Posted on

The Story of Julie’s Wood Rings

This is Julie here, you may know me as one of the friendly email respondents (unless you’ve talked to Sara or Matthew, they’re also pretty friendly- especially when you give them snacks).

I’m here to tell you the story behind my husband and I’s wedding rings and what they mean to us, but first I will tell the story of how we met.  3

John and I met in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (via one of the online dating sites, we were both skeptical about the whole process at the time, but no longer!), while I was still in grad school earning my MFA and he had just graduated law school.  We met at a local coffee shop down by the lake and proceeded to have the best date of our lives, unable to stop talking we walked around the lake for hours and then decided to continue our date with dinner and then a movie.

Almost a year later, one MFA later, and one almost healed broken ankle later (his), we decided to move to back to Chicago where he was from.  On our one year anniversary we went out to celebrate and he surprised me by proposing down by Lake Michigan (in Chicago this time)!

When it came time to decide on what type of wedding rings we wanted I had been working at Simply Wood Rings for a while where I would ogle the wooden rings on the daily.  It seemed the obvious choice to have our rings made by Simply Wood Rings.

materials

We wanted to use wood that was special to us from the places we came from and wood from where we met.  For the outside of the rings we choose the rosewood that we have in the shop at SWR.  The rosewood is not only amazing for how beautiful the wood is but also because it is a piece of Chicago history having been salvaged from an old Xylophone factory that shut down here in Chicago.  For the lining of our rings we used a 100 year old maple floor board that our friend salvaged from the Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee after it’s renovation.

Ring boxes

Since we didn’t want to use a third wood in our rings we decided to use a piece of wood from my home state of South Carolina for our ring boxes instead.  For the boxes my parents lovingly trimmed (I’m sure with very little grumbling), a broken branch from the dogwood tree in their backyard and sent it to me.

 

We decided to also get my vintage engagement ring capped with the rosewood and lined with the maple to match my wedding band.

SWR Julie Doherty capped engagement ring

For my wedding band I chose a woven design with two lines that interweave around the ring.

Rosewood woven design ringFor one line I used some pearls that I inherited from my late grandmother, and for the other line I wanted a mixture of malachite, chrysocolla, and turquoise to match the emerald in my engagement ring.

 

 

Rosewood Meteorite Dinosaur Bone

 

For my husband’s ring he chose to have a line of meteorite and a line of dinosaur bone, if for no other reason than because those materials are just awesome.

We love our rings and I’m grateful to the talented crafts-people at Simply Wood Rings for creating something so beautiful for us!

Thank you for reading my story, I hope it inspires you to think about what meaningful materials you can use in your own ring.  What WOOD your story be?

Posted on

Metal and Wood = Truly Awesome

Ask us if we prefer wood rings to metal rings, and we’ll say wood every time (which should be no surprise to anyone.) However we also understand that the weight and feel of metal can feel familiar and comforting. But wood is beautiful! you protest. We agree! So here’s a nice compromise, a gateway to the wild and beautiful world of wood, where nature is the best designer.

Here’s a series of metal rings with wood inlays, for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
And do please give us a ring (ha!) if you’d like one of your own.

Stainless Steel Maple Set
Stainless steel with maple

Stainless steel with oak rye barrel<
Stainless steel with oak rye barrel

Stainless steel with paduak
Stainless steel with paduak

Stainless steel with dark rosewood
Stainless steel with dark rosewood

Stainless steel with zebrawood
Stainless steel with zebrawood

Rosewood with silver inlay; silver with rosewood inlay
Rosewood with silver inlay; silver with rosewood inlay

Stainless steel with dark bogwood and turquoise inlay
Stainless steel with dark bogwood and turquoise inlay

Silver with rosewood; rosewood with malachite
Silver with rosewood; rosewood with malachite

Rose gold with walnut
Rose gold with walnut

Posted on

Dress Up Like You: Spalted Maple, Walnut & Silver Cufflinks

Spaulted Wood Cufflinks

Getting dressed up is difficult for a lot of people. Maybe we’d rather wear jeans. (Today in the studio, all six of us are.) But maybe, too, the “formal” dress palette can seem limited. What you wear is an expression of who you are, or at the very least, it communicates nonverbally to those around you.For example: Gustav wears dark framed glasses; Amanda wears bright blue high-tops. Joe wears his favorite thrift store tees. Yolanda wears shirts featuring her favorite bands; Cesar wears a green hat every day. (It’s not his favorite hat. His favorite hat was some years ago eaten by an overly rambunctious Victorian bulldog named Malo). At Simply Wood Rings, we like to think that we offer alternatives to the usual fare. Most often, it’s custom rings, but occasionally we’ll make a pendant or a set of earrings. Recently, we got to make a set of cufflinks, made of spalted maple with a walnut inlay and hand-worked fine silver.

