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Simply Wood Rings: What We Do

Simply Wood Rings

The Ever-Present Moment

Have you ever had a trusty keepsake to remind you of a fleeting moment from the distant past? Something that had the power to return you instantly to the present moment you are in right here, right now?

Perhaps it is a lucky coin or a pressed flower, or a river-smoothed rock you keep in your pocket. Maybe it’s something that has stayed with you for a very long time, marked and changed right along with the flow of life’s events. Perhaps this object brings you back to yourself, as you take note of the tiny changes it has endured over a certain span of time.

Simply Wood Rings is a leader in artisan crafted wooden rings, proudly made in Chicago, Illinois. We create custom artisan-made, deeply meaningful, and uniquely personalized rings for both special and everyday occasions. Our treasured wooden jewelry offers not only symbolic beauty and style but also makes a direct positive contribution to our world and its inhabitants.

Many of our materials are sourced from personally significant items provided by our customers themselves, as well as salvaged and repurposed objects. This allows us to practice sustainability and tell your unique story at the same time.

Ethical Materials Are More Than the Sum of Their Parts

We invite our customers to contribute an object that is sentimental to them, coupled with the wood of their choice. Personal items incorporated into our jewelry may include part of a family heirloom, a meaningful rock, or petals from a person’s wedding bouquet. There was once a couple that walked into our store with a chili pepper and we turned a simple vegetable into a stunning piece of jewelry. This physical representation of an aspect of the personal experience is then inlaid into a new piece of wearable, sustainable, one-of-a-kind handmade wooden art, manifesting as a gorgeous wooden ring.

Our handcrafted custom rings are a way for you to keep a part of your special wedding day close to you at all times. These rings offer our customers a way to make that one memorial day never die, where a woman can basically be a bride forever.

The central components of our craft are the unique and mindfully chosen objects themselves, which carry an expressiveness and symbology directly personal to the person wearing the handmade design. The personal nature of each piece allows it to share its own narrative, and it’s likely that your beautiful eco-friendly wooden ring will invite the opportunity for questions from curious friends, nosy coworkers, and acquaintances. However, it’s up to you how much of your tale you choose to tell.

Telling an Individual Story

We would feel honored to collaborate with you on your unique Simply Wood ring, whether it is celebrating a union between people, a birthday, a milestone, or another special occasion. We work closely with you to understand your particular sensibilities and aesthetic. Essentially, we aim to foster a sense of reverence and honor for the ephemeral nature of these particular objects and woods. On a fundamental level, these types of materials remind us of the present moment and the idea of impermanence. We like to make sure that our philosophy is in friendly contrast with traditional jewelers, whose works specifically indicate the past and the future, denying the only moment we actually ever have, which is right now.

The Importance of Sustainability

Along with our customers, we place great value on our ongoing commitment to sustainable practices in our woodcraft. When in search of a ring to celebrate and represent something special, many people are led to believe that metal is the only choice. This, of course, is not the case. Some people are actually allergic to metal, and sourcing it is extremely hard on our environment. Working responsibly with wood and other environmentally friendly materials gives us a wonderful opportunity to practice our philosophy.

At Simply Wood Rings, we love the process of helping tell a story with each exclusive piece. We are serious about our role in honoring life’s most cherished moments. This professional attitude, coupled with our clients’ passion and the special nature of the objects, creates a finished product that is nothing short of magical. Your Simply Wood Ring will move with you through life in a beautifully ephemeral way, as life moves through you.

For more about Simply Wood Rings and our ring design process, please contact us today!

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Wood Ring Tales- Sebastien and Val

We love being able to share our customers stories!

We spend so much time talking with our customers to create their ideas, it’s wonderful to see the people behind the emails. We first started talking with our customer Seb in June 2017. He came to us with such a personal idea for a ring, we knew we had to get it right. We happy to share his story!

 

It begins...

