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A Simple Start- The Beginning of Simply Wood Rings

In 2005, my wife helped me realize that all questions have an answer. 

She asked, “Can you make a wood wedding ring?”
My answer was “Yes.. but…”

In woodworking, you, as the woodworker, will be the only one that knows where your mistakes lie, in any given creation. The mentality that there is only one way of doing something is what kept me from seeing the wonderfully simple beauty in the question “Can you make a wood ring?”.

First, there is the question of durability that needs an answer. As a woodworker, you have a learned that “the world is flat” quite literally, thanks to the industrial revolution. You cut, drill, plane, sand or otherwise abuse this very natural material that we call wood. It is all done in the name of speed and efficiency all the while killing the spirit and soul of the woodworker in the process. 

gustav reyes of Simply Wood Rings

So when my wife asked me, can I make a wood wedding ring, I quickly dismissed the notion. I wasn’t listening to my wife; she didn’t ask if it would be strong, or if people would like it. She wasn’t asking if people would fall in love with these little wooden rings that manifest human emotion, or if we would post the first wooden ring on Etsy. She didn’t ask if it would end up cutting a groove so deep that hundreds of “would-be woodworkers” would be able to give the world and alternative to the traditional wedding ring. She wasn’t asking to create a wood wedding ring that would connect us with thousands of the best customers the world has to offer.

Provided wood from our customers
Gus & Juanita

She simply asked… “Can you make a wood ring?”

As simple as, I like to say, my wife’s question was, she understood that to answer life’s most straightforward questions was enough, beyond that, we are filling life with things we believe are essential and only work to obscure what is truly wonderful about life.

After all these years, I continue to find peace and purpose in life, telling customer’s stories with these little wood wedding rings. After I had dismissed the idea, my wife asked again, “Can you bend wood?”, I finally knew the answer to the question. She was a fan of Ames bentwood furniture, so I told her that wood would bend within limitations, but not thick enough to be durable to be worn every day. She let me sit a few days then showed me a piece of paper rolled itself, and that’s the moment it clicked. The world was round! 

We have not looked back since that moment, and after our woodworking journey spans more than 20 years and still going, Simply Wood Rings will continue giving the world an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wedding rings. “Can you make a wood ring?” is a simple question that gets me out of bed every morning excited to try and answer. 

Thank you to my wife, Juanita, for that simple question and all the fantastic customers that understand life exists in the wonderfully simple parts!

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Sitting in a Tree Ring | Remembing Moms Courage

Moms courage

A short time before I gave birth to our first daughter, I found out my Mother had cancer. In June of 2014 I learned that she had been diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer. She spent the next eight months going through intense radiation and chemotherapy treatments, while taking a slew of medications. Of course that means she wasn’t able to travel to actually be there for the birth of her first granddaughter, but we took a trip out to Florida as soon as the baby was able to travel.

My Mom fought her cancer with every ounce of strength she had, and while she went into remission from the cancer a multitude of other health problems took over. She developed lymphedema, along with kidney failure. My mom was in constant pain but through it all she always smiled when we were around. She never let anyone see how bad she truly felt and was still trying to take care of everyone around her.

5-10-15 Best Day Ever

In the middle of her battle with these illnesses and her remission she got to see me walk down the aisle, and she was able to meet and spend some time with her two granddaughters.

Ever since that first time I was  told she had cancer it was like a stopwatch had started in the back of all of our minds. How much time did we actually have left with her? The doctors first told us she wouldn’t make it past six months. My mom was the strongest woman I’ve ever known and she beat the all the odds and lived almost a full two years after her diagnosis. She passed away in August of 2016 with friends and family by her side.

A moms love

My mom wasn’t just strong in her fight with cancer. My whole life she showed me how a person can be strong in so many different ways. She showed me how fierce and bright and wonderful a mother’s love truly is, no matter how far apart you are. She drilled in me that girls can whatever we put our mind too and we could be just as tough, if not tougher, than the boys.

