With These Rings we will wed

Yesterday Greg and I visited With These Rings to create our wedding bands. We had determined the design motif, metal, and sizes at a previous meeting with owner Stephanie Selle.

Palladium is our metal of choice. A cousin of platinum, this hard metal cannot be hammered into shape (like silver and gold rings), so our ring-making process involves lost-wax molds. Our designs will be carved in wax and then these wax rings will be used to make plaster molds into which palladium will be poured to cast the rings.

Taking advantage of Pinterest, I collected a number of ring images for inspiration. In the end, we opted for a design inspired by dragon scales.

Over a 5-hour work session Stephanie walked us through the process of resizing and shaping our wax rings. Greg and I do have DIY/crafting experience, but even if you aren’t as comfortable with carving tools Stephanie takes the time to walk you through each step and offers as much or as little support as you prefer.

Cutting the segment of wax cylinder for Greg's ring
All wax rings start as a hollow cylinder made of blue wax.

Greg enlarged his ring by filing away the interior of the ring, while I reduced my ring size by filling down the outside and then cutting out a small section and refusing the ring back together.

Greg resizing the ring by removing wax from inside

Reducing ring size by filing down exterior

Reducing ring's size by cutting away a small segment of wax

While I meticulously filed down my wax blank to be the size 4 ring I needed, Greg and Stephanie started playing around with different patterns and carving tools, trying to achieve a dragon scale. They of course used dummy-pieces of wax, not the rings we had just resized.

Carving design pattern into wax

We settled on a single row of overlapping dragon scales, made with a flat file (with a slight bevel) to carve the lower (pointed & curved) end of the scale.

Using a flat file to carve a row of dragon scales

During the resizing phase of the session we were chatty. As soon as Greg and I began carving into the final wax rings the workshop went silent. We were both so focused on not messing up. (Thankfully if you do crack the ring or file away too much, more wax can be added and melted into place.)

Image 8

The final wax rings looked like this:

Dragon scale wax rings

Now they are off to be cast in palladium. We will return to in a few weeks to finish the rings (sanding and polishing the metal), then send the rings off one more time to be engraved. We will share the final rings with you in a month.

This was such a wonderful experience that I never knew I wanted until I heard about it. Stephanie told us that many of her clients have shared that sentiment. Most people don’t realize they want to make their own rings because making wedding bands is not a widely circulated option. If you live in the Seattle area and think this might be your kind of wedding ring, I heartily encourage you to visit the With These Rings website and blog.

*All photos courtesy of Stephanie Selle, With These Rings.

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6 thoughts on “With These Rings we will wed

  1. You two really went above and beyond choosing your rings! It speaks volumes of you that you would do this together and enjoy it so much. The big question: now that you have Palladium dragon scales, will Greg be designing a Palladium dragon for D&D? 😉

    1. I did suggest that, at minimum, a dragon appear in our campaigned named Palladium. But now I am curious to know what powers a palladium dragon would have.

  2. This story keeps getting better and better!
    I’m glad you two get to design your own rings, and actually making them sounds like a fantastic experience.

  3. This sounds like the most amazing thing ever! I love your designs and the fact that you chose palladium…that’s what my ring is made of too!

    Now I need to see if they have something similar here in CA…

  4. Really cool! I think it’s awesome that dragon scales have made it into your wedding attire in such a fantastic way! Thanks for sharing all the great pictures and details of your experience! 😀

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