I am really excited about sharing this weeks F word. I discovered a wonderful local workshop, 'File & Forge'. 

You can book a session, learn some basic jewellery making skills and then take home your very own (hopefully beautiful) hand-made item. Me and my two girls were looking for keepsakes for our significant birthdays this year. File & Forge was the perfect solution for us make our very own special keepsakes for our 16th, 18th and 50th birthdays. Furthermore each item would be an original and the experience would be an enjoyable shared memory.

File off those sharp edges

The final birthday keepsakes...

 Emma showed us how to produce different textures on the metal and we each chose a different technique to create a unique ring. One of the girls decided on a sand paper impression and the other settled on a hammered effect. I had already decided that I wanted to make a ring stamped with my husband, mine and each of our children's initials. I had discussed this with Emma prior to our session and was really happy to see the lovely, dainty letter stamps that were available.

Emma greeted us with a big smile and started  the afternoon off with a welcome cuppa and a little tour of the snug but well equipped workshop. It is in a lovely village location; tucked away behind a cafe, within a little group of units and close to the village green and pond.

She then showed us all the equipment and gave us a clear step by step guide to each stage of the ring making process. In no time at all we donned on our aprons, measured our fingers and knuckled down to get creative.

Emma was the prefect hostess and teacher.  

At first we practiced the ring making processes on  a copper prototype. It proved a very useful step with a steep learning curve.

Our notable learning points were:

  • It is important to be accurate with the ring sizing. My copper ring had to be stretched quite a bit and I thought the soldered seam might burst.
  • Tofile the edges before trying the ring on is a good idea. My daughter came home with an attractive thumb plaster too.
  • There are many hazards in the workshop and it is important to be aware of where your fingers are when you are using the small hand saw. I won't elaborate but we did get our monies worth out of the well stocked plaster supplies.

File & Forge Jewelry Workshop

(Hatfield Heath) 

After a few e-mail exchanges I booked a private four hour slot with Emma, who felt it was the perfect length of time for us each to create a silver ring. The girls were really excited and planned their exam revision around the appointment in order that they could enjoy the afternoon and have a well deserved break from their exam stresses.

Copper Rings

Thank you Emma from File & Forge and my wonderful daughters for an afternoon to remember. 

I am so pleased with my ring and will treasure it always. I love that it represents my family and I can wear it every day.

My stamped initial idea takes form.

Week 16

Friday 13/05/2016

We were so excited to see our rings and put them on straight away. We had a really enjoyable and memorable afternoon at the File & Forge workshop. It exceeded our expectations of creating wonderful memories and keepsakes.  We feel fired up to re-book at some-point soon to unleash more creative powers and  make other keepsakes or even presents for others (if we can bear to part with them).

Working the hammered, irregular line effect.

Our Unique Silver Ring Creations

We measured, hammered, rolled, stamped, soldered, dropped a ring under the sink, ate cake, chatted and laughed. Finally, prior to the final polishing we used a range of files, from coarse to fine in order to obtain a smooth (and safe!) finish to our rings.

Another short refreshment stop and then we proceded to make our silver rings...

Rolling a mottled look with sand-paper and metal squashed through a machine with the look of a pasta maker.