My mom was my biggest fan, my shoulder to cry on, and a swift kick in the rear when I needed it. I’m so thankful for the relationship I had and how it’s help mold the one I’m building with my daughters now. I’m thankful for the time she got to spend with them and the incredible amount of love she had/showed them in that short period. A part of me hopes that their coming into this world is what helped her hold on a little bit longer, and its something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Sitting in a tree ring holds meaning

One more thing I can now cherish and have to remind me of that is my own beautiful, one-of-a-kind Simply Wood Rings ring. Thanks to my wonderful best friend, Shelby and the rest of the amazing Simply Wood Rings team for helping commemorate it for me.

The ring that Shelby chose to use as the inspiration for my ring is the ‘Sitting in a Tree’ ring. The Simply Wood Rings ‘Sitting in a Tree’ ring brings the whole family together by using a base wood of an anniversary month and inlays of birth-woods or birth-stones to represent those closest to you.

My own ‘Sitting in a Tree’ ring features a beautiful base wood of Elm. Elm is the anniversary wood for the month of May. Our wedding date was 5-10-15 🙂 It was actually the first time I met most of Korey’s family and it was right before then my mom announced her remission for a brief period of time. That day was the best day ever. Elm has a light to medium reddish brown color and a somewhat coarse, uneven texture. The wood sands easily though for a gorgeous, natural low luster.

For the birthstone inlays, the outer two rings represent my two daughters, so Ruby and Turquoise were used. The middle inlay, representing my mother, is made from Amethyst. I never even thought about it until I put the ring on, but my girls’ birthstone colors mixed together make my Mom’s birthstone color. And purple just happens to by my favorite color too, ha-ha! It’s also kind of like my girls are hugging my mom and that is something really special to me. Not only do the colors of the birthstones mean something to me, but what they each symbolize add another layer for me to cherish in this already incredible memento.

Ruby is the gemstone used for the birth month of July – when my oldest was born. It is said to represent nobility and beauty, and is considered one of the four most precious gems. Turquoise, the gemstone picked for the birth month of December – my youngest was born on New Year’s Eve. It is one of the oldest stones, used in many ancient cultures. It is believed to bring good fortune and symbolizes friendship and prosperity.

For those born in February, like my mom was, they are said to be blessed with Amethyst as their birthstone. This popular gemstone is prized for symbolizing peace, courage, and love. And I don’t think there’s anything more befitting for my mom. She was the definition of courage. She spent nearly three years fighting a despicable disease and other illnesses. In that time she found peace within herself, she loved and lived as hard as she could. The love between her and my daughters fills my heart. Every time I look at this beautiful piece of jewelry that was made with so much thought and care, my heart overflows with all the emotions I feel.

My every day rings (the ring on the right is made from some of my Mom’s ashes)

 

Simply Wood Rings took these wonderfully simple materials and created something so precious to me that I will cherish for the rest of my life. They will do that for you, too. Every ring made by Simply Wood Rings is handled with the same care and attention that my ring received. You can trust them to make something that will have you and your loved one’s heart skip a beat every time they put it on.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

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Valentine’s Day is on the way!

VDAY BANNER XOXO

 

Flowers and chocolate are so 2017.

This year let SimplyWood Rings make that special someone a one-of-a-kind ring that says “I love you!” in more than one way.

 

Rosewood base

Simply Wood Rings offers a variety of beautiful reclaimed woods that can be used as the base of your ring. Rosewood, is a popular wood because of its strength, hardness, stability, and beauty. It is predominantly reddish-brown color and has a sweet smell. It is said to have compassionate and nourishing qualities. Cherry wood is a great base because of its rich natural luster and medium weight. It has been called the “tree of heart” and symbolizes compassion. Apple wood is another great base to use. It has an appearance and texture similar to Cherry, yet is heavier and harder. Apple is said to symbolize adoration and longevity in love. Another popular wood to use as the base for this special gift is Maple. Maple wood has a natural light color with a fine, uniform texture. Maple is also a very strong wood and has a high resistance to abrasion and wear. The Maple symbolizes the tree of offering, also balance and strength.Teak Wood Ring with Maple Liner

 

These four woods are just the start to what Simply Wood Rings can use to create your ring. Every material we use offers it’s own unique meaning and properties thus giving you a limitless amount of combinations to create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind ring that has it’s own special meaning for that special someone. Just check out our gallery to look at some of the pieces Simply Wood Rings has created over the years. Contact us today and we can start creating something beautiful for you!

