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Bespoke Memorial Ring

Sadly Jane had lost her husband, she wanted a memorial ring made with his ashes. She wanted to incorporate the birthstone colours of her family within her design. Jane had some old family gold that she wanted to turn into this new ring.

Jane booked an appointment to see Louise and Sam at our Shaftesbury Design Studio. She wanted to talk with Louise about her bespoke design, and she wanted to meet Sam who would hand place her husbands ashes into her ring.

Coming to our Design Studio is the best way to see our resin colours and glitters, you can also view our 3D resin prints from previous CAD designs and photos of our bespoke handmade pieces.

Jane brought some sketches with her, this was so useful for Louise to immediately see what Jane had in mind.

Jane had plenty of family gold, Louise suggested that we create a CAD (Computer Aided Design) of her sketch and then show her some renders – these are photo-realistic images of the finished piece.

CAD is a powerful computer programme that allows us to create jewellery designs inside of a computer. From here we can 3D print a resin copy for you to view and try on before any precious metals are cast. We also 3D print the wax for casting from the same file, so the ring you end up with is exactly the same as the images you have seen, and the resin print you approve for making.

Jane had a family ring that was set with sapphires, this is the birthstone for September and the month that she married her husband. Louise suggested that we incorporated one of these sapphires into her ring. The rest of the settings would represent different family members, their birthstone colours would be colours of resin with ashes inside.

The sapphire setting would link Jane and her husband’s settings together. It touches the two settings that represent herself and her late husband (dark blue on the top row and white on the second row).

The grey ring in the images above is the 3D resin print of the CAD images in the first gallery. The purple version is the 3D printed wax for us to cast with Jane’s own family gold

Jane returned to our Design Studio to try her 3D resin print on (the grey version). This gave her complete peace of mind, knowing exactly how her ring will fit and feel once cast.

Her wax (purple version) was printed in three pieces, because this makes it easier to ‘clean up’ the rough cast gold, before soldering the three pieces together as one.

‘Cleaning up’ is the process of bring the cast gold up to a high shine. Freshly cast gold has a slight fingerprint-like texture to it, our Mark uses needle files, different grits of sandpaper and our polishing wheel to remove this texture and make the gold shine.

Because her settings are close together, casting in three separate pieces makes it easier to get in between the bands and clean up the rough cast.

In the images above you can see the three pieces of Jane’s ring still on their sprue. The excess gold in the images is called the sprue. This is where Jane’s molten gold ‘flowed’ into the mould left by the wax.

This is why you need more gold to cast with, than the finished piece actually uses. (Jane collected her sprue and excess gold when she came to collect her finished ring.)

These three cast pieces were cut from the sprue, and then soldered together as one ring. You can see how the CAD image looks exactly the same as the resin print (grey) and that the resin looks exactly the same as the wax prints (purple), which in turn, look exactly the same as the gold cast ring.

The next job was for Mark to hand set Jane’s sentimental sapphire into its setting. This is in a rubover setting (also known as a bezel setting) a fine ring of gold is pressed or ‘rubbed’ over the edge of the stone to hold it in place.

Once Mark had finished casting, cleaning up, soldering together and setting Jane’s gold ring, it was time for our Sam to start her ashes work.

Sam is our Resin Artist, she respectfully hand places each piece of ash into each setting. Sam expertly measures out the correct amount of resin and mixes the chosen colour to form the base layer.

Jane’s ring has one setting for every immediate family member, including her children and grandchildren. She wanted each setting to represent their respective birthstone colour, with glitter over the top.

Sam sat with Jane in our Design Studio and helped her choose each base colour and glitter overlay for every setting. Jane asked for her late husbands ashes to be hidden within the base colour, so she knew they were in her ring, but they would be ‘hidden’ from view.

Sam hand placed each setting with the correct colour of resin, and respectfully hand placed ashes within the colour. She cured each one under our UV lamp, then placed the glitter layer over the top.

Once all of the settings were completed, Sam did a final cure and left Jane’s ring in our dark dust-free safe for 7 days to fully dry and cure.

Finally, Sam applied our super tough, anti-scratch, anti-yellowing varnish to the resin three times, in thin layers, leaving it to dry and harden for two days in between. After a good polish, and a final quality control check, this ring was ready to go home!

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