Updated: Jun 7, 2020
I made a silver Möbius ring (from a piece of metal) at Kinjo in Taipei. This was my first time working with metal & fire (some blow torch like thing), and it wasn’t quite as intimidating as it sounds.
I stumbled upon Kinjo when I first visited Taipei in 2013. The branch I chanced upon is located in the Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store – those who love book stores, craft, and independent designers should visit the place. I fell in love with the idea of making my own ring, but I didn’t have enough time to sign up for a class back then. As luck would have it, I got to spend a weekend in Taipei in 2014, and I jumped on the chance to book a class at Kinjo.
I turned up at the workshop located in the same mall, and was presented with an apron, and some really friendly teachers who conducted the class in mandarin. And yes, you guessed it, I can’t remember the terms for the steps we went through because things were explained in mandarin (I seem to have a knack for taking non-English workshops).
Workspace for the class (spot my favourite leather wallet)
The mix of tools above were used to hold the metal strip in place while we manipulate it, stuff to smooth / shine the metal, blocks to stamp letters in the metal, hand held “blow torch” to melt a little metal piece to join the ring etc.
Piece of metal which they twisted, and we “hammered” to get the textures
From my memory, we had to heat the metal strip to soften it, while “hammering” it made it shine and also created the various textures (using different types of “hammers” gave the different textures). People usually opt for one texture on a single ring, but I couldn’t decide, so I got 2 different ones on each side of the twist.
Do you know how a strip of metal is joined to become a ring? Not sure if this is true for all rings, but that’s what I learnt in the class. The strip is twisted to form a “ring”, and a little piece of thing (not sure what it is called – solder?) is placed just above the ends of the strip that meet. Fire is used to melt that little piece of thing, joining the ends together. If you look closely at some of your rings, you’ll be able to see where this joint is.
Above 2 images of making a ring in action from Miriel Design
Also got to stamp my initials on the metal before “sealing” the ring
As with most hand-made items, personalisation is a big bonus. It wasn’t that easy to stamp the letters at the same level because one needs to have steady hands and a good control of strength – I swear their sizes varied a bit, and the “depth” of each stencil block is slightly different.
Final product – wearing it makes me feel independent, geeky, and special
The feeling of wearing something made by myself is ❤
Details of the workshop
Duration: I can’t remember the exact duration and it doesn’t seem to be listed on the site, but I recall it was ~2-3 hours Price: TWD 2,200 (~SGD 90) for the style of ring I made. There are other products you can make at different prices
Level of “fun”: 4/5
It’s always fun playing with fire 😉 Just kidding. Working with metal for the first time was exciting, and seeing the metal change form (softening, changing of textures, bending, melting the solder thing) kept things interesting.
Being only a couple of hours long, it is also great for those with a shorter attention span 🙂
Level of difficulty: 2/5
In spite being such a small piece of jewellery, it wasn’t too difficult a task. The design is quite forgiving (even if you don’t get the textures perfectly right), and the teachers are on-hand to help make adjustments to compensate for any errors.