Welcome to the world of British aristocracy! When Riki Schumacher looks at her small stash of gorgeous, antique silver plate napkin rings from around the world, she can’t help but think how regal they look. These gorgeous specimens have recently brought to mind the amazing PBS series Downton Abbey. Riki recalls an episode with an enormous table setting, elegantly complete with all the appropriate silver flatware, each in their perfectly correct measured position, and of course, napkin rings! She can still hear the outspoken and uppity Lady Violet, while surveying the dining room scene, saying, “Nothing succeeds like excess”.
Well being common folk herself, Riki thought of another purpose for these beautiful and regal creatures, since she doesn’t often set a formal place setting! How about repurposing them into a lovely form of wearable art that can be enjoyed every day? If you don’t own any, don’t mortgage the house to acquire a few, buy inexpensive ones! Riki had an article published in Belle Armoire Jewelry years ago illustrating this project, but now you get to see the techniques first hand and in action!
This workshop is extremely rewarding. You get to shop for the perfect heirloom that calls your name, getting to re-purpose and transform it into a wearable work of art for all time. These antique napkin rings hold so much history, and charm. But don’t fear altering them. Just look at the incredible outcome. Riki will show you how to alter either a small or larger napkin ring into either a cuff or a bracelet. Some ladies with tiny wrists can get away with making the larger size ring into a cuff, (works for my size 6 wrist). Most of you with normal size wrists will be using either the small or the larger size rings, then adding chain to fit the bracelet to your liking.
Some wonderful techniques you will learn in this Downton workshop are:
- The art of using a jewelers saw
- My technique of adding an encrusted look with beads, antique buttons and crystals
- How to form and fit a bracelet to your individual wrist
- How to add attachments to a rounded bracelet
- Learn the secrets of connecting mini hardware on a bracelet
- How to use a micro butane torch, and fill a bezel with solder
- How to stamp words onto metal
- Attaching stamped words to your napkin rings
- Setting eyelets
- And so much more!
So go shopping to discover a few inexpensive silver plate napkin rings. Then boil up a pot of Earl Grey tea, pull out your fine china, get that pinky finger raised and start practicing your lockjaw British accent. Then go to your cozy place to play, and join Riki and make your lovely Downton Heirloom Bracelet.