Engine Turn a Promise Ring

Video by Josh

Work together with your partner in this unique experience to create and decorate personalized promise rings, by using a hand-operated mechanical engraving machine called a rose engine. Using a 16th century technology, with a machine made in the early 20th century, you will design and decorate your own ring bands.

We offer evening and weekend sessions for couples and individuals. Start by picking your materials and setting up a time. It’s that easy! Sessions usually last between 2 and 3 hours and start at $500 per couple. Additional time needed will be billed at $130 per hour. We can do custom materials – just get in touch first to make arrangements.

Material Options:

Brass (lacquered or unlacquered) bands – $500

Sterling silver wedding bands – $600

Gold and other precious metals are available, but will require a special order. We will need at least two weeks advance booking to ensure we have the correct ring size and the materials of your choice on hand.

In addition to leaving with a completed ring you’ll get a tour of the Memoria Technica workshop where you’ll have the opportunity to see the machinery used in a past era to create mechanical objects.

No previous experience necessary.

A bit of history – Rose engines are hand-operated machines that were developed in the 16th century and used during the Victorian era for the decorative turning of wood, ivory, metal, and ceramics. Engine turning is a decorative cutting or engraving technique that creates precise, intricate, geometric patterns, which are mechanically derived and machined into metal with very fine finish and detail. The mystery in the final design lies in the illusion created by altering the orientation of repetitive cuts of a singular pattern. The geometry of the patterns is determined by mathematical sequences often associated with sacred geometry and the golden mean. Engine turning originated in the 1500’s, proliferating with European nobility. It was practiced commonly for pastime and profit through the Victorian Era and deep into the 1900’s to decorate a myriad of personal items, such as top-of-the-line pocket watches, pens, lighters, cigarette cases, jewelry, jewelry boxes, snuffboxes, hair and money clips, combs, wine goblets, furniture details, molding, mosaic tiles, and molded parts.