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Tidal Rings: Carving a Shaped Wedding Ring

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TIDAL RING SET:

In the spring I made an 18ct yellow gold and aquamarine version of my Tidal Ring, which formed part of a set of wedding and engagement rings. I’d never designed a matching ring for this piece and sitting a straight wedding ring next to it wouldn’t really work. With that in mind I decided to carve a matching ring from wax, which could then be cast into gold.

Carving wax is wonderfully freeing as shaping the material is comparatively quick and there’s very little material cost involved. It allows you to experiment, try new approaches and is a way of working that I’ve really come to enjoy.

MAKING:

Here I used pre-drilled wax tube and widened out the central hole to give the correct ring size. I roughly shaped the top of the wax tube and then gently heated the engagement ring. The warm gold sunk into the wax, melting away unnecessary material forming a near perfect copy of it’s profile.

Using the correctly shaped top edge as my point of reference I measured out the width of the final ring, cut it off the tube and removed the rest of the extra wax. I then shaped the lower side of the ring, leaving me with a rectangular wedding band:

Marking the centre point on the rough wax ring I carved the knife edged profile onto the band. I also trimmed the width of the ring here and there, finessing the shape and giving it a following, natural feel. Throughout the process I tried the wedding band up against the engagement ring, ensuring that they would sit together correctly:

When I was satisfied with the shape I passed the ring along to my casting company and received an 18ct yellow gold ring back. It fitted snugly against the engagement ring but still had the rough, slightly grainy texture left by the lost wax casting process.

FINISHING:

I filed away the sprue, the little lump of metal on the back of the band which had allowed the molten gold to flow into the mould. Then I gently filed around the front of the band, defining that knife edge and finishing the surface fully. I polished the interior of the ring (as a smooth interior surface is so much more comfortable to wear) and added a lightly pitted, matt texture to both rings.

Setting the deep, watery blue aquamarine into the engagement ring made the rings come alive. They’re now happily on the hand of their delightful new owner: