Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Devil's Workshop

So the hubby and I, as I've mentioned, decided to make our own wedding rings. We heard about this place on West Queen West called The Devil's Workshop, which is owned and run by Sarah Wan. For a workshop fee and the cost of the materials, Sarah teaches you, start to finish, how to make your wedding ring. How cool is that?

The hubby and I had originally thought that we would be making our rings by the forging technique. You can watch a video about how this works here. Sarah's brother chose the funny music. When we arrived at the workshop today, Sarah told us that she had been trying to call us, as our gold hadn't arrived from the refinery in Markham. She asked her husband to go pick it up, but like my office, they close at 1:00 on Friday (the reason that I didn't get her message). However, this wasn't the end of the world. Instead, we would create our rings using the lost wax casting method. You can read more about it here. Basically, you carve and shape exactly what you want your ring to look like out of wax. Sarah then covers your wax form with plaster, and puts it into a kiln to harden for a few hours. She then heats it to melt out the wax, and uses the new plaster mold to pour the melted gold into. Once the gold has cooled and hardened, she breaks off the plaster, and there is an unfinished version of your ring.

The hubby and I spent the day measuring, sawing, carving, and sanding our wax to create each others rings. I'll do a better post on the exact process later, because Sarah took pictures of every step of the process, so I'll do a photo step-by-step. We've left our wax castings with her, and she'll do the plaster/melted metal step this week. On Thursday night, we'll go back to clean up our rings (like clean up the nub where the metal was poured into the mold, and sanding and polishing the metal), and then they're ours to take home. Wee!

Sarah's own work is really really beautiful. Check out an engagement ring that she created here. Wicked cool! One day, if I decide that I want an engagement ring, I think I'll go back to Sarah and either have her teach me how to make it myself, or have her make it for me. So fun! She offers lost wax casting workshops, so I could probably do it that way. She does get men coming in to make engagement rings for their sweeties, which is fun. But if the hubby can provide the stone, I think I'd enjoy doing it myself.

I am so happy that we found out about The Devil's Workshop in time to take advantage of it before our wedding. It was a really fun bonding day, and I love the idea that I'll always be wearing something that the hubby has made for me. So more on this topic once we get our rings and photos.