The most exciting, thrilling day of your life is being planned - your wedding day! Perhaps it's just around the corner, in the next few months or perhaps next year and you haven't decided on wedding rings yet.
How about making your own? This has to be one of the most romantic wedding experiences to share as a couple - to design and ultimately create your own symbols of love, your wedding bands.
You are guided by the 'hands-on' Master Jeweller and Goldsmithing Instructor, Eckart Schillings, who has over thirty-three years experience in manufacturing fine jewellery, engagement and wedding rings.
The first step is to discuss various design options and come up with a plan of action. The basic ring shape will be discussed. Next on the list is whether you want gold or another precious metal like platinum or palladium.
If the happy couple decide on gold, the process will be started with the pure metal in the form of granules. The gold is melted and alloyed metals like silver and copper are added. Should you wish to use 'old' gold - perhaps you have 'unused' jewellery - then this gold can be recycled and utilised.
Your preference might be platinum or palladium for your symbols of love, then the work will commence with bars of metal.
Once the gold has been melted, alloyed and cast in an ingot mould, an ingot bar will be the result. The next step will be to roll out and forge the metal into the required basic shape. The metal is then heated up to soften it (annealed).
The bars are then formed into a rounded shape to match your ring size. The ends get cut straight and the rings get soldered.
After soldering, any excess solder will be cleaned up, using files. The rings for the happy couple are then worked on a steel mandrel to get them nice and round. Once properly formed, the size is re-checked and your rings will be Hallmarked.
This is when the filing and sanding is done to finish off the rings. You can choose to have additional work done to create a pattern on the surface or if you prefer, to leave the rings with a smooth finish.
The last stage is to get your rings polished on the buffing machine. This buffing process ensures the beautiful high shine of classic wedding rings.
And Voila! You have successfully made your own wedding rings!
Eckart Schillings is based in Peregian Beach, a hop and a skip for Sunny Coasters. If you're coming interstate or from overseas, why not book a few days for a mini holiday on the beautiful Sunshine Coast to coincide with your wedding ring workshop.
Workshops are limited to one couple at a time and booking is absolutely essential. Call or SMS Eckart now on 0423 709799.
The Tuition Fee for one couple to spend the full day in the Studio making their own rings is currently $1 250.00 including GST. Material costs are extra and dependent on the precious metal you would like, size and the specific design of your rings. A proper quotation will be supplied to couples prior to ordering the metals in for you.