One of the lovely details that made L and G's wedding so special was that they made each other's wedding rings, under the tutelage of a Carmarthenshire jeweller called Mark Fenn. R and I were charmed by this - I swear that I could hear R thinking The next time I get married, my fiancée and I are definitely going to make each other's rings - and after the wedding the Newlyweds surprised us with the gift of a jewellery-making session with Mark, which we took up today. He and his wife Jane are delightful people, and we had absolutely the best time.
Neither of us had ever done any silversmithing, but Mark has a lot of experience of dealing with complete beginners, and quickly made us feel at home in his workshop. The main image shows the welding of a silver ring which R made for me, with instruction from Mark but really very little intervention; what you can't see with it in this red-hot state is that it has a subtle pattern around the outside, produced by putting the original flat blank through a rolling machine with a piece of lace that Jane found for us. Just too cool!!
The extra shows Mark welding a post onto one of a pair of earrings which he and I
busked designed and made over the course of the afternoon. They're a kind of inverted, curved tear-drop shape, with silver and gold granules running down the outer edge, and they look rather Scandinavian, which feels appropriate given that my family history includes a Scandinavian name in one parental line and Scandinavian DNA in the other. Because they come to a sharp point at the bottom they also look slightly dangerous, and I'm therefore referring to them as my Viking earrings! For occasions when they might not be appropriate, I also have a neat little pair of square silver studs, which R made for me when he'd finished the ring. I get to actually wear all the Precioussses, you notice, and R gets.... the satisfaction of having made things for me (and I think he is pretty pleased with himself, to be fair!).
All this, plus Jane gave us the most delicious high tea, half way through our session. High tea, new friends, much chatting, handsome hounds, and alchemy .... a day I'll never forget.