Thursday, December 17, 2015

An Australian engagement

Back in late May / early June, we began a conversation with a lovely young man from Australia. Chun was looking to design a very special ring for his beloved; Anna.
At that point, they were both PhD students and Chun wanted to incorporate their research projects into Anna's ring. 

As Chun explained, Anna's project studies the contaminants of urban billabongs (oxbow lake) which involved a lot of sediment core samples.  Chun's PhD project was investigating the use of special polymers to produce hydrogen for renewable energy.  One aspect of his work was making films on clear glass microscope slides.   After a bit of conversation back and forth, Chun packaged up and mailed a glass slide from his own PhD work and a little chunk of basalt from Anna's research work. 

Through no fault of our own; mine or Chun's ... it was a long, long wait till the package finally arrived at the post office in Williams Lake. Chun mailed his inlay material on the 15th of July. On the 13th of August we still hadn't received the package but got the happy news that Chun had just submitted his thesis!  That was cause for celebration on the home front!

To this day neither I nor Chun have any idea where his package disappeared to for those 6 weeks.  We were both trying to chase it down  and were reaching the point of giving up on it ~ then lo and behold. . . There it was, safely delivered to our post box on September 1st.  Yah!  Still in time for David to complete the work on Anna's ring for Chun's planned proposal in November.
Chun chose Australian Blackwood as the primary wood.  It's a beautiful rich dark wood that rivals Hawaiian Koa for beauty and depth of grain.  His research slide and Anna's basalt made up the center inlay with a full moon inlay of mother of pearl.  The center inlay is bordered by bright maple.

Anna said yes!! :)  Was there ever any doubt?!!
Chun and Anna were kind enough to share some of their happy post engagement pics with us too.

I especially love this photo of Anna, her cup of tea, the view and her ring.
Chun and Anna are currently visiting Japan and Anna's family there.
This photo is showing off Anna's ring against the beautiful fall colours in Japan right now.

It's such a lovely thing to be in touch with our wood ring friends over a period of time. By now we feel that Chun and Anna are old friends and we wish them tremendous happiness in the days and years ahead.
Our sincere thanks to Chun for contacting us so many months ago and for working with us on this special ring for his beloved. It has been very much our pleasure!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Edwin's Oak

Alexandra commissioned an Oak wood ring for Edwin. He was in on it :)
Edwin and Alex live near Yosemite National Park. Edwin was born and raised in the Sierra Nevada foothills and always had an attachment to the oak trees, and oak wood.
This is the ring David created for Edwin. It is solid Oak with a very slight taper and a featured natural knot.

Not too long ago we received this email from Edwin. He wrote, "It occurs to me this evening that I never e-mailed to inform you that I received my ring....apologies. IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!! I am very impressed with David's work and grateful to have this piece of art for my wedding ring. Thank you both so much. With great appreciation and admiration, Edwin"
I see the knots in Edwin's ring as a perfect metaphor for a marriage ~ two flowering branches of a majestic oak.

Did you know ... that Oak trees have male flowers on one part of their branch, and female flowers on another part of the same branch. Most Oaks reach maturity and begin flowering at about 20 years old and are at their peak between about 50 and 80 years of age.  

Friday, October 30, 2015


David and I are so thankful for each and every person who comes to us wanting to create a ring for their beloved, or rings for each other for a wedding or anniversary celebration.  It just doesn't get any better than this...

Nicola and David
We send our love and unparalleled gratitude to you.  I proposed at the top of our mountain and like I had hoped, she absolutely adored the ring that David so finely crafted!     I have had the opportunity to bring Marcie up to speed with the story behind how the ring was created just for her, and she enjoyed that just as much!  

We have been on Cloud 9 since our engagement! Both you and David are truly wonderful people and your hearts shine through the work that you do.  I am so unbelievably grateful with getting to know you; the memory of the process and your warm thoughtfulness will always stay in our hearts. 
Perhaps one day if we find ourselves planning a trip to Canada, we can stop in to say hello!  But until then we would like to leave you with this special moment in our lives that was made possible thanks to you two. With love, Marcie and Travis

You have warmed our hearts with your kindness and generous praise.  It has been absolutely lovely working with you Travis, and we are so delighted that Marcie is finally ‘in on it’ and that you two are happily engaged.   Bright blessings and thank you both so much!

