Losing a loved one is a very difficult and emotional time and process. There is so much to do on a practical level that keeps you busy and you go through the grieving process in your own way.
At some stage you might start to think about ways in which to keep your loved one close to you on a daily basis. Our redesign service can help with this.
A friend of mine lost her husband a few years ago and one evening we were chatting over a bottle of wine and she was saying that she wanted to wear his wedding ring to feel close to him all the time. However, the ring was obviously too large for any of her fingers and she didn’t want to wear it as a ring on a chain around her neck as it would be too obvious either way, so she was thinking about using a redesign service to turn it into something else but that she didn’t really know how to go about it.
As I had been melting down off-cuts of silver and rolling them into sheet to reuse I suggested that I do this with his wedding ring and redesign it for her. So we went through some ideas and eventually settled on their initials in capital letters and a lower case letter for their child. redesign service
The Redesign Process
The process of the redesign service is a fairly simple, albeit time consuming one. Firstly the ring is placed in a crucible and then melted using a blow torch at a high heat. Once the metal is molten and has formed a single nugget the heat is turned off and the nugget is quenched in an acid solution. The nugget is then rinsed, dried, rolled, annealed (rolling ‘work hardens’ the metal and makes it brittle, so it is heated to a temperature which alters the physical properties of the metal and removes internal stresses making it softer and more workable) and quenched, over and over again at a narrower and narrower gauge until the desired thickness and size is reached.
Once this has been done the design is drawn onto the sheet of metal (for the letters I used templates which I made by printing them onto thick card and then cutting them out with small scissors) and then with a jewellers saw the design is cut out carefully. The rough edges are then filed with a needle file before being smoothed with emery paper. The off-cuts and gold dust from the filing process are carefully saved to be remelted. In the case of my friend, there was a fair amount of gold leftover so we decided to turn it into a fairly rustic heart.
Once the redesign process has been completed I send the items off to the Birmingham Assay Office for hallmarking and once they have been returned to me I then polish them in the tumbling polisher and then the redesigned items are ready to return.
My friend now wears the letters and heart on a chain as a necklace every single day and draws comfort from having her husbands wedding ring close but not obvious to everyone.