We ended up having about 18 months to plan the wedding, and during most of that time, I felt the selection of men’s wedding bands was surprisingly uninspired. Erin was having her ring custom designed, and it was looking great! I was really happy to see my “basket and diamond as the crown of the Claddagh” idea working out better than I could have imagined. But for my ring, the only thing so far that fit for me was a traditional ring with a hammered surface, nothing special. During a last skim through the ring websites to see if there was anything else, I saw one particularly atrocious ring that fortunately triggered a thought: Binary!
So I started searching, and came up with a lot of interesting stuff. I rediscovered an old product that I originally remember on Make:, which I always liked, but looked like it would get dirty quickly. The more practical version of that ring is here, but that would have been WAY too many diamonds for me. I found this image, and liked the way the binary was etched into the surface, but didn’t like how overt writing out “1, 0, 1, etc.” was. Last, I saw this ring, and I liked how adjacent 1’s would merge together.
Now I had a vague plan: I decided I wanted squares that merged together, and I had quickly decided to encode the words of the Claddagh to match Erin’s ring: Love, Friendship, Loyalty. I just needed to make it a specific plan. So I fired up Maya and Photoshop and got to building. I made a ring in Maya, and worked out a square pattern in Photoshop that I liked. In Maya I brought in the square pattern as a displacement map which allowed me to try many permutations quickly.
Once I had the plan, I took it to Greg Stopka at The Jewelsmiths to have the fabrication done. Greg also did the design on Erin’s ring. In the end, I couldn’t be happier with the results.
The binary section was media-blasted with sapphire aggregate. There are actually 3 values: raised is a 1 (white below), middle is a 0 (grey below), and the lowest (black) parts surround words so that I can see where a word begins and ends, since there was a lot of 0’s amongs words and empty space blending together. I also added a fourth word because I had the room. In the pattern below, the top left word is “Love”, the top right word is “Trust”, the middle word is “Loyalty”, and the bottom word is “Friendship”