Having first met Lucie from Made by Ore last year, I had been wanting to visit them for a while. I was therefore delighted to have a booking with them to make a hammered silver ring in a Sunday morning workshop in City Studios. Caren and Samuel greeted us with friendly smiles and bundles of patience for our morning of creativity in their studio.
|Samuel and Caren our instructors at Made By Ore|
Here’s my quick "how to" of how I converted a short piece of sterling silver wire into a beautiful ring I’m surprised was so simple to make and I now enjoy wearing daily.
1. Practise on a piece of copper to get a feel for different techniques.
|Use a mangle to help squeeze patterns onto the wire and to flatten|
|Testing the sock|
2. Promote yourself to sterling silver. As this is more expensive the measurements to avoid waste need to be taken. Measure the size of your chosen finger. Careful not to get your finger stuck like I almost did!
|Caren showing how if you wear rings for a long time they can actually change your finger shape!|
3. Get mathematical: convert your measurement with the use of a calculator and good old pi into a length for the diameter of your ring.
4. Get the piece cut and start adapting. There was a choice of hammering, using the mangle or both. I felt I didn’t have quite enough time practising with my copper so I ended up being a bit more experimental with my silver than others might have been. I started with pressing it with paper to get a matt raised edge look, then some leaves which didn’t show much, then a “little miss naughty” sock which gave an interesting slightly raised profile, and finally on the outside a William Morris-esque flower pattern.
|An array of hammers|
|The effect from paper & the scars left on the paper after being mangled|
|Trying the leaf pattern|
|Back to Little Miss Naughty|
|Final William Morris style pattern I liked|
|Inside sock pattern for luck|
6. Customise any final details. I hammered in my initials and the date in Roman numerals.
7. Measure again, cut and file to size.
8. Shape roughly. It is important to get the ends flush against each other.
9. Solder, wash and pickle - yes there is a stage called "pickling" to get the ring all shiny.
|Pieces of solder|
|Carefully balance solder on the join|
|Blow torch action!|
Voila 10 easy steps to making a beautiful silver ring!