ct), the metals had to be kept separate, and I also wanted to incorporate both golds in to each of the rings, to symbolise the union of the two families. Eventually we settled on these bold, striped designs, in which the addition of some silver adds a contrast to the warm gold tones.
Next came the scary part – melting the bullion. This required the purchase of some new workshop equipment: meet my new friends, the OxyCon unit and the propane tank! These helped me to obtain the high level of heat necessary to melt down precious metals in to ingots…
…and here’s one of those ingots fresh from the mould! Lovely and shiny.
After much milling, annealing and forming, the nuggets were transformed in to five slim bands, ready to be soldered together to create the two rings.
After the granulation was added, the pair were polished up, and here they are!
Rah and John didn’t see the finished rings until the wedding day itself, so it was a big relief to me that they both fitted when exchanged at the alter! Wedding snaps still pending for this fabulously memorable day – I’m looking forward to seeing them.
Big congratulations to Sophie and Ed, and Rah and John. It has been a pleasure working with all of you.