My sweet sister-in-law commissioned me to make the wedding bands for her upcoming nuptials. I am honored to be a part of her special day.
I started off with a basic design based on the conversations we had. She lives in Michigan, so we had a few texts & emails going back and forth. She explained the concept behind the deep texturing she wanted on the bands.
A marriage is a combination of ups and downs, rough spots and smooth sailing, so she and Angie wanted something to remind them of that fact daily. They decided on the hammer textured sterling silver bands.
I started off with the basic size, shape and texture in copper so I could send the rings to her for a fitting. I like to work in copper first to get all of the "bugs" out of the design, get the fit perfect and have something physical for my clients to look at and get a "feel" for how their custom design might look.
The copper bands arrived and we discovered the initial width on Kim's band needed to be thinned just a bit given the shape and size of her engagement ring. And, for Angie, we discovered the sizing needed to be a bit larger to fit her perfectly. With those things in mind, I set off to make the bands in sterling silver.
For these particular rings, I didn't use stock materials. Instead, I used bits and pieces of sterling silver, old & new, to pour an ingot and form them from the ground up. Once the ingot was made I headed over to my trusty 50 lb anvil with my Peddinghause silversmith hammer and set to work stretching and forming the bands to the correct shape and size.
The next step was to cut them to the precise size, solder them and round them on the ring mandrel. When I create textured rings like this, I tend to err on the side of smaller than the actual size. I do this because I know using the metal hammer to add the texture is going to stretch the silver and ultimately over size it if I don't take the physics into account.
Once I got both rings to the perfect size, I set to filing and polishing the pieces to give them the comfort fit and the high shine. This is my favorite part because until you get to the polish, you really can't see exactly how they are going to look with the final touches.
Polished, sized and ready for their debut, I sent the package to Kim. A few days later I got a wonderful text telling me they both fit perfectly and are just beautiful! It makes my heart sing when I get that kind of feedback from my clients. In this case, she's not only a client, but she's my sister, so it was ten times more special to have her love them.
Congrats Kim & Angie and we can't wait to see you (and the rings) in August on your big day!