2.04.2004

Thoughts on Rings

Okay, so my girlfriend doesn't have a net connection, so I doubt she'll come across this blog before Valentines Day.

Heh. Famous last words.

Anyhow, I'm making her a ring for Valentines day. No, there is no significance to the ring, outside of it being a gift. Hear that, Mom?

Whew. Anyway, about rings.

I'm making the ring out of a hardwood scrap of wood I found in the landlord's barn. He got the wood from a coffin maker that went out of business a dozen years ago. He in turn, got the wood from Africa - I think it may be mohagany, or some such wood. It is very dry, has fine, tight grains, and holds up remarkable well to abuse. Anyhow, it has traveled a long way from home to arrive at the farm's workbench. There is a story in that, but later.

Anyhow, about rings.

I began by drilling a hole a little smaller than H's finger in a slice of the wood. Then I tried to center a hole-cutting drill around that hole (a tough proposition, I found). What is left is a rough approximation of what sort of looks like a very chunky ring.

Then it was time to sand. Sanding gives you a lot of time to think. And as the chunk of wood slowly grows slimmer and takes on a more ring like shape, you start to understand why they are so amazing.

If you have a ring on, right now, take it off and look at it for a second.

You ring is slim, very slim. So slim that, when you think about it, it is pretty amazing that the materials hold up so well. Now imagine being a smithy in the dark ages trying to make a slim ring that would stand up to time; suddenly it is easier to understand why there are so many stories about magic rings. The act of making something that small and that strong seems magical.

Upon closer investigation it becomes more and more clear why a ring is a great metaphor for love. It is a small, fragile thing, easily lost in the world. And yet, it is also very strong when supported by flesh and bone, has no beginning and no end, and has a shape well suited for warding off the bumps and bruises of the world.

Pretty neat.

So I'm finishing the sanding of the ring and soon will move on to the presentation "book." I was going to use a drimel tool to draw some scrollwork onto the face of the ring, but it turned out too small, and the drimel bit, while very small, was finally just too large.

However, in simplicity, there is beauty, and in the final analysis I am glad that things worked out the way they did: a small wooden ring, dark amber in color, sanded to a smooth finish.

Before I ask H to marry me (still a ways away), I promised myself that I would make the engagement ring. This is probably going to be a tough little project, but the success of ring ver.1 has motivated me to look into other mediums. If anyone knows anything about carving soapstone and/or the melting point of silver, give me a holler...

Writing: No. See below.
Skating: It's one of the nights each week that I get to volunteer at the skatepark! Yahoo! Old men on wheels! Death from above!
Today's Soundtrack: Old Ice-T:
"Ban the AK?
I've got ten of them stashed,
with a case of hand grenades."

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