Let's Make a Ring in Nakameguro
Tea ceremony, origami, cooking, and kimono wearing are probably typical experiences that tourists come to Japan for. But to have an unique experience–which is beyond the typical programs set for tourists–in Tokyo, Maker’s Base, which holds many hands-on crafting programs, is recommended.
Are you planning to celebrate a special day here in Tokyo? Anniversary, honeymoon, or perhaps your birthday? If these are the cases for you, how about creating rings of your own in Nakameguro, Tokyo for a hands-on experience in ring forging?
First of all, let’s pick up the color and motifs you want to have on your ring. Gold or silver, simple or patterns? Whatever you prefer is what you are going to create. I picked up the silver and simple (no patterns on the surface of a ring) one. At the same time, I decided which finger I would like to fit the ring onto. Then the staff measured the size of my finger.
There is a machine that each person has on the desk (above). Here, you will use fire, cut iron and mark your name (or some word you prefer) on the ring.
Let’s start with a tiny and solid icon. I chose a simple pattern, so I started with marking my initial alphabet inside the ring. To mark the letter, I softened the iron using fire.
It was kind of scary at first as I was not used to being so close to fire. Using a gas burner, I softened the iron heating it for a while.
After heating the iron, it became very soft and then I could mark my initials on it. After setting the iron on the table, I dug my name using a hammer and stamps.
It was the most difficult step of the whole process. I hit the “A” stamp on the surface, and the letter was slightly tilted. A kind staff employee allowed me to mark the letter once again, by removing the previous “A” letter with a file.
Marking my name was next. After that was to mold the ring into a circle.
As the iron still was thin like a piece of paper, you need to use a machine to soften an iron into a circle.
This machine allows iron to be bent. And using a fire banner again, the circle was finally created.
After I got a “ring”, now it’s time to sharpen the circle and clean the surface of the ring. It took more time than I expected. Not only the surface, but also inside the ring you should remove the rough lumps inside so not to remain uneven on the surface. I continuously kept removing and filing the ring.
This program is two and a half hours in total, and you can bring your ring home with you after the lesson. When I was there, there were a few couples and a bunch of groups of friends, and everybody looked like they were enjoying it.
If you want to make your company happier, creating their own original, bespoke ring, it would be a great experience as opposed to say shopping or buying one at the department store. If you want to make your Japan trip more memorable, I highly recommend this experience.