a wedding ring for that geeky artist
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 Make: article which I always liked, but which 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 Jacob Homan’s blog, 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”