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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
The final wax rings looked like this:
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.