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Video:How to Make Silver Wrapped Rings

with Heidi Dehncke

Wrapped rings are simple and elegant pieces of jewelry that are easy to create. Learn how to make your own wrapped ring.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Silver Wrapped Rings

Hi, I'm Jeanette Caines. I'm the head instructor here at The Jewelry Arts Institute and I'm here for About.com. Today we're going to make the stylized snake wrap around ring in fine silver. Valerie Bloom is here with us to learn along with you.

Materials Needed for Wrapped Rings

  • Charcoal block
  • A little bag of fine silver casting grain
  • A chopstick
  • Tweezers
  • Torch
  • Water bowl

Melt Silver for Wrapped Ring

My first step is I'm going to take my silver casting grain and I'm going to pour it in my charcoal block. I've made just a little trough, right in the top. Whenever you melt into a charcoal block you should always stand up just as a safety precaution- just in case your block should crack. You really don't want it to crack and the molten metal will land on your lap. Ok, now that I have the silver in my trough I'm going to light up my torch and I'm going to melt it. Always stand up when you're melting. I'm just using a common chopstick to use as my little stirrer.

Basically, I'm just starting out with an ingot of metal – just like this. Now that I have my silver laid out I'm just going to melt it together into one long ingot. I have my chopstick ready to use to push it or shape it along as I go. I have my bowl of water here too, so my chopstick doesn't go up in flames. You will have to pull the heat away periodically because the more that you heat the more that the metal is going to want to just ball up in one solid clump. And you really need to stretch it out into one long shape. Just like that. Actually, I think this is probably enough to make our ring out of and if we have extra we just cut it off at the end. I'm going to let it cool off a bit and become solid. Then I'm going to take it with my tweezers and plunge it in the water.

Hammer the Metal to Lengthen Wrapped Ring

Valerie is going to take the ingot that we melted and she's going to hammer now, roughly into a square shape. She's just using a steel block. You can use an anvil or whatever you have available. A little tip so that you don't annoy your neighbors too much- take an old phone book and put it underneath your steel block. It will deaden the sound greatly. After you've done some hammering, periodically you're going to want to stop and anneal because the metal will get hard. I'm just going to put it right on my charcoal block and use a soft flame. You don't need to get it to the point where it's almost liquid as you did before. It really doesn't take a whole lot to soften the metal up.

After I'm done annealing, Valerie's going to do more hammering. It's going to get longer and thinner in more or less a square shape until we have it long enough to wrap it around the mandrel.

Shape the Wrapped Ring to Size

I'm going to ball up the ends and in the process I'm going to anneal it, which is going to make it soft enough for me to wrap it around the mandrel. I'm going to make one end a little bit larger than the other, sort of a stylized snake head. I'm going to do the other end as well. I'm going to let it cool for a minute or two.

Put it in the water and then I'm going to wrap it around my ring mandrel on the size that I want it to be. I can just take this and hold it against the bench and start pressing it around. You can also use a leather mallet or a regular metal hammer to get a little more force. I'm going to stop now and anneal and then I'm going to slide it up and down a little bit more and use my leather mallet to make sure that it's going to fit my finger really well.

I'm going to anneal it sort of just the way I did before using sort of a soft flame. Then I'm going to dunk it in the water, dry it off, and just do a little bit more shaping. I want my ring to be a size 7. So I', just making sure that it fits that really nice and well. If you find that you have too much length you could always just cut the piece off and then just melt the end a little bit more. I think right now this will fit me really great. It's done. Now that I'm sure my ring will really fit me, I've given it a really nice polish and it's ready to wear.

This is an easy ring to make and it really looks great. Thanks for watching, to learn more join us on the web at About.com.
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