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By chance Josh who lives in another property on the farm here at Furtho with his partner Carly makes jewellery. They actually first came to Furtho for a friends wedding back in 2015 and then later saw me advertise a property to rent on Facebook and came to live here.
Josh and Carly are also musicians www.Hopeinhighwater.com and played at the wedding in the barn last November - they are very talented my tenants. Josh had made the wedding rings for this couple who only discovered Furtho Manor Farm was a wedding venue when they came to collect their rings. After seeing the farm that day they arranged to come back to look around the venue.
Whilst we were in our lock down period from Coronavirus I asked Josh if he might do a guest blog for me. So here is a piece from him on wedding rings.
"People have many different priorities when it comes to wedding jewellery, whether it be the metal, the sentiment or the style. For me it's always been incredibly important to create something unique, a piece of jewellery that cannot simply be picked out of a catalogue but that holds deeper meaning for the wearer.
I run Harsh Realm Jewellery an independent one-man jewellery business based on Furtho Manor Farm. I make pieces for all occasions and have made wedding and engagement rings for many couples, often couples that are looking for something a little out of the ordinary. My work is inspired by literature and the great outdoors, taking themes from books and images from my time in nature and attempting to encapsulate them in a piece of jewellery, however I also pride myself on being able to take a customer's idea and make rings that represent their vision.
I came to jewellery making in my mid twenties, having spent my early twenties touring around Europe in bands. I reached a point where I felt that I needed another hobby to focus on when I wasn't on the road and so decided to pursue a childhood passion for rocks and stones and give silversmithing a go. Luckily enough a good friend of mine was already a proficient jeweller herself and she kindly gave me my first lessons. The process fascinated me and from the first time I melted a strip of silver and created a simple moonstone ring I was hooked. 6 years on and I still get a huge buzz from being able to take an idea or image and work it into a piece that I hope will be treasured for a lifetime.
One thing I often notice when working with couples getting married is that the sheer range of choice can be a bit overwhelming when attempting to pick something that you will wear for the rest of your life. So I thought here I would give a brief outline of some guiding considerations when deciding what you would like for your own wedding bands.
There are many debates that rage on about the most preferable metal for wedding bands. Platinum is often cited as the most desirable material as it's an incredibly durable metal. It's also hypoallergenic so is a great choice for people with sensitive skin. However, due to it's rarity and the difficulty in working with it, it can be an expensive choice.
Gold is another popular option, not just because of it's classic look but also its more affordable price tag in comparison to platinum. When looking at durability the less karats the greater the durability. 24k is the most expensive option because it contains the most gold but is actually the least durable because gold in its purest form is soft. That's why for wedding bands many people choose to go with 18k or 9k, which is gold but mixed with other metals making it harder and less prone to scratching.
Another option is white gold. Again a durable choice but with a lesser cost. The only thing to be aware of here is that white gold is normally plated with rhodium to give it a hard, bright surface. However this does deteriorate with time and will need to be re-coated every so often at a jewellers.
Silver is also a common choice mainly due to it's significantly lower cost but also because of it's beautifully bright finish. It is less durable than the other options, more prone to scratching and tarnishing, however when looked after can last many lifetimes.
There are few other metals that are becoming increasingly popular such as stainless steel, cobalt, tungsten and titanium that all have their benefits. Just be aware that titanium and tungsten bands cannot be re-sized once made.
Another important consideration is the metal your engagement ring is made from. For example, if your engagement ring is platinum and you pick a 24k wedding band the difference in metal hardness would mean that your wedding band would become scratched and worn. This doesn't necessarily mean you can't mix metals but it is a conversation worth having with your jeweller.
Another key consideration will be the shape and style of your band. A determining factor in this choice is often the shape of your engagement ring. Does it have a part that protrudes that the wedding band might have to fit around? Do you want the width of your band to match the width of engagement ring? Imagining how your wedding band looks alongside your engagement can be an important part of planning the design of you wedding ring.
You may also choose a family heirloom or purchase a vintage second-hand ring with a story. Sometimes the meaning of a piece can come to be more important than a specific look or style. Buying second-hand may also allow you to find your dream ring at a more affordable price.
Although the classic wedding band is a plain and simple shape, many people are choosing to create something unique, whether that be through the use of gemstones, engraving or unconventional shapes or symbols. Take some time to think about whether there is anything that would add extra meaning to your bands and try and convey that to your jeweller, creating something that will hold greater meaning and value.
I hope this helps in breaking down some of the many options you are faced with when choosing your pieces and hopefully gives you the tools to create your perfect band for your big day.
If you would like to contact me regarding your wedding rings please head over to the website link. Due to the high temperatures needed to work with metals like platinum and the limitations of what can be achieved in a small studio set up, I only work in gold and silver."
Have a look at www.harshrealm.co.uk to discover more about the jewellery.
Whilst www.furthomanorfarm.co.uk is where you want to go to have a look at the wedding venue.