Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Year coming. New Beginnings

  from The Celtic Tree Oracle by Liz and Colin Murray

First month of the Celtic Tree calendar: December 24th - January 20th. First consonant of the Ogham alphabet - Beith  Birch gives the essence of truth. It is considered the 'giving tree'.

Apple Wood Ring with braided Birch Bark inlayMaple Wood Ring with Braided Birch Bark inlaySince the dawn of human kind, birch bark has been highly valued and utilized for all manner of things to benefit us 'two legged's'. It is after all, the bark of the giving tree. The birch bark David uses to create his braided inlays is lovingly collected from the ground around the birch trees where we live. Because of the remarkable preservative properties of birch bark, it is possible to use the bark from dead or fallen trees to make all sorts of things.  
Birch Wood Ring with river stone inlayBirch wood is a good hard wood which David jokingly calls hammer handle material.  It's serviceable wood but not especially pretty being without any remarkable grain or figure. Having said that, David can create a beautiful ring from almost any wood and there are lots of ways to include a particular wood without having it be the primary focus of a ring.

Birch trees prefer cool, moist areas, including peat bogs, river banks and lake shores. Birch can be found in larger numbers in cool damp woods and forests were the ground does not dry out for most of the year.

Birch wood is often used for fire wood because it burns well without popping, even when frozen. Birch bark can be easily used to start fires and the bark can also be peeled into thin sheets to make a paper like kindling that can be ignited even with sparks. We don't burn birch or the precious bark.

The birch tree symbolizes a fresh start and can bring courage and determination to those of us who are treading the path of spiritual growth and development for the first time.
Although the birch does appear fragile, it is in fact extremely hardy. This teaches us that in apparent weakness there is often to be found great strength.
The birch also promises new life and love, and is a potent symbol of purification and renewal, which focuses our attention on our potential for the change and on the consideration of new directions and goals to be experienced in our lives.
It teaches the lesson of unselfishness and of caring for the needs of others in ways that help them to flourish of their own accord.


BEGINNINGS are always important, as are the ways we approach any new task. Good preparation and a willingness to lay the ground on which we will build are every bit as valuable as the eventual outcome. The Green Man's wisdom here is specific: make a good start and whatever you are undertaking will end well.  This means paying attention to the moment of inspiration (which the Celts called 'awen') and following this to a satisfactory conclusion.
Birch and Oak Wood Rings with stone inlays 
Traditionally birch was used to drive out evil spirits and return to sanity those who had become mad. Its calendrical association is with the beginnings of the year, and with the sacred festival of Samhain, hence its connection with making a fresh start. The birch is also one of the first trees to flower in the spring.

Wishing our new friends and old friends alike a wonderful new beginning this year!
Sources / Thanks to
Lesson of the Birch. The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford 
Beginnings. The Green Man Oracle by John Matthews and Will Worthington

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Winter Solstice and Trees and Rings

D+N Finch

In our neck of the woods, Winter Solstice falls on December 21st at 3:04pm.
Solstice celebrates the rebirth of light after the darkest period of the year.

In honour of the Winter Solstice I thought it would be apropos to share some rings David has made that incorporate woods with Solstice connections.

Trees and botanicals have always been central to the winter Solstice celebration. 

Evergreens are symbols of rebirth. 

The oak tree is sacred to Druids and Mistletoe found on oaks is especially sacred. In the Celtic language, Mistletoe means “All heal”. Mistletoe is a token of good will and peace. 

Holly’s evergreen nature gives it a special place.

The cutting and burning of a Yule log is perhaps the best known tradition of the Winter Solstice. In pagan times different woods were chosen to produce different effects.

