style (sorta)

Bits + Baubles: Rings on my Fingers

I enjoy making jewelry.  Often I skip around from big chunky bracelets to dainty necklaces and everywhere in between.  I suppose I have a “style” of sorts, but I never try too hard to stick within any certain look or trend.  As many pieces as I make, however, I don’t actually have one of everything for myself.  More often than not, pieces I make are genuinely one-of-a-kind.  As much as I really do love the jewelry I make, it’s not logical (or fair really) for me to keep them all.  And, as much as I adore making jewelry and wearing it, I definitely have my go-to loved pieces that I couldn’t do without in my collection.  I thought it might be fun to share the stories behind some of my most cherished bits and baubles in a new series, Bits + Baubles

my three never-take-off rings: engagement ring, wedding band, and silver handmade ring.  love!

Of course, I have to start out with ones most near and dear to my heart… my engagement ring and wedding band!  My husband proposed on September 11th of 2011 in a most unexpected way, in a most unexpected place, and on a most unexpected day.  The eleventh was a sad day for a lot of people, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 911 attacks, but for us, it was exciting and joyful… I do not at all mean that to take away from the tragedy of the Twin Towers, but any day you can turn from sad to happy is a good one.  And this one was especially good.  Also, it was the morning after his birthday, so a proposal was the last thing I was expecting!  After brunch we went to a nearby construction site, the new AIA building (American Institute of Architects — and he is one!), on my recommendation to explore.  He proposed up on the top floor overlooking the cityscape and I said “YES!”  The ring he proposed with holds the same diamond his dad proposed to his mother with over thirty years ago!  Every single day I just look at it and smile…

And now, since we were married last September, I have another pretty sparkly ring to ogle at.  We went back to the very store where he designed my engagement band for our wedding bands — CMI Jewelry.  It’s actually kind of a family store too, which is neat; it’s a small independent store in Raleigh that his family has trusted for years.

I have a third ring that never really comes off either.  Its story isn’t as romantic, but it is rather cool: it is the first ring I ever made.  When I lived in Wilmington, I was in school full-time and working full-time as a nanny, but also juggling a small job at a bead store (oh, and making jewelry on the side).  Around the same time that I enrolled in my metals class, I was also working alongside a goldsmith who was renting space within the bead store.  When there weren’t customers to show pretty beads to, I hung out with Gary, the goldsmith, and he taught me tricks and techniques — cutting stones, lost-wax casting, and simple soldering.  It was in his workshop one day that he taught me to make my own ring.  I love its simplicity and so it has pretty much stayed put since I made it.  Being the very first item I shaped, soldered, filed, and buffed, makes it kinda special, you know.


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