 Seb and Val met 8 years ago at a party in New Zealand. Val caught his eye when she organized a running race in the street when the party started to slow down. Seb is from France and was a student in New Zealand and was working as an oceanographer (how cool!?). Val is from America and was on vacation volunteering at organic farms (again, how cool?!).  They dated for a few months before Val had to go back home to take care of her mom who was ill. Unfortunately, Val’s mother passed away. After, Val moved back to New Zealand to live with Seb and planted a rosebush in her mother’s memory. While together, they built a life surrounded by international friends, a surrogate family, of people who were environmentally conscious. After years of telling Val he didn’t want to get married and didn’t see the point in “boring superficial weddings” he attended a Wedding Festival, thrown by their close friends. Their friends all contributed to different parts of the wedding (i.e. food, music) and after he saw how amazing and stress-free the event was, he had changed his mind and started his search for an engagement ring. Fast forward several months- he found us! 

"I found Simply Wood Rings and they sustainability message resonated with me (we live under the permaculture principles, with no single-use plastics and Val is a sustainability educator). I collected some sand from our local beach, a branch of her mom's rosebush and some plastic nurdles (the elementary form of plastic before it gets molded, found extensively in the oceans and animals) that Val had collected on one of her numerous beach clean-ups."

One of the biggest problems when it comes to custom rings is getting sized. This was just the same issue Seb had, and to make it even worse, Val didn’t wear any rings so he couldn’t easily take one to a local jeweler to have it sized. He thought about using the string test- where you place a piece of string around the finger and later measure it (we don’t recommend this!)- he was too afraid of getting caught so he didn’t attempt the test. Instead, he’d place his hand over hers and would try to compare their finger size. Seb’s custom ring we created was made of Ancient Kauri wood that comes from the bogs of New Zealand and is approximately 50,000 years old. The inlays he sent were black magnetic sand, some of the rose bush Val planted in honor of her mother, and some recycled plastic nurdles.

Life is full of surprises...

After the ring was created, they had found out they were pregnant! A few months later they planned a “Baby Moon” to the Pacific Island of Rarotonga. Seb planned a photoshoot while they were there and was calling it a “Pregnancy Shoot”. However, he planned to propose while they were hanging out with all the palm trees.

Surprise number 2- There’s a tropical storm in the Cook Islands and Seb and Val are forced to stay indoors. Visiting all the museums they could possibly find over the next 4 days, they decide it’s time to head home. The photoshoot is canceled, Seb doesn’t have a plan B. He’s got to figure out a plan B!

Photo from http://www.teresatastes.com/rarotonga

(This is a gorgeous place and I had to find a photo to share with everyone!)

Back home after their babymoon, another stormy afternoon, Seb heads home from work after the power goes out in the whole town. “When I arrived home, Val had the same idea to go for a rainy walk with hot cocoa, our usual rainy day activity (I only go for walks if the weather is horrible and we have cocoa…).” They head over to a platform that overlooks their local beach, which is where they had their first date, many picnics, and their pregnancy celebration *IT’S PLAN B!!*

Seb has the ring in his pocket and tries to find the perfect moment. Val is sitting down (as she’s pregnant) and he waits for the perfect moment to propose. He sees a tropical bird in the distance, asks her “What kind of bird is that?” (he really doesn’t know). Val stands up to look and Seb scrambles to get the ring out of his pocket and gets down on one knee. 

Val didn't say YES at first, it was more " WHAAAAATTTTT???" (this was delivered with an interesting surprised face!) I guess she was surprised after years of agreeing on not getting married! Getting a clear positive answer took a couple of minutes...


The only problem is, the ring is wayyyyy too big (as you can see in this second photo).

So they sent it back to us and we crafted him a new one in the correct size. We got it back to Seb and Val as their due date was rapidly approaching!  On February 13th, 2018 the ring was in the mail on it’s way to New Zealand. On February 22nd, Val goes into labor. They took one last walk on the beach to clear their heads before heading to the birthing center. Seb stopped at his office quick to pick up a few things and sees the newly crafted, correct sized ring on his desk. While they’re on their way to the center, Val is laying on the back seat and Seb once again presents her with her wooden ring. Six hours after- they’re daughter Zoé was born.

We’re so happy we were able to be part of this wonderful story!
If you want to check out Val’s website you can head here: http://valeriebianchi.com/

Do you have a story you want to share about your rings?

We'd love to hear it!
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Wood Ring Tales – Stefan and Linda



We love having a personal relationship with all our customers at Simply Wood Rings. We pride ourselves on making wood rings that are extremely meaningful for our customers, and seeing a happy customer is an experience that is irreplaceable. We do so many types of inlays and custom orders, that it is easy for a customer to make a really personal wood wedding ring that is close to their hearts. Recently we have been collecting customer stories to share with you, and here is the story of Linda and Stefan!

