Local designer Melanie Auld is taking the concept of “everyday jewellery” very seriously. Her Vancouver store now offers a welding option for bracelets, so customers can have their favourite chain fitted to their wrist—and yes, that means you can’t remove it yourself.
That might seem a little extreme, but Auld doesn’t compare welded bracelets to regular bracelets—their purpose is more akin to a piercing or tattoo. “A lot of people will come in to mark a special moment with their mom or their girlfriend or their boyfriend,” explains the designer. While it’s common for folks to get welding with a loved one or to mark an occasion, Auld says sometimes it’s more casual: a group of friends looking for something to do after a brunch date, or an individual who just thinks they look cool. “I think coming out of the pandemic, people are really wanting to get out and have experiences like this,” says Auld. Just like a tattooing, some take it super seriously and some drop in on a whim after a couple mimosas.
Welding at Melanie Auld Jewelry doesn’t come at any extra cost (you just need to pay for the bracelet itself, which ranges from $125 to $295), and according to Auld, it only takes a few seconds once the chain is selected. A laser welder zaps the bracelet together at the jump ring—not harming the wrist of the person, obviously. Here's a (four second!) video.
So that’s that: three zaps and you’ve got a bracelet forever? Not necessarily. “It’s not like you can never take them off—it’s as permanent as you want it to be,” Auld explains. “If, for instance, you have to get an MRI or something, we can cut it off at the jump ring and reweld it later.” As long as the bracelet is cut in the right spot by a pro, it can be fixed.
Besides emotional significance, Auld points other positive aspects of welding: it’s low-maintenance (you don’t have to—in fact you cannot—take it off to shower or swim) and you’ll never lose a fitted bracelet. “There are so many different reasons people get permanent tattoos, and I think that this is just a less permanent version of that,” she says.