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Making a Silver Ring

Jewellery has a fascination for people, and it's related to something tangible. I love teaching people, from children to professionals, using the simplest of tools, and watching them get real enjoyment from feeling some physical understanding of jewellery work and making new things.



Brian Adam
Jan 09

More info, CV/resume

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MODULE: Ring making 1 - Finger ring.
Hammered, forged, textured, stamped designs or added element. This might seem a difficult job for beginners but it isn't really. It introduces you to one of the nicest things you could do in a jewellery workshop. We'll use unique methods devised by me and others that use traditional tools in a different way and that uses specially created tools for speed/efficiency.
You learn also to measure your finger size accurately.
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THE PROCESS
1. First, hammer symbols and patterns into the metal. Practise on copper first, experiment with texture, pattern and symbols, maybe do a narrative with A-Z and 0-9. Now go stamp your choice on some sterling silver strip.
2. Measure your finger with a piece of wire and snip the wire open. This is the length of sterling silver strip you'll need for your ring.
3. Mark the silver with the measuring wire, add about 2mm extra length then carefully saw to size.
4. To make the silver round, use a leather mallet and steel mandrel and hit the silver into a grooved wooden block.
5. Round up the strip and get the ends meeting for the join. Hit the silver with the leather mallet to bring the ends together, make it a sort of oval shape. This to make a close join.
6. The joint must be a very close fit. This is important. To get this, carefully saw right through the join. This trims a little silver from each side.
7. Solder with silver solder (this is really ‘brazing’) which melts at 700°C and makes a very strong join. First put the ring on a flat fireproof surface with a small bit of silver solder UNDER the join. Flux and heat with a propane torch, and when it's almost red hot you'll see the ring DROP as the solder flows up into the joint.
8. Clean the flux off in hot soapy water, or soak in sulphuric acid (10% dilution).
9. Make the ring properly round by hitting it again with a leather mallet on a round steel mandrel.
10. File and sand it. File any rough parts. Sand with 400 emery paper. Polish with pot scrubber, nail buff board or do highlights with a shiny steel burnisher.

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the studio

Bush Jewellery studio is in a beautiful part of Titirangi 20 minutes from Auckland city, and surrounded by kowhai, kanuka bush, mamaku tree ferns, cabbage trees, and mixed border NZ bush Waitakere City Reserve land. It's a unique studio setting, hence the title 'Bush Jewellery'. It's quiet and invigorating. Titirangi library is just up the road and the shopping centre with several cafes is a little further within a 4 minute walk. The studio itself is a stand-alone Julie Stout building just at the back of our residence, a delightful colourful space with big windows looking out over the bush, and we've recently renovated with new fittings and benchspaces for six, so we are equipped for a variety of both standard and alternative contemporary jewellery activities. Ruth and I work here fulltime making our different lines of jewellery, and we have a bench-hand, usually a jewellery graduate, work for us here 2 days a week. I teach private students here at a regular time that suits them, a Saturday morning class according to demand, and once upon a time I would travel overseas for a month in June, July or August to take part in summer school teaching programs at universities and jewellery/metals guilds in Australia, USA, or Canada.
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Tuition Fee

$70 - Make a Silver Ring in 1 Hour (1 person).
$90 - Make a Silver Ring in 90 minutes (1-2 persons)
$150 - Make a Silver Ring in 2.5 Hours (1-4 persons).
April 2015

Fee includes the sterling silver to make a ring up to 7mm wide (1/4inch).

EXTRA materials if you prefer to work big or work in gold.
silver: $1.50/gram (April 2015)
24k gold: $90/gram (April 2015)
(prices may fluctuate)



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Examples of rings made in one hour ...
by complete beginners.


WEDDING RING WORKSHOP
4 hours for you to make both your gold rings.
$700 tuition fee for you both.
Excludes the gold which I will supply at wholesale price.

More information:
http://www.adam.co.nz/workshops/index.html#wedding_rings

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Photo archives


Kids make copper and silver rings
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Adults make fancier rings by casting the top component
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Private tuition may involve serious forging, and it may be a nice day!
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or quietly working at a jewellers bench.
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a class in Christchurch make a variety of rings
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a one-day group at Bush Jewellery Studio
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Simple tools can be very effective, especially when the vice is anchored to the floor.
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1 hour ring-making session for Italian kids, here at age 7.
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Sand casting favourite objects takes a little longer than an hour, but can be fun.
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I ran 1hr workshops in Queenstown first in 1997, set up a table outside my craft outlet at the time, and invited people off the street. I called it 'Street Jewellery'.
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Auckland Museum steps are just another place to hammer a 1hr ring!
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All ages are welcome!
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Accommodation

The room above the studio is available for accommodation. A room with a kitchen and a bathroom.
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view from the front
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View from the room towards the east
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Brian Adam - www.adam.co.nz/workshops/silver_ring - Titirangi, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND