Making of the Claddagh

In this section we will take a step by step walk through the making of the Claddagh ring. Pictures taken from our crafts workshop in Dublin, Ireland.

Melted Silver
Step 1
The rough silver is melted in the crucible.

Poured into ingot
Step 2
When the silver is in liquid form it can be poured into the ingot.

Cooled Silver
Step 3
When the silver has cooled it can be taken out of the ingot.

Silver bar form
Step 4
We now have the bar form.

Silver bar shaped through rollers
Step 5
The bar is put through the rollers to get the shape right.

Thickness of Silver decided
Step 6
The metal is gradually brought down to the right thickness.

Hammered Silver
Step 7
The strip of metal is hammered round.

Carved guideline in Silver bar
Step 8
The guideline is carved into the round piece.


Claddagh pattern drawn
Step 09
Finally the claddagh pattern is drawn onto the metal.

Pattern cut by saw
Step 10
The pattern is drawn on the rough silver & carefully cut out by saw.

1.2mm Saw for delicate work
Step 11
A sawblade of only 1.2mm is used for better accuracy with this delicate work.

Hands and crown shaped before heart inserted
Step 12
The hands & crown are shaped better before the heart can be inserted. This is done using a safetyback needle file.

Saw & file shape the Claddagh heart
Step 13
The heart is now shaped from rough silver using saw & file.

Master craftsman perfects the shape
Step 14
The master craftsman gets the heart exactly correct.

Heart hammered into place
Step 15
The heart is gently hammered into place.

Heart soldered into ring
Step 16
Only when he is absolutely certain that everything is perfect does he solder the heart permanently into the ring.

Scorpers are used to etch the design
Step 17
A variety of different shaped tools called Scorpers are used.

Final detail carved into ring
Step 18
At this point the last of the detail is carved into the ring.

Every detail is maticulous
Step 19
Each area is painstakingly detailed.

Original must be perfect to copy
Step 20
Every detail must be perfect to ensure that later copies are up to standard.

Now the wheel tools are used
Step 21
Every detail must be perfect to ensure that later copies are up to standard.

Sides are mopped to remove marks
Step 22
The sides are mopped to remove marks from the felt.

Emery marks removed
Step 23
The front is mopped to remove emery marks.

Bristel brush is used
Step 24
The bristle brush is ideal for the hard to reach places.

Switch to softer rouge mops
Step 25
For the very last stages the polisher changes to much less abrasive mops called "rouge mops".

Mirror polish finish
Step 26
This is how the piece gets it’s mirror finish.

Claddagh is blasted by pressure jet steam
Step 27
Finally the claddagh is blasted by a pressurized jet of steam.

Rubber strip cut into side of frame
Step 28
Strips of rubber are cut in the size of the frame.

Master impression made and cut from rubber
Step 29
The impression of the master is made and then cut from the rubber.

Rubber shape is cut exactly
Step 30
The impression of the master is made and then cut from the rubber.

The ring is placed into the rubber layers
Step 31
The cut outs are used to fill in the area around the piece until it is covered.

Rubber then placed inside frame
Step 32
The piece is inside layers of rubber & placed in the frame.

20 Hours of pressure to force the mould
Step 33
The mould has been forced under great pressure for 20 hours.

Master pattern is now cut out of mould
Step 34
The mould maker can now begin to cut out the master pattern.

Care not to deface impression in mould
Step 35
Great care has to be taken not to deface the impression left in the mould....

Slowly, it is removed from the mould
Step 36
.....great care has to be taken not to deface the impression left in the mould.





Final Claddagh ring master pattern and mould impression
Final Step
The final result is the master pattern intact & the perfect impression made in the mould.

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