I know I don’t write here very often, in fact this is my first post. The truth is that I could not miss this chance to explain the techniques I followed to develop this marvellous piece of work.
As part of our research activity in the field of Steampunk jewelry, in the first part of this blog post we presented a brief theoretical explanation of the concept of handmade jewelry (if you have not read it yet we invite you to do it now!). As foreseen, time has come to go into detail with an example: the manufacturing process of the Time Seal Ring.
1.- Inspiration and design: Signet ring with a Steampunk touch
Are you wondering why we have chosen the name Time Seal Ring for this piece? It is because we were inspired by the classical designs of signet rings (from Latin “signum” meaning sign). This tradition goes back to ancient Egypt, as the distinctive personal signature was not developed in antiquity and most documents needed a seal. Used to attest the authority of its bearer, signet rings have been seen as symbols of power and/or membership attributes. The use of a rose-coloured vintage movement brings in the ‘time’ factor in a classy way.
There is no need to clarify that the Time Seal Ring is not intended to seal anything, but to become your very own personal totem!
Reminder.- Only the jewelry pieces assembled and formed solely by hand power/guidance (as opposite to the use of machinery) should be called ‘handmade’.
2.- Ring components making
First of all, I drew in a paper the design for the sides of the ring shank, transferred it to a sterling silver sheet and sawed the two pieces. I defined the shape using dapping punches and pliers for adjustments.
I made a long ring band out of sterling silver sheet to fit the desired ring size. I also made a bezel for the watch movement. At this stage I had the external part of the ring (shank), the inner band and the watch movement bezel ready.
3.- Ring components assemblage
So the next natural step in the ring making process is to fit all those pieces together. I filed the borders of the shank parts to make them fit, including the bottom join, fastened them with solder wire and soldered the external pieces together. To make the ring band fit, I readjusted the curve of the ring sides with pliers and filed the borders before soldering the tube to the shank. Almost all the soldering done! By sawing the band excess in both sides, the final image of the ring began to show.
Now it is time to embellish the ring preparing it for the watch movement. I filed the superior part to level the bezel and soldered it. To give it a touch of distinction, I took a piece of sterling silver square wire, twisted it, made a frame which adjusted the bezel and soldered it to the shank at the bezel’s base.
4.- Piece finishing
When all the soldering is done, it has come the moment of surface processing. I filed the band borders to smooth out them and sanded all the ring surface to get rid of any scratches.
Finally, I polished the ring and set the watch movement. This gorgeous ring was ready to wear!
The final touch lies in boxing this piece in its aluminium and rubber jewelry box, with the corresponding Certificate of Authenticity and unique identifier.
As this concise making-of shows, the manufacturing of hand made fine jewelry is a labour-intensive activity that requires technical knowledge of metalsmithing techniques, equipment and, naturally, love for detail. The result of all this is a long-lasting creation with deep meaning.
Hope you have liked this making-of, many thanks for reading it!