November 12, 2013
Argentium® sterling silver, 14 karat palladium white gold
This is my wife's wedding band, a delicate ring that started its life as her engagement pendant. She didn't want an engagement ring, so I gave her the material from which the wedding ring would be made instead—a billet of silver and white gold mokume-gane (a Japanese style of folding metals together to get a woodgrain-like pattern) in the form of a washer pendant. Here, the lighter sections are silver and the darker striations are an alloy of white gold and palladium.
The first step of the transformation was to take the engagement pendant and cut away the excess metal to create a smaller washer that would transform into the appropriate size (this of course was done only after a lot of experimentation with copper blanks to make sure I had the correct size). Next, I hammered the washer around a mandrel to form it into a flat ring about a quarter to a half-size too large for her finger. This process—creating a ring from a washer—is essential to making seamless ring when using patterned metal. Finally, I raised the ring on a miniature doming stake to reduce the ring's size and create its gentle synclastic shape.
Although its origins as an engagement pendant were somewhat comical, I love that even though she only started wearing this ring at our wedding she had been wearing the material from which it was made next to her heart for ten months before the ceremony.
My own ring, while very different, was done in a matching two-tone white metal style. See it here!