Top 6 Unconventional Wood Ring Designs
My last blog post Top 6 Favorite Wooden Rings left me feeling a bit unfulfilled. I have so many favorite wood rings that I felt compelled to write another list. This is a list comprised of the top unconventional wood wedding rings. These are the styles that are not as popular as the ones on my previous list, but they hold top ranks as some of my favorite designs. These are the wood rings that push the boundaries of my abilities as a jeweler/woodworker, and challenge traditional wedding ring fashion.
Customer Sourced Materials
While this was a bonus section in my previous blog post “Top 6 Favorite Wooden Rings”, customer sourced materials take the number one spot for the top unconventional wedding rings. I really enjoy working with materials I have never used before, and I also have pride in creating custom pieces with sentimental value. Some of my more popular designs have been military and aviation themed wedding ring, such as the famous SR-71 Blackbird with USS North Carolina Battle Teakwood, and the F/A-18 Gun Barrel Steel lined with USS North Carolina Teakwood. (For more information about Aviation and Military rings, please read my blog post "Aviation and Military Themed Rings" here.
Banksia Pod (Stabilized)
Banksia is a newer species I have added to my collection, and it certainly makes for a unique wood ring. It is a tree that grows in southwestern Australia and the seed pod of the tree is somewhat like a pinecone in size, shape, and composition. Banksia are known to have long flower spikes and jagged leaves, each spike containing tightly packed flowers. As these flowers, or heads age, the ‘flower’ dries up, darkens in color, then transforms into a large pinecone-like pod. This pod is a popular choice for ornamental woodworking due to its remarkable texture and unique appearance.
For woodworking applications, the various voids where the seeds used to reside are commonly stabilized with acrylic, which is shown in my wood rings. For my Banksia wedding rings, I have leveraged one of the foremost wood stabilizing experts in the world to create this beautiful, multi-dimensional shimmering acrylic fill. You will not find better Banksia wood rings anywhere
Dyed and/or Stabilized Wood
Stabilization is a massively underrated and important part of woodworking, especially in the world of small wood turnings. This process is an artform in itself, as only certain stock is appropriate for this expensive, complex procedure. The basic principle is to take a piece of soft wood and inject it with a resin to create a hardened, stable material. The resin displaces air pockets throughout the grain structure to create a dense wood, impervious to moisture. In my wood rings, I use the stabilization to enhance the appearance of specific grain- one of my favorites being Koa wood.
Resin Encased Wood
The resin encased wood ring was an experiment of mine in order to push the boundaries of the wedding ring and my own abilities. Utilizing an acrylic cast of woodland mosses, pine cones, and box elder burl it was a tough challenge! But the situation appeared to be “pick two”. While I love a ring with all of these components, unfortunately it will not appear in regular production and will not be available for commission.
Damascus Titanium Wood Rings
As an expansion of my collection, and the desire to push the boundaries with wood rings, the Damascus steel and titanium mokume-gane ring holds the #5 spot for an unconventional wedding ring. This material is made much like Damascus steel - layers of different grades of titanium are folded together and etched. Not with acid like steel and NOT anodized like other colored titanium or aluminum. With extreme heat. This causes the titanium to form colored oxidized layers at different rates. This coloration is much more durable (and unique) than anodized.
Damascus Steel and Wood Rings
Probably my favorite metal and wood combination for a wedding ring is damascus. It is incredibly scratch resistant and heavier, making it ideal for tougher lifestyles. Damascus is made from many layers to create a stronger, superior metal. Throughout history and fantasy, this was the preferred choice for superior weapons. The hand-wrought damascus is specifically unique because it is like fingerprints - no two are ever the same. This makes a wood ring pair specifically unique as both pieces are strictly one of a kind.
I am unreasonably excited to announce that damascus steel can now be used as an interior for wood! This has been one of the most requested styles for wood rings for awhile now, and I am thrilled to launch this wedding ring. It makes for a ridiculously attractive ring!
Bonus: Mammoth Ivory and Dinosaur Bone
While this one is too much of a cheat to add to the list of unconventional wood wedding rings, I needed to give a shout out to the mammoth ivory and dinosaur bone collection as they certainly stand out as unconventional!
The mammoth ivory featured in my rings was unearthed in Texas, where mammoths resided between 10,000 and 1 million years ago. Unlike other mammoth ivory I have used, this material is much closer to stone than horn.
Agatized Dinosaur Bone, also known as Gembone is created as the bones mineralize - as the natural bone is replaced, over a period of millions of years, with agate (chalcedony), quartz, or other minerals. The exact nature of the minerals that surround the bone, primarily determined by the region of origin, determines the color of the final product.