Saturday, July 16, 2011

engaugement rings

From DEE AND ZEE research for the future

so here are what i call the 5,000 stroke rings.
in order to make our wedding rings i had intended to make a two-part mold with cuttlefish(like a squid) shells that i had collected from skerries beach after several storms. as it happens using just propane i couldn't get silver to a sufficient pouring heat for a complex mold. as i sat and rethunk what to do i realised that the silver would pour but only into a simple form. so i cut out a simple long ingot mold in a piece of hardwood. after several tries and several small spills i was able to get the pour right and using just plain old sterling silver i was able to create an ingot that i could use to form up some wire from.
so then i got the silver shot i had bought and the additional pieces of zee's family gold that was to be added to the mix. don't ask me about ratios. it is purely a symbolic addition of family history to the mix. reading about precious metal alloys i came across the mix of silver and gold known as Electrum. this has long been used as a symbolic and sacred metal so it is fitting that for such a special set of rings we should have a unique mix of family history and a unique mix that no other humans shall ever have, sure isn't that life! i had to reforge the ingot three times due to the gold not mixing appropriately the first two times and causing splitting in the wire as i annealled(releasing the bonds of tension in the metal crystals when forced into a particular shape) and hammered it down to the right gauge wire for the rings.
once i had got a good mix it was easy enough to form the wire with careful hammering and care. it took a while and was done around all the other things that were happening on a daily basis but once i had the wire down to the right gauge i was ready to form up the rings.
reading up on the formulae for getting the right lengths out of particular thicknesses of metal i calculated(zee calculated, i'm maths terrible me) the length needed to make the size rings that fit each of us. and ting! ting! ting! fwoosh! ting! ting! ting! fwoosh! i had made two wedding bands! just filing excess thickness off and polishing with tripoli and rouge to do. didn't take long in the end! haaa!
From 16 Jul 2011

and so then the engagement ring.
zee had a nice dark sapphire that she had bought and shunning the specialness of diamonds(we had after all the most special of metals unlike any other in the universe!) i began to make a setting for the sapphire to fit in. i had already made a test ring from the electrum so i used this as a base for the engagement ring. cutting out a patch for the setting to sit in i made up a thicker setting to fit around the gem and soldered it into place then began to make the first setting i had ever made. using all the right burrs to make a seat for the gem i got it all into the right shape and placed the gem into it. i did it a bit backwards as i should have made the setting as finished as i could before setting the stone, oops! anyway, i carefully pressed all of the settings edge around the gem and burnished the edge down to a nice tight fit. then began the final filing and the finished ring. this took ages due to my mistake of setting the stone so early. but eventually it all got polished up and fully finished!
From DEE AND ZEE research for the future

i felt so happy to have created such a special group of rings and it was extremely fulfilling.
so how do you present an engagement ring? why place it in a box of course!
and so i made a nice simple two-tone stone box for the engagement ring to fit in.
From DEE AND ZEE research for the future

we went up to fourknocks to watch the sunrise one morning. and as we stood atop the old passage tomb waiting for the sun to burn through the clouds i did what any young knight might do and bent my knee to my lady.
(she said yes)
From DEE AND ZEE research for the future

4 comments:

Dadtaxi said...

Really great rings. Well done Dee and Congratulations to you both on your engagement and Four Knocks as a location. Lots of Love. Mum (aka Marie) and Dad (aka Paul).

Phoef said...

Hi Dee and Zee,
Dee, I am soooo proud of you ! Such beautiful and special rings. So so chuffed for you that you set the stone for Zee's engagement ring :o)
Congratulations to you both, you are wonderful wonderful people and I love you both dearly. Can't wait to see you and celebrate your wedding day with you.
xxxxxxx

Nepali adventure said...

booootiful! Well done on the rings Dee. They really are gorgeous. And so unique with the family gold in them. I LOVE the setting for the sapphire as well.
Kudos :o)

x0x

H said...

Ah Jeez, I'm crying already! Imagine what it's going to be like on the big day!

Love you both lots,

Helen