Breastmilk Inclusion Ring
Lisa wanted a new, breastmilk inclusion ring, to sit alongside an existing ring that she already wore.
Lisa had a beautiful twist design ring that was very sentimental to her. She wanted a wishbone style ring to sit with it. Lisa had two lots of frozen breast milk from feeding her children. She wanted to include her breast milk in her ring.
Louise designed a wishbone ring with a heart recess for the breast milk to be placed into, she did this in a computer program called CAD. Above you can see photorealistic images of these designs. The top design has a wall in the middle of the heart, to keep Lisa’s milks separate. The bottom design would allow any precious inclusions to mix together. Lisa chose the top design, she wanted to keep her milks separate. She also wanted to use colour to know which side had fed which baby. Purple for her daughter and blue for her son.
From this CAD file, we can 3D print a wax copy to use for casting. This means that the finished piece of jewellery is exactly the same as the images agreed. If you are unsure, we can 3D print a resin copy for you to try on first, before any metals are cast. Above, you can see Lisa’s cast silver ring, it has a slight texture to it, this now needs ‘cleaning up’ and polishing. Below, you can see how shiny it looks after this process. Lisa tried on her ring for size and fit before giving it a final buff for extra shine, and adding her breast milk.
Lisa had dropped off two lots of her frozen breast milk. She wanted us to keep these separate, so Sam preserved them in two different batches. The first stage is to allow her milk to thaw at room temperature. Sam mixed a preserving powder with her milk and warmed it gently in a bain marie until it formed a thick paste. The two separate milks were placed on label backing paper and spread it out so they could dry into flakes. It can take up to three weeks for this process to happen; depending upon how much water is naturally in each milk sample.
You can see how Lisa’s breast milk has turned into flakes after being preserved and dried. We have a small pestle and mortar that Sam used to grind up the flakes into powder.
Once we have a fine powder, Sam mixes it with clear or coloured resin of your choice. Lisa wanted her milks mixed with clear resin so she could see the natural milk colour.
Sam carefully placed one lot of milk on the left side of the heart recess, and the other lot on the right side. This bottom layer was left to cure, and then she added two different colours of glitter to finish her ring off. You can see how the purple and blue glitter was hand placed to accentuate the outline of the heart.
Lisa wanted to know which milk belonged to each child. She chose purple for her daughter and blue for her son. Lisa was keen to still be able to see her breast milk so we agreed that the colours would go around the edge.
Sam thawed and preserved Lisa’s remaining breast milk samples (she gave us two of each) this means that Lisa can use her milk in future creations, should she wish to.
Some lovely feedback from Lisa!