 

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Wood Ring Tales- Keenan and Hayley

Welcome to our second installation of Wood Ring Tales! Here is the story of Keenan and Hayley, which features a very special customized ring! 

“Hayley was born and raised in Minnesota. I just moved from Colorado to Florida. When we met, we were both camping on Cayo Costa, a small island off the coast of Fort Myers. When we met for the first time I wasn’t bareback on a white stallion… It was actually pouring rain and I was running to camp to set up before the rest of my group arrived – and that’s when I saw her.

Hayley is different; I knew she was from the moment I met her. And because of this I knew I needed to give her a ring that wasn’t the same as everyone else’s.

Hayley and I were dating about a month later. She lived in Minnesota and I still lived in Florida. The end of the following summer I wanted her to meet my parents in Colorado. It was on that trip that I cooked her dinner on top of the mountain that overlooks my hometown. It was on that mountain where I first told Hayley that I loved her. And it is wood and rock from that mountain that make up the inner part of the ring that I gave to her.

Wood and rock from Colorado, a diamond from Florida, and I proposed in Minnesota. Hayley says it’s the coolest ring she has ever seen.”


Minnesota, Colorado, Florida

Minnesota, Florida, Colorado

You can make your own custom ring, just click on the link below! 

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Wood Burning

Wood Ring Inscription

Baseball Bat

Did you know that we can wood burn a message for you inside your ring or on a box? We do the whole thing by hand, so we can do different fonts, different characters and even draw a little picture!

Vivian Wael

What would you write on your ring?

Cohen Box

loved woodburned

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Branch Box Set from Simply Wood Rings: A “How to”

Want a complete set of wood rings including a branch box made of wood you provide? It’s as easy as pie!

Follow these instructions:

1. Choose your wood.
Is there a type of wood that is special to you and your partner? Or just a type that you are drawn too? Perhaps you have an old piece of furniture, a baseball bat, a tree that was planted when you were born, a special tree you used to climb? Any of these options are possible!

2. Send us a piece of your chosen wood.
To create the rings we need a piece of straight wood that is 2 x 2 x 12 inches. And a branch piece that is at least 2 x 2 x 5 inches. It is possible to combine these two and send a piece that is 2 x 2 x 17-18 inches.

3. Approve your design.
Contact Allison by email or phone (craftsman@simplywoodrings.com, 312 590 6070) to conceptualize and approve your designs. There are so many options! Consider the following: Will you include other materials in your design such as, stones, wood, metal, etc. How will you incorporate other materials? What are your ring sizes? Do you want a thicker ring or a thinner ring? And check out our gallery to generate ideas.

4. Wait for it!
Our rings are custom made for you! They take about 6-8 weeks to complete so be patient and know that you are getting two beautiful wood rings that incorporate materials that are meaningful to you! (If you need your rings sooner we offer an Expedited Service for a fee of $65)

5. After a few weeks you will receive a package in the mail.
You will open it. In that box will the most beautiful wood ring set you’ve ever seen. You will be amazed by the careful craftsmanship and the natural beauty of the materials. You will probably cry tears of joy!

6. Tell all your friends how much you love Simply Wood Rings (via Facebook and Twitter)

Voila! If you have any questions, please email or call! Check out our website to see rings we’ve made in the past! Check out more examples below!

Contact:
Allison Taylor
Customer Liaison
craftsman@simplywoodrings.com
312 590 6070

cohen box

cohen rings

cool box ring

stef reyes

box bling

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Inlay Options!

