On July 31st, Tom and I joined jewellery designer Vicky Davies in her stunning garden studio in Hackney, East London for a very special workshop – making our wedding rings!
We were initially looking for a local designer to commission our rings, but when we came across Vicky’s homepage and saw that she offers wedding ring workshops, we were immediately hooked and couldn’t wait to have a go ourselves! We discussed the design and material during an initial fitting appointment and settled on a simple design incorporating one of Vicky’s signature textures. I had been given an old gold bracelet by my Mum which we wanted to recycle and use for the rings, so Vicky melted it down and prepared it for the day of the workshop.
It was then mainly on us to get the bands into the proper shape. This step involves heating the gold with a torch to soften and make it pliable for us to work with it. It is quite fascinating to see the gold’s colour change to a deep orange, which is the point when you need to put it into an acid solution which stops the oxidation process. If you heat it too long, the ring would just completely melt down again so we needed to be very careful here. To get it into the proper shape and size, the gold then needs to be hammered. We used a rawhide mallet and steel mandrel to get them nice and round before Vicky cut off the overlapping parts and used pliers to get the ends to meet.
The next step consists of fusing the loose ring ends together. Pieces of thin gold solder are placed on top of the opening and heated, so that they melt down and, in this way, close the crack. This is a very delicate process as the solder pieces are very thin, so you can easily loose them. After this is done, the rings are slightly adjusted for size again, before filing them to remove rough edges. In the last step, the rings are cleaned and polished on a polishing motor to bring out that unique gold shine.
Vicky, as well as her two cats Tiger and Harvey, were wonderful in assisting and guiding us throughout the process, making sure that we knew what we were doing, as well as adjusting slight mistakes that happened on the way 😉
After all that hard work, at the end of the day, we could take home our finished rings! Before participating in the workshop, I would have never imagined being able to work with gold in this way and make rings myself, but thanks to Vicky’s skillful guidance and support we gained a wonderful insight into the daily work of a metal artist. The day itself makes the whole experience of getting married even more special, so thank you so much Vicky for being part of our wedding journey!
If you want to have a go yourself, you can contact Vicky through her website https://vickydavies.co.uk/ and ask about the wedding rings workshop.