Thursday, February 19, 2015

Creative Side Jewelry - Making My Own Rings!

Christmas was hard this year.  I had no idea what to get anyone.  After the fact {of course}, I settled on the "Four Gifts of Christmas" idea.  How convenient.  But I also didn't know what I wanted.  So Mike and my parents were struggling, too.  I did come up with a bike bell for my new cruiser...but that didn't happen (eh-hem). 

What I did get was a unique gift from my husband.  He got me a ring making class at a jewelry academy.  It's called Creative Side and located in South Austin.  Check them out here:  Creative Side Jewelry Academy.  I finally got around to signing up for the class and attended earlier this week.

It was a four hour class starting at 6:00 pm.  So after work, I downed a quick dinner and barely made it in time due to lovely Austin traffic.  When I arrived, I bought a sterling silver upgrade packet and picked out my "bench" work space.  Everything was set up for us beforehand and we quickly got started. 

Our rings all started as flat pieces of metal.  The instructor started by showing us how to get started all together up in front of the classroom.  After she demonstrated each stage of the process, we would return to our benches to try it out for ourselves.  Once everyone had done a bit on their own, we would all learn the next step and then return to our benches again. 

The instructor and assistant were constantly walking around to help with questions and check work.  They were very helpful and kind.  Some of the processes were intimidating, but they were always there to show you tricks or talk you through it.  I may have used a torch and a power tool...

After soldering, but before forming/sanding/finishing

The process took over four hours for me to finish six rings.  By the time I left, it was after 10 pm.  My hand was cramped, and my left arm felt dead.  I couldn't even use it to drive home!  In fact, it's still a little wobbly two days later.  I definitely have a bigger appreciation for handmade jewelry goods.  It is HARD work.  It takes a lot of time, practice, and attention. 

But how cool is it that I can wear rings that I MADE?  This was definitely an experience I would recommend.  It would be a fun thing to do with friends, your mom, as a birthday/bachelorette party, etc.  It is something a little out of the ordinary that will give you fun new memories and jewelry. I love that if anyone asks about my rings, I can say "Thanks!  I made it!". 

So here are my finished products.  I textured four out of six pieces and left two of them smooth.  They fit well and are comfortable to wear.  What do you think of them? 

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