With this ring… I totally ROCK. Yesterday Mike and I had an amazing experience as we hand cut, forged, hammered, soldered, filed, sanded, buffed and finished one another’s wedding bands at The Devil’s Workshop. The team at The Devil’s Workshop – Sarah and Amanda – were truly amazing. Hopefully we were good students. I think we were since our rings turned out so well.
We were one of two couples participating in the workshop. Ted and Eileen were our classmates. They had signed up last minute for the workshop. Having met in the film business – she in costumes and he in camera work – they have been together for 2 months and are a totally spontaneous pair. As part of our workshop, Sarah snapped photos of us as we went through the process and then burned them onto a CD for us to take home.
This is the edited version of the process (it was afterall a six hour workshop):
When we first went in for our consultation, Mike and I both described our rings to Sarah and later realized that we were describing the very same ring. So as such, one piece of metal was ordered for us and both of our rings were forged from that piece. Very romantic.
I worked on Mike’s ring and he worked on mine. So this is me cutting to size the piece of metal destined to be his ring.
Once cut, we forged our pieces to resemble the shape of a ring. But before we finished, Sarah snapped this photo. A lopsided heart but still pretty cute.
Here are our rings shaped and ready to be hammered. Once the bumps were beaten out, we set ourselves up to bind the two sides of the ring with solder.
The process of soldering was actually quite cool. We started by dipping the ring in boracic acid to coat it. Then we brushed a light layer of flux onto the seam. We heated squares of soldering metal into beads then applied them to the seam of the ring with a pick. Finally we applied a higher heat to the seam so that the heat would act like a magnet to the solder and fill in the gap.
This is Mike filing down the hardened solder in the interior of my ring. After filing, we went through a long process of sanding the ring outside and then inside. Then we buffed the interior until it was so polished that we could see our reflections.
The last step was to pick our finish – polished, satin or brushed. Mike and I both wanted a brushed finish. This is me finishing his ring with a horizontal thread. He did mine with a vertical thread. As a parting gift, Sarah made a small pendant from the leftover metal that we had. It’s a sweet little charm with our initials on it. Another week or so until Sarah sets the stones in my band, then we’re done!