New Ring Designs

November 24th, 2010

A while ago I bought lots of antique silver spoon sets when we visited Colin’s sister Morag and her family over the summer as they live near Spoon Central – a little village called Horncastle that is full to the brim with small antique shops. As I’ve been without my camera for what seems like months, I’ve not been able to photograph any of my ‘work in progress’ for a while. I have been busy, just not really been able to blog about it.

Well my camera arrived back from the lab all shiny and new the other day and so today I spent some time taking images of the new rings I’ve made from the spoons I bought over the summer. So here are a few shots of my new rings – in spoon format and then transformed into things of beauty for someone special…

Some of the spoons needed a lot of care and attention as they were quite scratched and deeply marked in places – so I spent hours filing, sanding and polishing them before forming them into rings – a laborious task but very worth it – it’s so lovely to work away at an old spoon and bring it back to life, so to speak and polish them up to a brilliant shine and rid them of blemishes. I couldn’t get rid of every mark though and it’s nice that there are often these remnants of past lives and history within the spoons that I use.

This is a shot of all the spoons prior to sanding, filing and polishing. I’ve removed the bowls and rounded and smoothed the ends.

New Ring Designs

Before and after shots of set 1

This set of spoons has a lovely pattern on the upper side and on the under side so I made two different rings.

New Ring Designs

New Ring Designs

New Ring Designs

Before and after shots of set 2

I love the flower design of this spoon.

New Ring Designs

New Ring Designs

Before and after shots of set 3

These spoons have a lovely feathered edge design.

New Ring Designs

New Ring Designs

Before and after shots of set 4

These spoons have a shell design which is quite a common spoon pattern, but the ones I’ve bought before only had the shell at the tip of the stems. These lovely spoons have the shell pattern and a lovely grooved edge as well.

New Ring Designs

New Ring Designs

Before and after shots of set 5

A simple grooved pattern runs along the edge of these spoons and they have quite a decorative edge at the tip.

New Ring Designs

New Ring Designs

I’ve had loads of fun making this set of rings as they all have fab patterns and grooves on them and I decided to experiment with oxidisation and adding an antique patina to them. Once formed into ring and fully polished, I make sure the rings are perrfectly clean and free from fingerprints, then I heat them up by placing them into boiling hot water. They then get transferred into a stinky [gas masks required] Liver of Sulphur solution that is also gently heated in a bath of hot water and they are left in the liquid until I’m satisfied with the oxidisation process.

The rings are washed and then I use a set of fine graded sandpapers to polish them again, removing the patina from the raised areas of silver. The black patina gets left in the grooves and patterns when the rings are re-polished and this really accentuates the designs. It’s a bit tricky re-polishing the insides of the rings and I did initially try painting the patina onto only the outside of the rings with a brush, but this was quite tricky and it was impossible to avoid the liquid running around the entire ring and onto the inside. It also meant that the patina was applied unevenly and so I thought it best to apply it to the entire ring and just spend a little extra time to finish the rings off – I think the hard work is worth it for the final result.

It’s something I’ve wanted to try for a long while and with these rings I think it’s really worked very well.

What do you think?

70 Responses to “New Ring Designs”

  1. magnusmog

    The little flowery patterned ones are my absolute favourite!

  2. Milomade

    Yes – I like those ones too – very delicate design.

  3. Christina

    I really love what you did with these spoons! Beautiful.

  4. Alyssa

    These are awesome!
    How do I buy one??

  5. Milomade

    Visit this page of my online shop – http://tiny.cc/antique-silverware-rings and most of my ring designs are listed there.

  6. Emma

    Love the flower design!
    Very creative.

  7. Madeline

    I have one like this except they wrap around the finger, not connect. They are both equally beautiful :)

  8. patty

    My mom has had a ring like this since I was very little, it’s not a new idea, but it is nice.

  9. Storm

    BEAUTIFUL. How do I buy one?

  10. Milomade

    Visit my online shop – link is in the navigatin above.

  11. Pamela in Calgary, AB

    These are absolutely beautiful!! What a great idea for re-purposing the utensils…well done!

  12. rose

    A beautiful recycling project!

  13. Holly

    Hiya! I love this idea. I’m really glad I came across this one day as these are fab.
    I hope you don’t mind but I blogged about these today saying how wonderful they are.
    You can find the post here:
    http://pricklythorns.blogspot.com/2011/02/spoons-to-rings.html
    Thanks for sharing this, I enjoyed reading! :)

    Love, Holly
    pricklythorns.blogspot.com

  14. Anna

    Wow, really beautiful! Are they for sale?? I would really like the flower ring.