Aren’t they handsome?
Spalted Maple Walnut Silver Cufflinks

Spalted Maple Walnut Silver Cufflinks

Interested in your own, or something else in your mind’s eye?

Head on over to the Contact page, and send us an email! 

Posted on

Balance & Growth: Ebony/Birdseye Maple Wedding Set

Balance & Growth: Ebony/Birdseye Maple Wedding Set

These rings came out of the shop today and made us moon-eyed.

Partnerships are all about balance, or a constant engagement to work toward balance.

These rings — ebony and birdseye maple — present and enactment of those sweet efforts. The throughline, what binds them, is a shimmering inlay of ruby, yellow topaz, and mother of pearl.

In the pictured rough-hewn box, the rings will have a beautiful place to rest together, while their owners going swimming or rock climbing or whatever heavy activities they like to do.

A scrap of a poem, from Alice Notley’s “Clinical Thermometer with Moonstone,” via The Poetry Foundation: “I love you as a fan loves air. oops it’s vice-versa I told you about that character She is a bezel awaiting the plop of a ruby she must grow chronically”

We wish for the wearers of these rings to grow chronically, together, in balance, and to have a beautiful life together!

Posted on

When Style Aids Authenticity

Style and adornment are a way to embolden and announce your interiority to the outside world. So, let’s all be authentic. Let’s all greet the world with kindness. Embrace who you are and who you strive to be.

Most of the people we work with come to us at a time of engagement, marriage or anniversary: they’re affirming and reaffirming their commitment to each other, the value of good Earth citizenship, and the lifecycle of matter.

But there isn’t any reason to save that celebration for just a romantic occasion

  • Consider, adorning your hand with a reminder of the things you believe.
  • Consider, giving your best friend a birthday present that means something special.
  • Consider, passing on a talisman of earth to a family member, a tree to the family tree.

We believe that we make objects that mean something, out of materials that are sustainable. By wearing one of our rings, you can make your own meaning. Why wait to have or give that?
Here are two new rings that we love, that work perfectly no matter the purpose.

When Style Aids Authenticity

Dyed birdseye maple with a rosewood interior.

In real life, this beauty shimmers like we imagine a mermaid might. Or, it is the silver of a spring, or the sweet ethereal mist of twilight. Wearing a ring like this inserts some magic dreaminess into the everyday.

 

When Style Aids Authenticity
Rosewood, using the natural color abnormality of the lumber

This one by design uses contrast and as a result feels uber-contemporary. Like dominoes or like black-and-white cookies, the colors work together strikingly. In it is confidence, a 3″-high newspaper headline, strength and force and elegance all at once.

Let our work be one small step toward matching your insides to your outsides. May you find pleasure therein.

Happy Wednesday!

Posted on

Diamond Maple Wood Ring

Diamond Maple Wood Ring

The diamond was salvaged from a previous ring.

The ring shown is a Burley Maple wood ring with a real diamond set into it.

I have learned that the wood which is chosen carries more than just its physical traits but more than that the wood carries deeper spiritual meaning.

Your one of a kind wooden ring will give you the warmth of knowing that the true value of a fine piece of handcrafted jewelry is knowing how much meaning it has.

See more at: simplywoodrings.com

Posted on

Spirit of Imagination Wooden Ring

Spirit of Imagination Wooden Ring

The outer wood (Oak) represents nobility of spirit and the inner base wood (Dyed Maple) represents imagination.

The dark wood is dyed to achieve the color much like dyed wool while the Oak is left natural.

I handcraft every ring to bring out the warmth and honesty of the wood. Each ring is hand formed from thin layers of wood chosen for its grain and durability.

Posted on

Independent Mind Wood Ring

wood ring
wood ring

The Maple Tree has long been associated with The independence of mind, extra ordinary person, full of imagination and originality. The lighter base wood is Birch and Birch symbolizes birth and new beginnings and is feminine in nature.

The dark wood is dyed to achieve the color much like dyed wool.

I handcraft every ring to bring out the warmth and honesty of the wood. Each ring is hand formed from thin layers of wood chosen for its grain and durability.

I will make custom sizes upon request.
All you need do is visit me at: simplywoodrings.com