If you search hard enough, you'll find there are several notable jewellers hiding under your nose in Singapore. One of them is Japanese-born, Singapore-raised jeweller Yuki Mitsuyasu. Her eponymous label has been featured by local media but remains under the radar.
Every month, Mitsuyasu holds silversmithing workshops in her home studio. It's open to the public and holds a maximum of five participants each round. Participants often arrive in groups or individually to make rings as gifts. Mitsuyasu often see couples drop in to make rings for each other. These public workshops are priced affordably, at S$105 all inclusive. Participants walk away with their handmade 92.5% – or sterling silver rings.
"It's an easy material to work with. I think people enjoy the value of silver, but I can do a customised ring if customers want to do a wedding band."
Two years since she started holding workshops, Mitsuyasu has held four private sessions for soon-to-weds. "For that it's a more customised workshop session. We will need to have a meeting before the workshop. For gold, you need to know how much metal you need exactly. We need to discuss in advance the ring sizes, and make sure we have everything [in place]." The rings are usually made in 18-carat yellow gold (or 75% gold) for its ease.
Couples may alternatively opt for rose or white gold, although Mitsuyasu advises that they are considered difficult metals to manipulate for beginners. 18-carat rose gold, for example, is 75% gold, 21% copper, and 4% silver. "Rose gold is a little difficult to work with... If you don't [fire] it in the right temperature and cool it down in the right way, the ring can just shatter."
Likewise, white gold requires an additional step. It is conventionally sent to a plating facility after making, to coat the ring with rhodium. "We need to send it to get someone to plate it. If they can wait, it's ok," Mitsuyasu chirps.
The prices for the entire process – consultation, design, materials, to the actual workshop comes up to approximately S$2,000. It's an accessible price for two wedding bands. Mitsuyasu maintains that she wants to keep the otherwise inaccessible craft of silversmithing affordable to the public. Her wedding bands private workshops remains relatively undiscovered since Mitsuyasu seldom markets her sessions.
She reveals that it's surprising to see most of the male attendees enjoy the workshop. "It's the soldering and hammering... If you think about it, most [silversmiths or goldsmiths ] are men – not the designers, but when it comes to the actual making part, they are mostly men."
Beyond the symbolic meaning behind couples making their own wedding bands, it's the pride of a day's work that anchors the customers who walk through Mitsuyasu's doors. "I think it's satisfying, you start off with a strip of silver and you have a finished piece of ring."
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