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New Ring Designs

24th November 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?

72 comments on “New Ring Designs

  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. Chris

    Really beautiful rings!

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Milomade
    Post author

    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.

  7. Fiona

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

  8. 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

  9. Amber

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

  10. Sara

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

  11. Megan

    Where can I get a ring like this?

  12. Milomade
    Post author

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

  13. Milomade
    Post author

    I use traditional jewellery making techniques.

  14. 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.

  15. Milomade
    Post author

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Claire Linacre

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

  18. Dmhusted

    Very pretty, but asking way too much.

  19. Milomade
    Post author

    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.

  20. Kayla

    Hello!
    My mother gave me a spoon wrapped ring many years ago and was thinking of making my own for my own blog tutorial and maybe to sell, but what did you use to get the bowl of the spoons off?

  21. Milomade
    Post author

    A jeweller’s saw.

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