  15. Milomade

    Yes the rings are all for sale – please visit my online shop by clicking on the link in the main navigation at the top of my site.

  16. MosaicTree

    Repurposing at its best! Your things are really lovely and inspiring to look at.

  17. Aubrey

    $60????? Hahaha!!! Awesome idea but screw that!!!

  18. Milomade

    You obviously don’t realise how much work goes into making something unique/bespoke like these rings – I don’t just knock them out in 10 minutes – hours and hours of work goes into making them – plus I think you mean ‘£’ not ‘$’ as I certainly wouldn’t be selling these for as little as $60.

  19. Anon.

    Very nice and creative! I wouldve never of thought to do such things with utensils. But more then £60(which is a fair price) is a little much. Especially since they are recycled. You have to realize people are looking for a deal. Yes, you put out alot of work on these but you cant put that onto your customers. Its like clothing thrift stores jacking their prices because they have to wash the things they get before they put it out. The hard work in your art shows as they are very well done.

  20. Milomade

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with your comments – yes I am recyclcing silver – but I still have to purchase the spoons in the first place and antique silver spoons are just as expensive as buying new silver in some instances and so this initial outlay has be considered with regards to the final price for the item. My next point is that these rings are not mass produced nonsense – they are all lovingly hand crafted according to my customers specifications. They are all bespoke, original and unique in their own way and come in very small limited edition runs – this gives each item a premium as there are only a few of them in existence. The fact that you say that I “put out alot of work on these but you cant put that onto your customers” is a load of rubbish – I have a set way of figuring out my prices and this involves calculating the cost of the materials, my overheads, my packaging as well as my time and so the cost for these rings is calculated in the same way as any jewellery I make whether or not it’s made from new or recycled silver. I’m not a hobbyist – this isn’t something I do in my spare time – this is how I make a living. Just becuase the original material is recycled does not mean it has no value. I have sold a lot of my rings to a lot of very satisfied customers and I will continue to do so.

  21. neasha

    I think these are gorgeous! i appreciate the work you put into them and view them not only as jewelry but also as art. If people think they are too expensive then they don’t have to buy them. Keep up the good work, as I am sure your customers are happy as you said and that’s what matters.

  22. Ann

    Your’e rings are beautiful! I, too can appreciate all of the work it takes to make them beautiful again. I have a friend who paints, and when she sells, she has a little sign in her booth the says, “I know you can do it, but will you?” It just deflates me when people make comments on how expensive handcrafted are, especially fine jewelry that takes alot of time and effort. What she doesn’t realize is that you are really a Silversmith!

  23. Milomade

    I am a silversmith and I really appreciate your comments.

  24. Wendy

    Wow. These are absolutely beautiful and creative.

  25. Kirsten

    Oh! These are so pretty! They are just amazing! I love great handiwork like this, especially since it’s actually made from silverware! Ooh, I want one so bad!

  26. Clifford

    I love this idea and to be honest you might be selling your self out short.. The price you are asking is I believe to be below average. Considering antique spoons go for a lot. You are a skilled professional and deserve more then what these people are saying and paying.

  27. Ruth

    You should start using forks!!! I have a bracelet made out of a fork that was made on the spot for me at Covent Garden Market. The guy there had a huge heap of cutlery and the items he had ready made were just to big for my wrists so he found the smallest fork and bent it specifically for me, its great as the prongs can be shaped just how you like and into any style anyone who sees it likes it but its until i tell them its fork do they actually realise “oh my god yeah it is, wow, where did you get that…..!!!” I also have spoon, it was smoothed out and simply bent into a circle. Each of them cost me £20 but the guy did have the more expensive things for silware rather than plated etc im not sure how much $60 is in £’s but it is soooooo worth it i’d love one just to fill up my cutlery collection!!!

  28. Milomade

    I would love to make jewellery from forks but so far have found sets of sid silver forks too expensive so that’s why I’ve concentrated on spoons as they are more affordable. If I get my hands on any forks I’ll give them a go for sure. That’s a new skill I would love to acomplish. Glad you love your cutlery jewellery -revel in it’s uniqueness!

  29. Tadt

    Your craft is wonderful! I have a spoon ring my Aunt gave in as a young girl. It had a jem inlaid into it which is now broken so I can’t wear this ring now. I keep it safe because I still love it. Do you fix jewellery? I would Love to wear this ring again. My Aunt is gone now so this ring is truly a special memory.

  30. Milomade

    I can fix jewellery but I only work with sterling silver. Happy to discuss a fix if you want to get in touch. Just contact me via the contact page and provide some details.

  31. Jeewlry Buyers

    My best friend made these years ago. They come out very cool.

