I tried on these rings and I thought they were really beautiful. I was wondering how I could reproduce one - I want to do a silver course, so I would like to do one that includes this technique if it's not super sophisticated. It's kind of like a pea pod, with the beads 'trapped' in the silver. They have a very natural look.
The basic steps should be easy. The real manufacturing work - I never tried :)
Here are the steps:
- Get the silver. Ideally it is already a ribbon of the desired width.
- If you do not have a ribbon, then it should be a thick wire.
- (optional) Transform the wire into a ribbon. You can use a (small) hammer, or some other specialty device.
- (optional) Hopefully, you will not need to melt the silver to make it a ribbon.
- Bend the silver ribbon longitudinally, as if you want to make a long tube (similar to a syringe needle.) Do not close the tube!!
- Add the pebbles / beans / whatever in their final position.
- Close the tube at the extremities, and around the beans, to keep the beans in place.
- Decide if the ring has to be closed (O-shaped around the finger, or if you want a spiral - similar to some bracelets).
- Bend the tube around a round "stick", similar in diameter with the target finger.
- Close the tube longitudinally (probably at the same time with step 9).
- "Weld" the end of the ring, if you want to have it O-shaped. I have no idea how to weld easily. Alternatively, you can use some glue. Or stick one end of the tube into the other end (similar with using the extension tubes of a vacuum cleaner). Use the hammer to force the end together, closing the ring.
I hope you have the patience to go through all this.
Note: you may want to try the same by using some cheap material, instead of silver. The first which comes to my mind is metal cans - from food (thicker), or from beverages (thinner).
Another note: you may want to use some glue when adding the beans, to minimize the chances of losing them if the ring goes through a bad time. You may even use the glue around the "pod". Or use some resin instead of glue, for the same purpose. It is better if it is elastic, so it will not crack in case of bad handling.
If you're planning to take a jewelrymaking/silversmithing course, your instructor should be able to demonstrate or outline the process of creating a similar ring for you in the course. As a quick rundown of steps you can expect to do:
- Select a flat silver stock; you may need to cut it from silver sheet yourself. Due to the opening, standard ring stock won't work for a project like this one. Your instructor can help you choose a sheet stock that will have enough thickness to work as a ring without easily deforming during wear.
- Select your beads and a length of silver wire that will fit down the center of them. You'll want to stick with a smaller diameter bead to avoid a ring that's too large to wear.
- Select the size you wish your ring to be (likely based on your own hand, but possibly based on another); you'll be using a ring mandrel to shape the band. Because of the width, you'll likely need a stepped mandrel; a standard tapered mandrel will give you a slightly conical shape.
- Solder your wide flat ring shape shut.
- Thread your beads onto the silver wire and solder the ends in place at the existing joining point. Alternately, solder one end there, add the beads, then solder the other end, so you aren't worrying about the beads through the whole process.
- Use a flat jeweler's pliers (or a standard pliers wrapped in tape) to start pinching the flat silver into the peapod shape. Pinch it tighter at the back of the ring, and loosely around the rings at the front. You can also place the ring back onto the mandrel at this point to hammer down the back into a smooth surface. Be careful--you don't want to hit the beads with the hammer, or you'll likely damage or break them.
- Optionally, solder the seam along the back (again, careful to not damage the beads!) for a smoother edge, if necessary.
These steps may not be exact (it's been some time since I made a ring, and I've never done one like this), but should at least give you some sense of the steps your instructor may point you toward in your course. Without basic jewelrysmithing skills, I wouldn't recommend attempting to produce the ring yourself, but in a course it would be a good project to tackle after learning the basics of ring making.