If wedding ring shopping is getting you down, why not craft your own bands on Main Street? Peter Solomon at Precious Metal Arts can show you how.
Solomon’s gallery, located at 2510 Main Street is an all-in-one jewelry store, workshop, and classroom. The services run the gamut, from group jewelry classes – such as Introduction to Wax Carving, Practical Gemology and Creative Wire Working – to custom design. Most couples working on wedding rings opt for private instruction, which costs $80 per person, per hour for two people. Solomon supplies tools, work stations, materials, stones and anything else you could possibly need to create that special circular symbol of love. Some clients work on wedding bands and an engagement ring together, while others show Solomon a design and leave the jewelry making to him. Hard at work in the studio last week were Valerie Fletcher and Roger Oda, two artists who will wed in the coming months.
“A friend had an engagement ring made by Peter, so we figured we’d give it a try,” Fletcher said. “We’re both artists.”
Still in the early stages of their ring-making endeavor, Fletcher and Oda receive guidance from Solomon every step of the way. For starters, Solomon slices the rings from standard wax tubes and the couple uses power tools and sculpting materials to chisel out their desired designs. Sitting at two of Solomon’s nine professional jeweler’s benches, the young couple resemble seasoned craftspeople.
“Wax is very forgiving, so you can make mistakes and fix them as you go,” Solomon said.
In the end, the wax castings will go into a metal cylinder, which will then heat in an oven. When the wax melts away, it will be replaced with gold, platinum or another material, resulting in a one-of-a-kind ring.
Grooms and brides-to-be are in good hands with Solomon, who has a 25-year history in jewelry manufacturing arts. Trained in South Africa by a German master goldsmith, he worked in both large scale jewelry production and limited edition line creation before joining the staff at the renowned Gemological Institute of America.
Call Precious Metal Arts at 310.581.4884 or visit www.preciousmetalarts.com.