  32. Tonia

    Wow! Those are so beautiful! I can’t wait to show my husband your website and tell him which one is my favorite, I can’t imagine being able to make a spoon into anything so beautiful.

  33. Jennie C.

    These are incredible.

  34. Evie

    I love these but i got a spoon ring for £20.00 and a fork bracelet for £25.00 and they’re really beautiful and have lasted me years, i even got to pick the spoon for my ring and came back half an hour later and it was done, best fitting piece of jewellery i have. £60.00 is alot.

  35. Silvia

    this is an amazing idea!

    Kisses, Silvia http://bornineightytwo.com

  36. Milomade

    Evie, £60 for my pieces is not a lot, in fact I think it’s a very reasonable price – I’ve been told I should charge a lot more! I’ve already outlined in previous replies what work goes into each individual piece and what also goes into formulating the cost of each item. I can’t comment on the jewellery you purchased – is it sterling silver or silver plated for instance? All my jewellery is made from sterling silver. Half an hour is a fast turn over and I certainly put a lot more time and effort into my pieces as I want each ring to be as perfect as it can be. All my spoons are individually cut, filed, sanded, shaped and polished and some of my rings are finished, polished and then oxidised and then go through another polishing to reveal the etched designs – this kind of work cannot be completed in half an hour! I’m glad you’re happy with the jewellery you purchased, but it’s not a fair comment to compare it to mine as it’s bound not to be a like by like comparison.

  37. Josie

    This ‘idea’ of yours has been around since before I was born, My mother in the 1970′s made spoon rings because that was a HUGE fad back then. Nice comeback though, but don’t deem this ‘your’ idea.

  38. Milomade

    I’ve never claimed that the ‘idea’ to create rings from silverware as my idea – if you read the text on my website about this collection here, you’ll clearly see the ideas origins and why I’ve chosen to create jewellery by recycling silver rather than using up the world’s precious resources.

  39. Shannon

    I absolutely agree that the spoons are worth your asking price. It bums me out to see you having to defend yourself on here. As a fellow artist/artisan I understand how hard you work, how tempting it is to ‘undersell’ yourself, and the costs involved. Even the local thrift stores near where I live are now selling the really old spoons like these for ridiculous prices. Another thing I noticed is the very high quality of your work. The polish and shine on these is amazingly good. I’ve tried my hand at cutlery jewelry many times over the years and I can honestly say, yours are 100 times better than mine ever were. Keep up the good [& lovely & recycled] work :)

  40. Milomade

    Thanks for the support Shannon – just looked at your Flickr – Love the Beast photo’s!

  41. Delia Benn

    What a wonderful idea! I think it is brilliant (excuse the pun!) using silver spoons to create rings. Your workmanship is excellent.

  42. Maureen

    love the shell spoon rings…very feminine for a spoon ring…

  43. Victoria

    I actually have several spoon rings from when my mom was a teenager! They are gorgeous and have the most intricate designs on them.

  44. Jenna

    i have a flower patterned one just like this that I bought in cuba! Absolutely love the idea!

  45. Emma

    Beautiful rings! I have a few vintage fanatic friends who I know would adore these! & I think £60 is a fair price! To buy that weight in antique silver would cost quite an amount + the time effort & skill thats gone into making + the cost of buying/running materials/equipment. Some people have no idea!

    Emma

    http://www.thepolkadotte.blogspot.com

  46. Valentina

    Hello!!!!! How beautiful!!!!!! I really really want one!!!! How can I choose one and buy it from you?
    Congratulations!!!!!

  47. Kerry

    Your rings are gorgeous. It is obvious you put a lot of time and effort into each one. Have you ever worked with pewter cutlery? Or would they leave tarnish marks on the wearer’s finger?

  48. Ellie

    I love them, and would love to buy one, how can i put an order in?

    Ellie

  49. Milomade

    In my online shop. Just click on the link in the navigation at the top of the page and then on the Antique Silverware Collection link.

  50. Laura

    The one spoon ring I have is from my Great-Grandmother’s original silver set, and is incredibly worn down. I suppose they intended it to be passed down because it’s not melted together, my dad adjusted it (to be larger for me) a few years ago. But again, I have to agree. Just because I can’t personally afford it doesn’t mean you’re not accurately pricing (particularly since you’re selling in the UK and not the US, price points here are completely different and that might be the rub for some of those readers). I just wish you made them a little bigger!

  51. Hazel

    I can’t believe how negative some people are being about these! The cost for hallmarked silver is increasing hence why you see all those ‘cash for silver’ adverts everywhere. Antique spoons are expensive as it is even if you go to look at an auction.

