L to R: Le Creuset Stoneware 12-ounce mug in Cobalt, thrown porcelain cup by Elisabeth Klein (Munich), clay Feuerzangenbowle cup from the Mannheim Weihnachtsmarkt
I have been looking in vain for YEARS for a plain, unadorned but slightly distressed thumb ring. Couldn't find it anywhere, so finally just had to make it myself.
I signed up for a one-day silver jewelry class at my local Abendakademie (community college). I was expecting to be, like, wielding huge hammers, pumping bellows and fashioning silver the old-fashioned way. Little did I know that there's this new silver clay made in Japan. You take it out of its packet, shape it, and it hardens rather quickly, so you need to start using files and other metal-shaping tools. When you're satisfied, you throw it in a kiln for 15 minutes and what emerges is 99% sterling silver. After that, you use metal brushes to either polish it to a matte or shiny finish. This is matte.
Pictured below, top, is an amazing silver ring by Werkstatt München, a very cool brand based in Munich. It was a notch too big for my finger, and the metal band was a bit too thick for what I was looking for, but I'm thinking about ordering a custom ring from this guy, if possible, as the hammer-strike texture pattern is incredible. Pictured second is an inexpensive metal ring from Esprit. Notice how inert, how plain this metal (whatever it is) looks in comparison to the silver rings, which come alive with personality, shimmer to life...