Metalsmithing How-To: Make Rings for Your Fingers, Rings for Your Toes
Rings for your fingers, rings for your toes . . . I love rings. There was a time, when I was younger, that I wore several rings at once and swapped them out regularly, pairing them up like stack rings on some fingers and even wearing groups of them on a chain like charms, when perhaps I ran out of fingers for all those rings! Clearly, rings are my favorite piece of jewelry to wear, to make, to buy.
My favorite ring is still my flower ring that I made with Lexi Erickson, when she taught me almost everything I know about metalsmithing. I wear it every day, and I love telling people that I made it myself. Here's how you can make one yourself! Learn sawing, filing and finishing techniques, texturing and doming, and soldering–all in one project.
You can see that my ring is a whitish matte silver. The prolonged heat required to complete the multilayer soldering burned off some of the metals alloyed in the sterling silver sheet, resulting in an exterior layer of fine (pure) silver. I liked the look of it, so I left it that way. You can, too, or you can polish yours to a high shine, give it some color with liver of sulfur, or apply any patina you prefer. Make it your own! Maybe I'll bump into you wearing a flower ring of your own one day and you can tell me you made it yourself!
Want to learn to make lots and lots of rings? I know just where to start. Every time we release a new DVD, I think they just can't keep getting better–but they do. The complicated-looking projects are explained to be so doable! In our newest DVD, Metalsmith Essentials: Forming Hollow Rings, Plain and Inlaid, with Bill Fretz, I was amazed at the number of tips Bill shares as he creates the rings. With each tool he picks up comes a bit of wisdom about using it, whether it's a reminder to turn a ring mandrel while hammering on it to keep the sizing marks from imprinting on the ring's inside or how to use two pieces of wire to tighten a ring seam for soldering–without soldering the wire to the ring! Bill's years of experience are obvious in his excellent teaching style.
Order or instantly download Forming Hollow Rings with Bill Fretz, and before long, you'll have rings on your fingers and rings on your toes! Spinner rings, gemstone rings, domed rings, inlaid rings, textured rings. . . .
Do you have a favorite ring that you wear every day or that you made yourself? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!