Check out this beautiful ring set! These rings wonderfully display the many inlay options that are possible. Both are inlayed with Mother of Pearl. We love to see customers finding alternative options to diamonds.

Do you have inlay ideas? Get in touch with us by email or phone!
craftsman@simplywoodrings.com / 312 590 6070

Other materials that are used for inlays are:
Wood, Stones, Sand, Meteorite, Bone (We have dinosaur bone!), Hair, Flowers, and Rust!

Here are a few more images of beautiful inlays.

ash jade set

 big oad sand

boobring

breaking traditions amber

double recycled ring set

land before time ring

ocean ring

ring set cross inlays

set bog crushed inlay

simplywoodrings.com

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Be Unique

“Be yourself. The world worships the original.” 

Be Unique bezel moiss ring

Simply Wood Rings . . .simply you. 

Custom designed, handcrafted wood rings. Be as iconic as Ingrid.
craftsman@simplywoodrings.com
www.simplywoodrings.com

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He Said Yes!

How I Proposed To My Boyfriend With A Wooden Ring
by Anna Frient

The last time I was in my hometown in Ohio, I asked my dad to help me gather some wood with me. My boyfriend, Arash, had already asked permission from my dad when we went home for Easter, so my dad knew I wanted to have wooden rings made for us. There is a flowering crabapple tree in my family’s front yard that blooms beautiful, bright pink bloosoms in the spring, and sheds crabapples like leaves in the fall, which we would rake up as a family. This is the tree my dad and I put a ladder under, and we sawed off a branch together.

Then I went over to my grandmas house. Almost everyone in my family has lived there at some point, so we call it the annex. With my eldest sister and my youngest sister standing by, I kicked off my flip flops and climbed to the top of the dogwood tree. Here is where I harvested my second piece of wood. The dogwood tree has white blossoms, which reminds me of a poem by imagist poet Ezra Pound that is forever stuck in my memory. I don’t remember the verse, but the image was of a dogwood tree after the rain, white petals against a wet, black bough.

When I got back to Chicago, I took the two woods into the Simply Wood Rings shop. They milled it, and the crabapple turned out to have a beautiful grain, two-tones, pale blonde and pale pinkish brown. The dogwood is a lovely pale blonde, almost white wood.

Arash and I went in together to discuss the design for our rings, and even got to help during the creation process. We let the professionals finish the rings, and last week they finished them! I decided to surprise Arash with the completed results.

The day after the summer solstice, we rode our bikes to our spot by the lake. We had a picnic of bread, cheese, and wine while overlooking the Chicago skyline.
I got down on one knee with ring in hand, spoke from my heart, and asked him to marry me.

He said yes, of course.

And the love and support from family, and the intent that was put into the creation process, is now in my rings, always to be a lovely reminder to me. www.simplywoodrings.com

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Sacred Symbolism in Natural Materials

While we offer designs on the website that we find people respond well to, we are often commissioned to create rings that are very specific to the people we make them for. Creating custom rings has yielded some beautiful results that we are proud to send as wedding rings, engagement rings, anniversary rings, and promise rings. These are obviously very significant occasions that people mark with the exchange of rings. We are happy to be a part of this creation process, as we work with customers to finalize the specifics of designs, while the customer sometimes gathers the wood or other materials like sand and stone, to incorporate into the ring.

The materials that we put around our finger should resonate with us. As wood holds within it its past life, the energy it took to grow is still present within its every fiber. And the wood ring wrapped around your finger is representing that energy and that growth. 

They can symbolize the importance of place:
african turquoise

Wood from Uganda and Paraguay
ring
Stones and Seashells from Guernsey Island near France

The design can hold spiritual significance:
bog set
Sand inlaid in the sign of the cross.

The design can symbolize the past, present, and future:
pennie for your thoughts
Copper penny inlaid in supplied wood.

If interested in commissioning your own set of rings, please email us at craftsman@simplywoodrings.com. Please keep in mind that it takes a little more time to put together the design, gather the materials, and create the rings with the utmost care and attention. simplywoodrings.com