Ralitsa was recently in Florence and wanted to do a 3-hour jewelry workshop to learn a new technique and to make a unique gift, a sterling silver oxidized convex ring. A marketing guru in San Francisco, Ralitsa already had some jewelry fabrication experience after taking classes at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. She also finds time to make some jewelry in the private studio of a local jewelry artist.
The ring fabrication begins with 1mm sterling silver sheet, cut according to the desired ring size and width, plus extra length to account for the convex curvature. Making a ring convex (domed) has the look of being a more hefty statement ring, making it the perfect unisex ring design. Doming the metal also gives it more structure, as an archway would for a doorframe, allowing thinner metal to be used.
Ralitsa wanted to stamp the date inside of the ring, so it first had to be sanded, annealed, and stamped. Each end is filed straight, the silver is annealed and curved on a ring mandrel, then soldered together. Once cleaned in the pickling acid, it can be shaped into a perfect circle on the ring mandrel.
The next step is to sand the inside of the ring solder seam, being careful not to sand out the stamps. Then the side edges are sanded smooth. To curve the ring into a convex shape, it must be annealed and cleaned again before being hammered into the steel dapping block. This step also makes the circumference smaller to match the ring size.
The ring can then be sanded on the exterior, and polished on a wheel or in a magnetic tumbler. Lastly, the surface was oxidized with a jewelers’ solution and waxed into a warm anthracite-color finish. This is the final product, finished in just under 3 hours.
For more examples of what can be made in a 3-hour jewelry workshop, see this link:
For longer courses, see: Jewelry Courses in Florence, Italy