A Scandi affair – Thumb rings with a Scandinavian pattern

Scandinavian patterned thumb rings in sterling silver with patina and brushed finish

Recently Michelle came to me with an idea for thumb rings for her and her son. I’ve never made thumb rings specifically before, at least not knowingly, but of course any ring could be a thumb ring, it just means it fits on your thumb!

The design brief

She wanted them to have a “Nordic” or Scandinavian design and sent me a few examples of patterns for inspiration. You can see them below; a knitted hat and a section from her own favourite knitted jumper. These kinds of patterns are traditionally used on knitted clothes and accessories and is very familiar to me obviously, being Swedish and having grown up there.

The idea of these rings really appealed to me as I thought it would be lovely to work with traditional Swedish or Scandinavian design patterns. Although a lot of my work is inspired by Scandinavian trademark traits such as simplicity, functionality and elegance, I don’t usually use traditional Swedish patterns in my work.

Michelle wanted Scandi, but contemporary, so after a little bit of my own research and some playing around in Photoshop, I came up with the design you can see at the bottom of the picture. Simple and modern but with a definite Scandinavian style. It was also important that the design wasn’t too feminine as it was to be used on her son’s ring as well. Luckily she was delighted with my idea and we agreed to proceed with this design.

Scandi pattern ring inspiration

The design inspiration and final design pattern for the two rings.

Etched ring pattern design

The printed design, ready to be laminated to the silver sheet ready for etching.

Etching the silver sheet

This kind of pattern lends itself rather well for using etching to imprint the design onto silver. This is indeed what I did and you can see the print that was used to laminate the pattern onto silver sheet, that was then lowered into the etching solution for about 3 hours. The etching solution basically “eats” away at the silver where there is no resist (the white areas) and creates a texture of the design. You can see from the picture above that this is also how I make the stock for my Cow Parsley collection rings.

Making the rings

So, once the etching was done, the ring shanks were cut out of the textured silver sheet and cut to length for the ring sizes required. Next, they were bent into rings using pliers, and soldered closed. I then shaped the rings by hammering them on a round mandrel to make them nice and round, and finally they were sanded and polished to be nice and smooth and most importantly, comfortable.

These rings were given a black patina and then polished back to bring out the patterns etched into the silver. The two rings were given different final finishes; the ring for Michelle was given a polished finish and the ring for her son was given a brushed, matte finish. Both lovely, yet slightly different looks.

Etched silver stock for Scandi style silver rings

Silver sheet etched and cut into strips for making rings.

Etched ring ready to be soldered

One of the rings bent into shape and getting ready for soldering.

Etched rings ready for patina and brush finish

The two rings soldered shut, smoothed and ready for adding patina.

Etched rings with black patina, ready to be finished

The rings with patina applied to them, ready to be finished; one polished, one brushed.

The finished rings and feedback

So here we have them, two finished thumb rings with a Scandi style pattern! I was really pleased with the finished rings myself and luckily so was Michelle and her son:


“They look fabulous! Thank you so much! My son loves his! I know that my daughter will want one for her birthday so keep the pattern!”Michelle, Dorset

Scandinavian patterned thumb ring in sterling silver with patina and brushed finish

Finished thumb ring with polished finish..

Scandinavian patterned thumb rings, handmade in sterling silver

The finished rings, top one with a shiny, polished finish, bottom one with a brushed, matte finish.

Commission your own ring!

Hope you liked seeing how this commission was made from start to finish, from design idea to final polish. If you would like something special made, all you need to do is get in touch! I can make you something that nobody else has, something that is truly yours. I will work with you to create a design, choose materials and stones, all to make it truly yours. Or perhaps you know someone who could do with a treat, maybe there is a birthday or other celebration coming up? Just contact me to have a chat about it, no strings attached.

Scandinavian patterned thumb rings in sterling silver with patina and brushed finish

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