My sister’s wedding bands

A few weeks ago, my sister got married! It was a very joyous occasion for the entire family, so I felt especially happy last year when she had asked me to make her wedding bands.

She wanted to have simple bands, nothing that would stand out too much but nothing too usual either. There needed to be something special about them on a more subtle level. In Germany, it is not usual that women still wear their engagement rings after the wedding. Usually they only wear the actual wedding band after the ceremony, so big stones are not necessarily common.

She did some research herself in shops and found a pair of rings that she really liked. She described the overall look to me: The ring was made from two differently coloured rings that were fused into each other. So, I started making.

As mentioned before in my post ‘Making Wedding Bands’, wedding bands are not supposed to be made with any kind of solder line or opening. A ring made that way is said to be bad luck, since it is not continuous. At some point it might break and so might the marriage. So, it should be made in one piece. The most common thing to do is to work with castings.

I started off carving the ring models out of wax and I sent them to a caster. A few weeks later, I received four rings: Two made from 18K Greengold for the inside rings and 14K Whitegold for the outside rings.

After cleaning and polishing the casts, I had to fuse the rings into each other. It was the first time that I tried to do this, so I was not quite sure how to encounter the issue. I was especially concerned with maintaining the right ring size. But a few attempts later, everything worked out and they were perfect!

So, here they are: My sister’s wedding bands!

sara wedding bands1small

sara wedding bands3smallRings made from 18K Greengold and 14K White Gold.

My sister and her husband loved them! Please let me know what you think!

Thank you for reading.

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Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.

 

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Making Wedding Bands

Last week, on August 24, we did it… Barry and I got married!I know that this will come to many as a surprise, as it did for us, but no worries, the big celebrations will take place next year, same date in Utica, NY.

I guess the saying ‘It never goes as planned’ is very true and it applies really well to our wedding ceremony and the making of our wedding bands.

A a jewellery maker, I am not allowed to make my own wedding rings. At least this is a very old and serious tradition in Germany. If you do it anyway, it is meant to be bad luck for your future marriage. Since I did not want to upset any marriage Gods, I knew for a long time that my good friend Christine Graf in Munich was going to be the one to make the rings for me. Barry had her make my engagement ring as well to my great surprise!

When Christine and I studied together in Birmingham in 2007, she wore this beautiful ring that she had forged from 24K gold. Previously, her aunt had given her some gold coins and she did not really know what to do with them, so she decided to turn them into something useful and make a ring for herself. She did not want to waste any of the material, so she did not cut or file it at all. Instead she forged it from a cast made of the coins. The traces of the hammer were still visible on the surface and gave it this really strong but very refined look. I liked the story of the making behind it and I knew then that this was going to be my wedding ring one day.

There is another very interesting detail one should keep in mind when choosing wedding bands. According to German tradition again, they need to be made from one piece. Bending and soldering the ring is not an option, since it will show a solder line, which is considered to be a sign for the marriage breaking one day. The ring needs to be made from continuous material, without a cut, so next to casting (the most popular option) the ring can be forged.

Originally, Barry and I had planned to get married in the autumn of 2013 but you know how it goes… ‘It never comes as planned’ and we had to hurry a little. Because of the shortness in time, Christine could not make the rings for us and my good friend Patrick McMillan from McMillan Metals in Providence offered to make them when I came to visit him for his birthday in early August. I am still thrilled and very thankful for his offer and generosity to do this for us. In return I promised to make his wedding rings one day, which makes me feel very honored and proud!

When Patrick and I talked about how to make the rings, we decided to make them from fine silver instead of 24K gold. Barry and my initial idea was to collect gold from the families and have it melt into the rings, so that there is the family and some meaning in the rings themselves. When I sat in Patrick’s studio, Barry and I had not even started to collect, so there was nothing to make the rings from.

Now, I think it was perfect sitting in Patrick’s studio not knowing what material to use, since Barry and I decided that we will have two sets of rings: The silver ones from our formal wedding ceremony and the golden ones, made by Christine, for the Big Wedding Bash next year with all our friends and family.

So, here are some pictures showing the process of the making. I hope you’ll enjoy them.

Cuttlefish Casting.

The burned cuttlefish shell.

Super excited!!!!

The cast silver ‘bobbles’.

Patrick punching a hole.

Small hole.

Stretching the hole.

Medium hole.

Stretching the ring on a ring mandrel.

Bigger mandrel.

Big hole.

Final touch.

The finished rings.

We are married! 🙂

PS: Here is a picture of my beautiful engagement ring that Christine made for me from platinum, copper mesh and enamel.

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.

Stanley Theater Utica NY

I know I have mentioned this place a lot of times before but yesterday, Barry and I actually got the chance to get the Grand Tour around the Stanley Center for the Arts in Utica NY. Thanks to Maureen and Anne, who took us around the premises, we had the pleasure to see the theater in all its impressive glory. …and this is not an exaggeration, this place really is breath-taking! I never expected the Theater to be that beautiful. It really is a hidden gem in Utica that is worth visiting, either for a short pop-in or for one of their numerous shows and concerts.

Getting married at the Stanley is also a possibility for anyone who would like to tie the knot. Couples can choose from having the entire celebration on site or limit it to only the ceremony, reception or photo shoots.

I took a few pictures but they really do not show the proportions and beauty of the Stanley Theater very well. Really, if you are around Utica NY, come and have a look, it will surely not be a disappointment.

The beautiful Stanley Center for the Arts facade.

The Stanley Grand Lobby.

The Grand Lobby from the second floor.

The Grand Staircase.

The entrance of the Theater Stage.

The Theater from the stage with the big Meyda chandelier and the ghost light.

An ornament in the Theater Stage area.

One of the Theater exits, showing beautiful ornaments from Meyda.

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like the FB ProonK page.