I LOVE LONDON TOWN: If you like it, you can actually put a ring on it

Tom and I always feel super-privileged to be the bearers of awesome social news for you lot, posting great tidings into your inboxes like a jazzier version of Postman Pat, and this review is another true example of an unmissable London must-do. We recently went to do a ring carving workshop and had our craft-loving minds blown to bits by how ingenious and fun the entire night was. So, allow us to introduce you all to your fresh, new hobby, courtesy of The Workbench.

This is a class for anyone and everyone. To our right sat one lone lover of jewellery who’d gone to the class on her own, for a bit of ring-carving me-time, we assumed. To our left sat a couple celebrating their anniversary – the dude had bought this class for his laydee as a present, thus earning himself more points than every Brownie ever put together.

We arrived at Stokey Bears eatery in Stoke Newington and headed to the area at the back, from where the finger bling magic was to take place. Two large communal tables were beautifully set up with branded placemats, pencils and paper, envelopes, tins of tools and a bright blue piece of hard wax which kind of resembled the biggest, tackiest sovereign ring EVER. It looked like something you might win after spending twenty quid on countless rounds of hook-a-duck at the fair. This large piece of stuff was the waxy foundations of our future rings, which we were about to carve into a one-of-a-kind, arrestingly-eye-catching work of art. Or something. I was tempted to be super-G and leave the wax ring as it was, and spend the rest of my days walking around London looking like a back-street pimp, but thought better of it.

Next, we all met Kirstie and Katie – the brains behind The Workbench. They’re both jewellery designers …and good friends …and really snappy dressers, if you’re interested. They gave us all a little friendly intro talk about the do’s and don’t’s and made us feel really at-ease with being creative and expressive. It was a bit like being in a school art class, but the art teacher happened to be your mate, y’know?

Ten minutes in, I was engrossed. I think Tom was trying to chat to me about his day, mid-carve, but all I could hear was a quiet humming, plus the jewellery-themed thoughts in my head. Small carving movements. Don’t take too much off. Less is more. We got some beers in and the carving continued – and, unsurprisingly, grew more freeing and outlandish with each boozy sip. How many up-market, classy, sophisticated workshops do you know of, which come with the option of ordering tasty American-inspired burger-chippy-fried-food treats? None. That’s how many. But Stokey Bears happen to produce bloody good food which you can consume whilst you carve. They also do these (somewhat famous) deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls – which aren’t as unhealthy as they sound (I’m lying) but are as incredible as they sound (that bit’s true).

Tom and I had decided to make each other a ring, so the pressure was on, but the two hours passed so quickly and soon it was time to pack everything away, until only our garish blue creations were left to tell the tale of our night. We made our designs so that Tom’s could fit over mine, like a little jigsaw. I know, I’m sorry, enough of that. We put them in an envelope, before scrawling our addresses on the back, as well as any special requests, such as shiny-or-matte finish and things to be fixed. The reason for this is because now, Kirstie and Katie take our designs and cast them in their workshop into our finished silver pieces, before posting them to our homes. Now these two are the jazzy Postman Pat’s. Circle of life.

This was the most crafty-themed fun I’d had in ages. We didn’t want it to end. The workshop only costs £49 per person which, when you consider that you’re making your own unique piece of silver jewellery, is really reasonable. We also had some wicked food and a few beers, meaning this was basically the perfect night out. We can’t recommend it enough. I want to take everyone I know, until my fingers resemble King John’s from the Disney version of Robin Hood.

Go reserve your spot on their next class now – tickets available online.

Here are some links to The Workbench’s various Pinterest and Instagram accounts, to inspire your ring design night of the future…

By Rachel Claire