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Issue Date: April 2009

Ring Masters

Tap Studios’ workshop gives couples an opportunity to create their own wedding bands.
Kristen Hampshire
A wedding ring is a big deal. It’s for better or for worse. It’s until-death-do-you-part. It’s symbolic. And that’s why Todd Pownell and Debra Rosen, of Tap Studios in Cleveland, created a wedding band workshop for couples who want the hands-on, bonding experience of making their own rings.

“Here, you are doing the medieval process — the ancient process,” says Pownell, holding up a bar of white gold (couples can also choose from yellow or rose gold, even platinum) that will be pounded on an anvil so it stretches long enough to be formed into a ring. “You end up with a nice lifetime ring,” he says. “The workshop brings people closer to the object. It’s a romantic experience.”

“You don’t want to outsource something like this,” Rosen pipes in. “You’ll have that ring forever.”

If you’re worried that your band will turn out like a craft project, rest assured. Pownell and Rosen will be there every step of the way during the two four-hour sessions. Pownell is a trained gemologist and advanced stone setter who started Tap Studios five years ago with Rosen. She studied art in Germany, falling in love with metal because of its architectural attributes as a three-dimensional medium.

The workshop is filled with antique wooden worktables, pliers of every size, burs that are like drill bits used to set stones, microscopes and more.

Through it all, the ring becomes another chapter in the couple’s story as things get heated throughout the six-step process — especially when the metal is torched to about 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finally, the rings are polished and champagne is served. The hardest part for many couples, Pownell says, is waiting to wear the rings until after the ceremony. “Couples are thinking,How is this going to look? And when they finish it .... ”

“They light up,” Rosen finishes. Pownell agrees. “They are always surprised.” 

[ Band Land ]

Choosing Whether
they want platinum or yellow gold is just the beginning for altar-bound couples participating in the workshop. Selecting everything from a polished finish to a hammered look, each ring speaks to the couple’s personality. Here are just some of the rings Rosen and Pownell can help create.

Trendy Trendy
Polished palladium with a hammered finish
Traditional Traditional
18-karat yellow gold accented with diamond and sapphires
Modern Modern
14-karat white gold with a smooth, brushed finish
Glam Glam
18-karat yellow gold with a hammered finish
Romantic Romantic
Stackable 18-karat yellow gold with reverse-set diamonds

Visit or call (216) 773-8277.

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