I was super excited about this month's challenge as i'm a big fan of spinner rings (also known as a fidget ring, motion ring, anxiety ring or even meditation ring!). The idea is that the outer ring can be spun when your feeling worried or anxious to give your mind something to focus on. For me it was always a piece of jewellery that i would like in my jewellery box & a piece of jewellery that i always wanted the chance to make.
For this project i decided to keep the design nice & simple as its the first ring i have ever made from scratch!!!! I used a hammer texture on the metal sheet as i love how it reflects the light & i bought the metal sheet in the width needed & just cut/filed to length.
Next was the fun part - forming the ring shape.
I began by laying the silver sheet on the correct size i needed on ring stick & carefully started to hammer one end down with a nylon mallet (you can buy raw hide mallets for this job but me being vegan made me search for ages for an alternative). The metal responded very well as it had been annealed (heated up to soften it) by the company i bought it from, so i continued on around the metal forming it into a basic ring shape! I repeated the cutting & shaping with the beaded band, making it half a size bigger.
Then came the fun part, i had to make sure the ends of the rings were completely touching. The large flat band needed more work, i moved the edges up & over each other to build up some tension & used some nylon pliers to flatten the join down a bit, along with some more filing. The beaded band around the middle was much easier as it was thinner it just needed filing after cutting!
When i was happy with the joins i gave the rings a clean & set up for soldering. For the large band i used tiny bits of solder cut from a strip along the join with a nice pointy flame on my torch & with a lot of heating the solder flowed (such a satisfying feeling!) For the beaded band i used solder paste which comes in a syringe & already mixed with flux (which helps the solder flow), it needed much less heat to flow. Once the rings were pickled (cleaned in a natural cleaning solution) i could then see that i had used far too much solder on the flat band & it had left bumps on the outside join!!!
OK while not ideal at least the solder had joined the 2 ends & i now had a ring band (well sort of), plus the beaded band was done perfectly! Using sanding sticks & working through the grits, i was able to remove the excess & smooth down the join. I then re-textured the join with a texturing hammer & it was on to reshaping it to fit!
Back to the ring stick & nylon mallet, again working around the band i made the band ring shaped. I repeated this with the thin band which i found harder as the wire didn't want to stay where i wanted it! I then tried flaring out the top edge of the large band with a doming punch & hammer, but the ring would not flare out!!! Numerous attempts later i decided it was best to put the ring to the side & work on another piece. After a break i came back to the ring. I started out annealing it so the metal would be easier to manipulate (i missed this step last time which may be why it didn't do what i wanted it to!) & gave the doming punch a good bash with a heavy hammer, to my surprise the edge started to flare out!!!
I continued all the way around the top edge & tested the beaded ring around the band, it didn't fall off the flared edge so i was able to flare out the second edge. After a polish the ring was complete!
This challenge made me learn new skills & buy new tools (thank you Hubby for buying me new tools for my birthday!) I'm so happy with my new toys & now wouldn't be without them.
To make your own spinner Jewellers Academy have a great intermediate silver jewellery course.
Next months design prompt is another challenge as it's something I have never made before so watch this space.
Check out #jewellersacademychallenge21 on Instagram to see loads of amazing artists who are taking part