Aspen invokes the understanding of the grand design.
Juniper heartwood with an Aspen interior
This is a Juniper heartwood ring with an Aspen interior liner

Birch signifies new beginnings. Holly inspires visions and reveals past lives.
Birch wood ring with an inlay of river rock
A Birch wood ring with an inlay of river rock

Oak brings healing, strength, and wisdom.
Maple Wood Rings with inlays of natural Oak Knots
These are Maple Wood Rings with inlays of natural Oak knots

Pine signifies prosperity and growth and Willow invokes the Goddess to achieve desires.
Shortleaf Pine, Loblolly Pine and Eastern White Pine Wood Ring
This ring is Shortleaf, Loblolly and Eastern White Pine

How ever you celebrate this season of light and renewal ~
We wish you and yours a bright and blessed Solstice. 

With much love, as ever
Nicola and David 
D+N Finch 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Wooden Wedding Ring for Tim

It was Spring.  The birds were just returning to the meadow. . .

Working with Tim; a self described '60 year old semi-retiring medical guy', was a lovely experience. Tim was looking to replace his gold wedding band which he explained had outlived it's wear-ability years ago. He was also looking to set a good environmental example for his grand kids. Tim gave David excellent information in terms of sizing and fit, and he was drawn to Juniper heartwood.  Beyond that he gave David artistic license to create something beautiful.

Just the other day we received this lovely warm letter from Tim ~ and a photo of Tim and Ingrid's hands taken at their daughter's wedding.

"Greetings David and Nicola.

Touch Wood Rings
I commissioned a Juniper Heartwood Wedding band from you last year. After I received it in the Spring I started to wear it sparingly because we were prepping the old house to sell, then proceeding with the renovations on the retirement home we moved to. With all that work, I didn't want to risk it harm. I now have the opportunity wear it out to community and events and at Church. The two of us are well worn and inseparable now.

Touch Wood Rings
I'm always delighted to wear it (a perfect fit) and Ingrid is joyed with it too. It is truly a work of art, unique in composition, and announces it's presence in a way that jewelry never can. It's subtle, and reflects light with a warmth that only finely polished wood can. The grain flow and contrast suits my heartwood. So a truly grand and sincere thank you for your composition David.  Kindest regards, Tim."

 Touch Wood Rings

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mohamed and Samantha and their Gibraltar wedding

Samantha and I began our communications in January of this year. 
In an early email, Samantha sent us a photo from in front of the mosque where she and Mohamed had their religious ceremony last year. They were planning their civil ceremony for this summer in Gibraltar and contacted us about commissioning rings for the occasion.
Samantha was so wonderful to correspond and work with; she's the kind of person I'd hire in a heartbeat :) and someone I'd love to have as a friend and neighbour.
Once she and Mohamed worked out their designs, David went to work creating their rings.
When we sent them the photographs of their completed rings, Samantha wrote:

Hi Nicola and David,
Just when we thought we couldn't be any more blown away by your work.. These rings look absolutely stunning - just beautiful. Thank you so much for all you do, and all you've done for us.
Of course we can't wait to get our hands on the rings and see them up close! Based on the photos, they really do exceed our expectations. I can't find words!!
Thank you again. We will let you know when they arrive. I also have to compliment your photography skills! I'm consistently impressed by the two of you.   Take care, Samantha (and Mohamed) 
A couple of weeks ago, we received this lovely email and these beautiful photographs of the happy couple wearing their Touch Wood Rings.

Hi Nicola,
I've been meaning to send you a note for some time now. Mohamed and I could not be more in love with our rings. They are simply gorgeous, feel good to wear, and we get compliments every day! I attached a few photos with a close up of our rings from our wedding day in Gibraltar in case you'd like to see. I hope you and David are well and staying warm up there. I bet the fall colors are quite lovely by you.
Thank you again for making us such beautiful rings!
Samantha (and Mohamed)

David and I wish you both a long and healthy lifetime of happiness together ~ and in the words of Audrey Hepburn, remember; 

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” 

You'll also find Mohamed and Samantha's pics on our Touch Wood Rings Facebook page.

Thanks again to you both and bouquets of love!!