    I think it is wonderful that you are reusing Sheffield silver, I currently live in Sheffield (I used to live in Lincoln which isn’t too far away from you actually) and I think it is a shame the industry has fallen through as there is so much evidence of the past through out the city.

    Your pieces have been a joy to look at, thank you

  52. Grace

    A lovely reminder that Sheffield used to be the home of cutlery. I love the little story on the tags, is another lovely reason not to buy from the big stores!

  53. Chris

    Really beautiful rings!

  54. Emma Louise Layla

    Great idea!

  55. Keris Milligan

    Wonderful work, so many good comments, from decent people who can appreciate the work that you do to produce these lovey rings!
    It’s sad that there will always be the ignorant and jealous who have to put others down, they can’t do such exacting work themselves (no imagination or sticking power) so have to belittle others, keep your chin up, you are brilliant at what you do!
    Kerris Milligan Manchester UK

  56. Amelia Wallace

    Hi Milomade,

    I must say, after finding these on stumbleupon, I am so thrilled!! Your works are beautiful, and I certainly know the time and effort to recycle and make antiques look impressively new again. My F-I-L does this all of the time, as a hobby, and has made me some very impressive bracelets, rings, and necklaces (not from spoons but from old silver). He agrees that antiques are the way to go, rather than buying new. He loves his hobby, and now after seeing this post, I may have to join in!!! Thanks for the inspiration, and if anyone judges or complains about the prices, tell them they can go else where…It’s at your discression, and i think your prices are fair! MY F-I-L sells his for triple of his original prices, but rarely does that happen. He is investing in silver, which is really what jewelry is all about. GOOD LUCK AND BLESS YOU!!

    ..Amelia…

  57. Milomade

    Thanks for the lovely comment Amelia. Has your FIL got a website? I’d love to see his work. Nice to know there are other folk out there with the same philosophy.

  58. Fiona

    wow! I studied Jewellery and silversmithing at uni! but i’ve never thought about making rings like this! really cool and pretty!

  59. Natalia

    Literally in love with these rings, featured them on my new blog http://design-binge.blogspot.co.uk/

    If only I wasn’t on a student budget I’d be snapping these up left right and centre!

    If you’re interested in all things design, follow the blog on twitter @Design_Binge

  60. Amber

    I think this is a unusual =,creative idea an and they are all lovely and i have never seen anything like them before

  61. Sara

    These are fab! Just wondering how you shaped them, did you tap the around a mandrel? Thank you!

  62. Megan

    Where can I get a ring like this?

  63. Milomade

    In my online shop, direct from my studio or from Concrete Wardrobe – a shop in Broughton Street in Edinburgh.

  64. Milomade

    I use traditional jewellery making techniques.

  65. Anthonia

    SO MUCH NEGATIVITY it’s unbelievable. Having just started jewellery making using metal clay, I actually understand how much work would have gone into making jewellery from traditional silver/goldsmithing techniques. So, like the reasonable people above said, just IGNORE those making snide comments and you don’t have to explain yourself, your craftsmanship speaks for itself.
    Tell whoever talks nonsense again to take a hike to Harrods or Tiffany’s pick up a jewellery, check the price tag, put it down and then turn around and insult the shop assistant for pricing their jewellery for what it’s worth. £60 IS NOT TOO MUCH for a silver (not plated) ring and please stop explaining yourself because they don’t matter in your scheme of things.
    B’y the way, I can’t find any of them in the link above.

  66. Milomade

    Thanks for the support and lovely comments! Rings are all listed in my online shop. Use the link in the main navigation for the shop. The link above works for me.

  67. maymay

    I really like your rings, they’re beautiful :) I’ve actually never seen spoon rings done this way. Have you ever considered making some where the two ends don’t touch, and look like they wrap around the finger, kind of like this: http://www3.images.coolspotters.com/photos/171155/wma-rogers-oneida-silver-spoon-ring-profile.png ? I think the way you make your rings is beautiful, but I know I myself would be more likely to buy rings styled like they are in that link… maybe you could get even more buyers if you did some of your rings this way? You do lovely work, I’m glad I’ve found this site.

  68. Claire Linacre

    These are beautiful, and so original! I love the little notes too. May have to buy a few as Christmas presents….

  69. Dmhusted

    Very pretty, but asking way too much.

  70. Milomade

    Dmhusted – I disagree – see my earlier responses to similar claims. I don’t feel I need to write anymore to justify my prices, but feel now might be a good time to mention that my spoons rings and other jewellery I make from recycled antique silverware may be going up in price as the cost of silver is on the up – buyin in new siler as well as recycled is getting very expensive. If you don’t like the price of my work, go elsewhere.

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