I very rarely make rings for my shop, and this is a shame, because I love them! (After earrings and ear cuffs, rings are the jewelry I wear most often.) I’ve decided that this year I’ll change this, and make more of them.
In this post I’ll show you the process of how I work. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting.
This is NOT a tutorial, I don’t show and explain every minute of the process.
This also means that you’re not allowed to copy my designs, but you can use it both as inspiration to make your own rings, and as technical help.
Materials I used:
I’ve used copper wire in three different gauges (28G, 20G and 18G). I’m planning to make brass and mixed metal ones as well in the future. I never use plated or enameled wires for making rings. They are great for ear cuffs, earrings and necklaces, but not for rings, because you need to be careful to avoid scratches.
- semi precious stones
Since these are small rings, I’ve used small (4mm) drilled rondelles, and small cabochons.
- three pairs of pliers
for shaping and cutting the wire
- Soldering supplies
solder, flux, ceramic soldering board, torch, file, tweezers, hammer, ring mandrel
- supplies for oxidizing
liver of sulphur, synthetic wool pad, polishing cloth
1. Making the soldered rings
Actually, these are thin, stackable rings which are lovely in themselves as well, but I like to ‘dress them up’ with wire wrapping.
There are a lot of awesome tutorials about making these rings online, so I’m not going to explain the process here. If you need help, check this tutorial on YouTube, for example.
I use the thickest wire for my stacking rings that serve as the base of the whole piece.
2. Wire wrapping
Creating wire wrapped jewelry is a bit tricky. The wrapping makes every piece look bigger and more complicated than it really is, so I take great care not to make them too ‘crowded’. The basic shapes are always very simple – even in my bigger pieces -, and I like to use repetitive patterns to create harmony.
These rings are a perfect example of this. I used two soldered rings and one not soldered piece of wire for the band with a nice simple wrapping pattern to connect them. When they almost met, I added the stone and used the extra wire to make a small ‘bezel’ around the stone to add interest.
I took great care to make the wrapping even. Uneven wire wrapping ruins the whole design. I always work slowly and carefully not to leave gaps or loose wire that can break and hurt the wearer.
Though sometimes I make raw copper jewelry too, mostly I oxidize them. I love the rich dark brown color that liver of sulphur adds to copper, and it also enhances the details of the wire wrapping.
If you don’t use it often, you can use eggs instead of liver of sulphur as well. I made a tutorial about it years ago. You might find it helpful.
If you like these rings, I’m listing them all (and also the new ones I’m currently working on) in my etsy shop.
February is a short month, so next week it’s time to write my monthly review. 🙂 I’ll post it on Sunday, but it’ll be an exception.