A family member got married last weekend and I made up a couple of napkin rings for her and her other half. I used .9mm sterling silver sheet, 20cm long and 1cm wide.
I took a few photos of work in progress - from the metal I bought (already cut to size - I'm no fool) . . .
. . . to how the rings (or, as they still were then, strips of silver) looked after planishing . . .
And then I truly discovered how tricky planished silver is to photograph. The camera I was using seemed confused by the throw of light from the differently angled silver. It may have had something to do with my lack of photography skills as well . . .
After the silver was planished, I then polished it as, once formed into shape, it would be difficult, time-consuming and no doubt ultimately unsatisfying to try and do any major polishing then. I decided on leaving the underside of the rings with a matt finish, and leaving the planishing marks on the top side as the play of light on those is always wonderful to see. Plus, a totally smooth and shiny finish easily shows daily wear and those tiny scratches that seem to come from nowhere . . .
And, given the curving design of the rings, the combination of the two textures (the silky grey of the inside (which is sometimes on the outside), and the bounce and glint of the outside (which is sometimes on the inside)) seemed to make the most sense.
After hallmarking, I bent the rings up around a steel mandrel by hand and hide mallet, getting them as identical to each other as I could, and then spent a fair amount of time making them fit nicely against the table surface without any wobbles.
Then a final swish with some magic polishing cream someone lent me, and they were done.