I’ve tended to steer clear of making rings, not because they’re particularly challenging in themselves, but because the sizing is a real pain. To start with, there are at least six different standards for ring sizes in different parts of the world, and selling internationally on Etsy, this can be a bit of a headache. And how many of us actually know the ring sizes of our own fingers? I certainly don’t.
Once you’ve established the size required, actually making a ring to fit isn’t that straightforward. However carefully you measure, the metal will expand slightly when you heat it to solder the join, then contract again when it is cooled, but the extent to which it does both is unpredictable, and you end up with a ring that is slightly too big or too small. There is a piece of equipment that will stretch or reduce a ring by a couple of sizes, but I don’t have one, and can’t really justify the upwards of €200 that they cost.
Not to be thwarted, I started to think about adjustable rings. These are left unsoldered, so they can be resized easily without the use of a ring stretcher/reducer. I didn’t want to just leave the rings open though – it was important to me that the overlap required was an integral part of the design.
Below, you can see the designs that I’ve come up with so far.
I particularly like the oak leaves, because the tapering shape really lends itself to overlapping rather than soldering closed. For the morning glory ring, I needed two bands to carry the two ‘flowers’, so again leaving to ring unsoldered made sense in design terms.
I’ve asked customers to let me know the internal circumference of a ring they already own when they order, so that solves the sizing issue. I can either enlarge or reduce the size of the ring I have already made, or make a new one to fit. Hopefully they’ll prove a popular addition to my range of jewellery.