“Our relationship began in February 2010 while we were both attending college at the University of California at Santa Cruz, a campus surrounded by a lush redwood forest. Our mutual friend first introduced us to each other. We instantaneously gravitated towards each other and began to have many adventures together. From the beginning, our relationship was filled with conversations about our faith, family and dreams. Our friendship grew and was tested during several years of having a long-distance relationship. But, adversity has had a way of strengthening us and helping us grow more in love with each other.

Redwood has great significance for us, symbolizing where we met geographically and our strong foundation. We also really like the idea of the chunks of sea glass in our inlay. Sea glass is a thing of beauty despite battling years of struggle in the ocean. In the same way, our specific relationship has faced several years of struggle through a long-distance relationship. But, despite this, our love for one another remains (and will always remain) a thing of beauty throughout any times of hardship.

Lastly, including guitar strings on Stefan’s wedding ring was a more personal touch since his passion is performing on the guitar and studying music. However, the two strings Stefan chose are the low and high ‘E’ strings of the guitar. These two notes are a perfect octave apart also commonly known as the “basic miracle of music”. This is a unique relationship: “two and yet one“. The sonic quality of the octave allows the projection of the infinity of tones into one octave space. So, then, the octave is considered a representation of the infinite.”



Linda and Stefan have a pair of wood wedding rings that were so fun for us to make and really unique. Hearing the reasons why they picked the wood and inlay that they did makes the ring just that much more special. The inlay they used also includes mother of pearl and sapphire, which we call here the “Stefan Stone Inlay”. We know that their wood rings will definitely be a conversation piece whenever they go somewhere! We would like to thank Stefan and Linda for sharing their story with us, and stay tuned to our blog for more customer stories in the future!

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Introducing Birthwood by Simply Wood Rings

Birthwood by Simply Wood Rings

Simply Wood Rings Celebrates with Birthwood

We here at Simply Wood Rings are excited to announce the launch of a new line called Birthwood!  The name itself is pretty enticing, so you are probably asking yourself, what exactly is a Birthwood?  Birthwood is more of an idea than one type of wood. It incorporates numerous kinds of wood and uses the wood’ s symbolization to represent all types of life in its message.
The tree has been a symbol for humans throughout our time on Earth, spanning histories, geographies, religions, and mythologies.  It is a symbol of the interconnections of all life, reaching out to the sky with its branches and down into the Earth with its roots.  Trees breath life into the world we live in, and help give birth to new life every day.  Staying true to these ancient ideas we have created Birthwood as a representation of each client according to which month and tree they were born under.  These ideas pull heavily from Celtic and Native American beliefs and folklore and focus on the way that we inevitably carry a connection with us to all other living things on earth.
My birthday is actually in a few days, and I learned that my Birthwood for October is maple.  The maple tree symbolizes offering, generosity, balance, promise and practicality.  I can’t say that I wouldn’t want a Birthwood piece of jewelry for my birthday this month (hint hint to anyone who knows me personally).  This new line is perfect for gifting to a special person in your life as a birthday present or a present to represent a new start in someone’s life. Below is a list of every month and their specific type of wood, take a look to see what your personal wood type is!

 

January- Birch
The birch tree is a symbol of rebirth and renewal.
February – Hackberry
The hackberry tree symbolizes wisdom, strength of will, and intuition.
March- Ash
The ash tree symbolizes peace of mind, sensitivity, and awareness.
April- Walnut
Walnut is a symbol of universal wisdom and knowledge.
May- Elm
The elm tree is a symbol of strength, family tradition, and loyalty.
June- Oak
Oak symbolizes truth, knowledge, strength of character, and motivation.
July- Cherry
The cherry tree symbolizes strong expression and compassion.
August- Applewood
The apple tree which produces fruit from midsummer to early autumn is a symbol of strength, gentleness, abundance, and giving.
September- Willow
The willow tree symbolizes imagination, intuition, and vision.
October- Maple Tree
Maple symbolizes the tree of offering, generosity, balance, promise, and practicality.
November- Cedar
The cedar tree is symbolic of healing and cleansing.
December- Pine
The pine tree symbolizes creativity, peace, and harmony.

Stay tuned for more information regarding our new line in the upcoming weeks!