Yesterday we made our wedding rings. Our jeweller offered us the ‘experience’, whereby the bride and groom get to partake in making each other’s wedding rings, under the guidance and expertise of the jeweller. We signed up for the experience, thinking it sounded like a lovely way to be a part of the journey of our rings from a humble element to a traditional symbol of our union by marriage.
And we were not disappointed. Our jeweller Naomi was fantastic, she took us through each of the steps of the process, many very traditional and dating back hundreds of years.
First, we started with weighing our piece of platinum, then sawing it into two pieces of the right size. Then we took each piece – I took what would become Matthias’ ring and he took mine – and we rolled each by hand through a mill, over and over, until our bar type block became flat and the width of our rings. Then we heated them up over a hot blue flame, searing them in cold water to induce their malleability. Next, we levered them around a bar, pushing them each into a circular shape. All very much by hand, all done lovingly using very manual and very old techniques. Next we got to heat them up again, this time using an alloy to solder the join in the ring. And so the process went on, of shaping, sanding, polishing, polishing and more polishing. Every step of sanding and polishing brought us down to a finer grain, producing an exquisite, shiny ring at the end of it.
We took tonnes of photos of the whole process (we promise to post some of those a little later), and finally celebrated the day’s achievements with a glass of champagne.
What a beautiful day. What pleasured me the most about the whole experience was the sheer simplicity of the steps of the process we undertook. Using mostly manual by-hand techniques, practised the world over by generations of artisans. What a wonderful way to really connect with the wedding rings we will be handing each other on our wedding day – these rings were not picked from a shop window, and certainly they weren’t mass produced by people and machines we don’t know. They were created by hand with our love, from a raw single element in the most simplistic and beautiful way.
- 1kg angelina plums
- 125g evaporated cane juice
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tbsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tbsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tbsp ground all spice
Preheat the oven to 150˚C and halve the pitted plums. Add the sugar and the spices and mix well. Bake the plums in the oven using a non stick baking dish for 1h. Store it in a sterile jar.
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