In February my friend Nicole and I bought a Living Social deal for a ring making class at Stonybrook Arts, a local arts organization that offers classes in all kinds of sculptural media (jewelry making, metal casting, welding, stone carving, sculpture, etc). This Saturday was our class and it was awesome!
The instructors, Peter and Ruth, were excellent – totally encouraging and very knowledgeable. We learned the in depth process of how to treat the metals, different options for designing the rings, soldering, and sizing the rings. Here is Peter going over each step to ring making:
We were a little apprehensive with the blow torch at first but then got the hang of it and it was actually really fun!
Here’s our class, busy at work:
Check out my copper ring! Also this is the silver piece of metal that I would later turn into my second ring.
Filing and meticulous measurement were the keys to a cutting a perfectly sized ring.
You really have to be very careful and fussy when you’re first forming the ring. The two ends have to meet up perfectly which required a lot of manual tweaking with the pliers.
Once the ring was shaped we had to put it in an acid bath, heat it up with the blow torch, solder it together, and then let it set again in the acid bath. The whole process took about 5-7 minutes. Our instructors stayed with each student during this process to make sure everyone did the steps accurately (and didn’t blow anything up). Once that step was finished it was time to hammer the ring out into a perfect circle on a steel dowel.
The final step was buffing which our instructor Ruth did for everyone.
My finished rings! It’s a little hard to see in these photos but the copper ring has a hammered effect to it and the silver ring has a vertical line texture. You can see it best in the last photo below.
This class was really awesome. I totally have a new appreciation for the art of jewelry making and the skill it takes to work with metals. Even if I never actually wear my rings it was totally worth the experience and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I wasn’t sure I would be able to make something cool but with the great hands on teaching I did!
(All of these photos were taken with my iPhone and not my SLR so my apologies for the not so great quality on some of them.)