Creating a Custom Ring

by erin miller

Isaac first met with us at our studio on 18th street. Late September, the weather had yet to turn cold but the morning air was just beginning to be crisp. Our studio was filled with mid-morning light and Isaac sat before us, trying to piece together what his dream ring would be. He was clearly someone who had good taste in jewelry–his hands glittered with gold rings on every other finger. These metals were beautiful, but he was here with us because he was looking for something different. 

He told us that he had wanted a set of rings for himself and his girlfriend, Stephanie, and that he had come to us because although he had all these shiny metal rings, he’d been wanting to shake things up a bit. Our materials offered something to him that is often inaccessible through other rings: total freedom with customization, the ability to provide his own materials, and the means to do this without breaking the bank. We talked for about 30 minutes, me with a blue notebook taking notes on ring size, dimensions, and attributes, and Gus beside me sketching the skeleton of a ring that he would later flesh out with the information provided to us by Isaac. During this conversation, we sized Isaac’s fingers using the ring sizer at our shop to be as accurate as possible. We can ascertain ring size in two ways: first, by sizing and actual finger. If that’s not an option, we can size the ring of someone who the ring is being purchased for. As we talked, everyone began to come to life, enthusiastic with the possibilities of what we could do with these rings. 

“Would it be okay if I brought you guys some wood?” Isaac asked. Of course it would be okay! The prospect of having wood to work with that was meaningful to Isaac and Stephanie meant that this ring would be more than just symbolic of their relationship, it would also be something that contained a physical connection to their relationship. It would make more tangible the intangible feeling of their love. With customer provided wood, there are sometimes limits with how much we can do with them. Some woods are very workable; shaved down with ease to an attenuated layer, strong when wrapped around in spite of its thin diameter. Perfectly sturdy to withstand the demands of a daily wear ring. Other woods, however, are not as formidable, but that’s not as big a problem as one might think. With woods that are less inclined towards taking the necessary circular form, we simply include them as an inlay, or we reinforce them with a band of a strong wood like Rosewood or Maple beneath that surface wood. So long as a material is desired in a ring, we can always find a way to incorporate it! 

Isaac returned later that week with a massive tree branch. “I wasn’t sure how much you would need,” he said. He told us that the branch was from a tree by Lake Michigan that he and Stephanie would often meet up under. They affectionately referred to this as, “our tree.” After a few days of pretty impressive storms, this limb had come down from the tree and now was safely in our arms. The wood was sturdy, a very soft, light brown. We decided to pair this provided wood with our Rosewood–a deep, rich, red wood–because it would offer a beautiful contrast between the two colors. It was imperative to us to make these rings undeniably and recognizably a matching set without making two of the exact same rings. To accomplish this, we made one ring with a Rosewood base with an off center inlay of the provided wood, and another band that was the inverse of this (provided wood base with an inlay of Rosewood). Isaac’s ring features a soft flat profile, which is essentially a smooth and continuous band that does not expand in width along the horizontal axis. For Stephanie, her ring had a rounded profile, meaning that her ring appears to be more circular, creating a convex slope throughout the horizontal axis. 

After we had this initial meeting with Isaac, and upon receiving the branch of the tree from which we harvested wood, the production on the rings began. This process typically takes anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. As an added bonus, Gus decided that he wanted to construct something to make the presentation of the rings particularly special. From the branch of the tree, he cut a section out and then cut that section in half. On the inside of one of the halves, he bored two holes into the limb, creating the perfect holding spot for two rings. Finished off with some bright red circular pieces of foam, the rings were officially finished and ready to find their homes with Isaac and Stephanie. 

Commissioning a custom ring from us is incredibly easy, as outlined above. If you are interested in setting up an appointment with us to talk about a custom ring for you or a loved one, feel free to reach out! You can email us at gus@gustavreyes.com, or fill out our “contact us” form on our website. 

BACK TO TOP