Monday, September 28, 2015

From a Cedar Log at Whiskey Gulch

In January of this year Peder contacted us saying he would be interested in designing a ring to be made out of a piece of cedar from a full size cedar log that had washed ashore on his family's water front property at Whiskey Gulch near Homer, Alaska.  Peder’s family has owned the land for a long time and decided to never build on it.  Jessica and Peder spend summers there camping and enjoying the beauty!!

Knowing that we like to have a photograph of the folks we're working with, Peder sent a lovely pic of himself and Jessica noting that she's the pretty girl on the left, he's the bearded fellow on the right. : ) 
David and Peder had some back and forthing about how best to cut wood from the log so it that would be workable and beautiful for Jessica's ring.  
After making its journey from Anchorage to William's Lake, in May, David proceeded to craft that chunk of precious log into an inlay with a featured knot on Birch wood. 
 David's initial cuts into Peder's wood showed up some nice workable knots.  
 skipping ahead a bit, here's a pic of Jessica's ring as a work in progress
 and her finished ring .... 
Earlier this month, Peder writes:
I finally gave Jessica the ring and she absolutely loved it! She was totally surprised and completely blown away by the ring, what it was, where it came from, 
the craftsmanship, etc."
And just the other day, this lovely email from Jessica arrived.
"I wanted to reach out and thank you both for helping Peder Reiland create my engagement/wedding ring. It is a perfect reflection of our love and life together. I have attached some photos from the special moment.  Thank you again for helping to create something that means so much."
Thanks so much Peder and Jessica.
David and I wish you both continued happiness and clear, bright Alaskan skies.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Raphi and Erin's Wedding Day at Two Pony Gardens

It's almost exactly a year since we began our conversation with Erin and Raphi.  At the time, Raphi was teaching in St. Petersburg, Russia while Erin was back and forth between visits to Russia and life at home in the US.  It's been a busy year for these two :)   Travelling, working  overseas, planning their wedding, packing up their home and moving across the country ... and now : ) settling in to their new home and Raphi's new teaching position in San Diego.
David and I so enjoyed working with Erin and Raphi. Kind, gentle souls and they are pretty cool too :) They biked 30 miles to their wedding location the day of the ceremony!! I just love that!!!  What a way to go.

We received an email from the newlyweds just recently and they have kindly allowed us to share it along with these lovely photos of their wedding celebration. The photos were taken by Mackenzie Orth, their photographer.  There are hundreds of beautiful photos to choose from ~ I'd like to post them all.  David and I feel so honoured to be invited in to wander through their day in photographs and share in so many beautiful moments ...

From Erin and Raphi  We can't thank you enough for the gorgeous rings that you crafted for us! They are absolutely magical and are so special in their representation of us as individuals and a couple. We had a friend of ours talk about our rings and their design during our ceremony - they have been a conversation topic ever since.
We had our celebration at Two Pony Gardens - a pizza farm just outside of the Twin Cities. There was a dahlia garden, an outdoor pizza oven with freshly-made pizzas, an upbeat Ukrainian band, and most of all our beloved friends and family. The weather was perfect. That morning Raphi and I biked the 30 miles to the farm together, worked with friends and family to get everything set up, took a horse-drawn carriage ride through the woods together, had a wonderful celebration of our love with pizza and dancing, and spent the night in a yurt in the woods. It was magic.  I wanted to send you some photos from our wedding - our lovely photographer Mackenzie Orth did a great job of capturing our special day and celebration.
It was such a pleasure to work with you on designing our rings. Thanks again for being a part of our special day - the part that will stay with us for years to come! Erin and Raphi

Hawaiian Koa, with spiraled Birch and Andean Opal inlays
We are so happy for you both!  Sending dearest love and warmest wishes for your happiness ~ and our sincere thanks for coming to us to help you create your wedding rings.  What a pleasure it's been!  Much love, as ever, Nicola and David.

