Caroline's story

Posted by Jo Beckett on

Caroline inherited her great grandma’s wedding ring, a heavy gold band which she used to wear as a reminder of her gran. It was never really her style and she had always considered remodelling it to create a new piece - then one day she came across my work, loved my designs and so we started talking about ideas.  

Caroline's Grandmothers ring

I caught up with Caroline to ask about her experience and the remodelling process:

Did you have a vision for exactly what you wanted when we initially chatted about your ring?
‘Not exactly. I knew I wanted to split my granny’s ring into at least two smaller stacking rings, and for these to sit well alongside some other rings, including to complement one that’s a bit more ‘princessy’ - as my daughter says!’

Tell us about the design process
‘We had a bit of back and forth with emails and photos, along with a zoom call I think (this was mid covid, and I had a newborn) to talk through the options and to measure up. It was all very organic and easy!’

Caroline opted for 3 square bands in the end, one slightly wider than the others. My square bands are a real classic, I know they will serve her well, whether she fancies stacking them with other pieces or all together as a trio. 

The finished rings

What do your new rings mean to you?
‘They are still a reminder of my granny, but also mean I can pass on something of me to my girls, in time. Plus they’ll always remind me of 2020, a rubbish year, in so many ways, but also one that marked the arrival of my youngest daughter.

Working with Jo was lovely, and she made the whole process very simple and easy. Her work is so beautiful and I get a lot of compliments on the rings - I absolutely love them.’

It was such a pleasure working with Caroline. This story feels poignant to me for a number of reasons. For a start this was the first time I had actually repurposed my clients' gold - an area I had been keen to get into for some time. Also in the UK we were just coming out of our first lockdown, things were getting a little less frightening and this was the first client meeting I had had since the pandemic struck. So this commission always makes me think of a happy turning point in a very scary year.

I wanted to share some of the technicalities of repurposing Carolines ring:

The casting process

Step 1: Treeing up - attaching the finished 3D printed waxes to a base ready to invest in a flask of heat resistant ceramic shell. The wax is then burnt out in the furnace leaving a cavity to pour in the molton metal - Whatever is wax will be cast into gold.

Creating a casting tree

Step 2:

Adding Caroline's original ring and a bit of extra gold to the crucible on the casting machine ready for melting and casting.

Preparing the gold for casting...

Step 3:

Melting the metal ready to pour into the flask with the cavity produced by the wax impression, now melted out.

Melting metal

Step 4:

The finished tree showing Carolines new rings ready to trim off and finish.

Finished casts

Finally the finished rings and a bit of left over gold to go towards Caroline's next jewellery project:

Carolines rings and leftover gold

Useful FAQ’s about repurposing, custom and bespoke can be found here. 

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