Early one Saturday morning in March, we grabbed some coffee & croissants at Euston Station and boarded the slow train to Birmingham. I hadn't been to the Midlands since graduating in 2011 and this time we were there for a very special reason...to make our wedding rings!
|Picture by Victoria Delany|
We headed over to the Jewellery Quarter, a historical, industrial area full of beautiful 19th century architecture and Europe's largest concentration of businesses involved in the jewellery trade. It's also where 40% of the UK's jewellery is produced.
We headed for Spectacle Works - the home of The Quarterworkshop - where we were greeted by Victoria, the lovely lady who runs the wedding ring workshops. Victoria had laid out a plate of brownies and filled her studio with beautiful flowers for the day, which combined with the gorgeous light coming through the windows made the place very cosy.
Victoria talked us through each step of the process with incredible patience, while we tentatively cut to size the thin strips of precious metal she'd provided us with, our jeans gaining a thin layer of gold dust. We opted for a 2.2mm 18ct yellow gold for my ring and 4mm 9ct yellow gold for Andrew.
We heated, bent, heated again, hammered and heated some more. We were trusted with the blow torch and given constant guidance and reassurance from Victoria, as we witnessed those thin strips of gold transform in to our wedding bands.
Once we had our bands to the desired shape & size (mine is a tiny size J!), and had smoothed down the excess solder, we gave them a brief polish (something Andrew had a lot of fun doing). Victoria would be giving them a more thorough polish to make them all nice and shiny before sending them off to be hallmarked.
|Both pictures by Victoria Delany|
We both really enjoyed our experience with Victoria; making our own rings is something I'd always wanted to do and couldn't have asked for anyone better to show us how! I'm completely smitten with the band on my finger, and that Andrew had a part in creating mine and I with his, makes them all the more special to us!
We only gave ourselves 3 months to plan our wedding so we were very fortunate that there was a day free at The Quarterworkshop, 2 weeks before our big day. Thankfully Victoria's turn around time meant they arrived with time to spare, so we never had any worries :-)
Below are some pictures of Victoria's lovely studio - I'm so incredibly envious of those windows!
I highly recommend making your own wedding rings - it is an incredible experience! And I suggest you do so under the fantastic guidance of Victoria Delany.
You can read more about the workshop here.
|My 1971 diamond & sapphire engagement ring with the ring I made at The Quarterworkshop.|