Friday, July 31, 2015

A wedding on the Scottish Dunes

 Erica and Peter

 Happily Married

In the spring of 2013 Peter designed and commissioned his engagement ring for Erica
She said yes.  You'll find our post about their engagement here.

We were so pleased when Peter wrote again to invite us to work 
with them on their wedding bands.

 ~ Their Touch Wood Rings ~
 Erica's Engagement ring 
and their wedding bands
They were married this June, in Scotland about 5 miles from their home, in the sand dunes.
Our dearest love to you both!
We are so happy for you!

Special thanks to Grahame Smith, Peter and Erica's wedding photographer.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rocks and rings and puppies, oh my!

They've promised to share some wedding pics after their celebration in August :) but for now, here's a relaxed and happy pic of Kim and Sarah on their anniversary this past November...  (Update below)
We began our conversation in October 2014.  These two women were so much fun to work with. They sent us photos of their three sweet pups as each holiday came around.

This first pup pic was their Christmas card ~ do they have fun with their dogs or what?! 

Sarah and Kim sent us stones from the place where they got engaged and also the place where they will be married. They chose dark Hawaiian Koa and Juniper heartwood as their woods.

We always send a series of work in progress pics but when we sent them the photos of their completed rings this is the email we got back!  :) 

"Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!!  We are both so amazed by these beautiful rings that we don't even know what to say!
We opened the email and were shocked that the rings were already done. They look like they would take months to complete. How does David do it??
We then had to click a "load pictures" link to get the images to display. It felt like it took about a year for the pictures to load! We held hands and waited... Anxious and nervous for what we were about to see. And once the rings came into view, we both shouted with glee!

The rings are incredible! Never in a million years could we have imagined that they would be so perfect!
The most amazing part is probably the inlay. We realized somewhere along the way that we had set a monumental task in front of David. We sent a ton of stones, not knowing how they would blend, whether or not they would compliment one another, and what final color they might make. We also gave David very little guidance regarding what we wanted the final "color" to be (since we really didn't know). We simply trusted his artistry and that was a great decision! Despite the enormity of the task, he hit a grand slam!
The color of the inlay is perfect! It's so beautiful! It almost has the look of marble.. A gorgeous, cohesive color, but with a ton of character and personality, especially when you take a closer look.

The woods are gorgeous. The inscription is perfect. We cannot thank you both enough!! We have already sent the photos to the select few that will be attending our big day, and they agree that the rings are gorgeous!
We will be anxiously awaiting their arrival and will definitely let you know once they have made their way to Ohio.
Thank you both so much!
Kim and Sarah and Pups"

And then their rings arrived in the mail :)

"They are spectacular! We absolutely love them! We are already showing them off to all of our friends (who all agree that they are perfect)! We are so excited!  We can't wait til August, for the rings to finally be on our fingers. We absolutely adore our rings and we have been so happy with the entire process!  Again, thank you both so so much! We are so glad that our search for unique, special rings lead us to you two. I honestly can't think of a pair of rings (or a pair of people) that would have fit this occasion any better."

and last but not least ... a pic of Caesar wearing his birthday party hat...  
Soon ... we'll update this post with some photos from Kim and Sarah's wedding celebration.  I'm betting their fur babies will be in some of the pics :)  Much love to you both and your pups ~ we'll be with you in spirit on August 14th! XO

 Brutus, Cali and Caesar on the 4th of July :)

Update:  August 24th, 2015
"It was amazing!!!!!  Best day of our lives!!  The weather was beautiful, the ceremony was perfect, and the moment was incredible!

We had such a great time celebrating with each other, the pups, and our closest friends.  It was perfect!  The entire ceremony was very personal and intimate, and exchanging beautiful rings that echoed those same sentiments was truly wonderful.  We are so happy!
Thank you again for everything!  Our day was truly remarkable, and our beautiful rings, as well as the love and care that went into them, helped make our day even more special!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
 Kim, Sarah, pups"

Wish we could have been there ~ but your photos make us feel as though we were!
and we were with you in spirit. :)
Much love and happiness to you both Sarah and Kim
and your delightful pups.
as ever, Nicola and David