When the love of my life and I decided to get engaged, we went on an extensive search for the perfect wedding ring. What my bride to be didn’t know was that I wanted to learn what shapes, colors and designs she liked best so I could design “the perfect ring” myself.
Sometimes, she would put on a ring and take it off immediately other times she would say, “…that’s kind of nice” and then finally, at what seemed an eternity, she said, “Wow.”. That’s when we stopped looking and I started designing a ring that incorporated all of the things that she liked in individual pieces.
When the design was completed, it required 32 Marquis cut diamonds. Try as I might to find perfect stones, I could not get 32 that matched in size, color and clarity. A bit of research found a diamond cutter in Brussels and off I went to have him cut 32 Marquis diamonds in the exact size, color and clarity that I wanted. Then, I found a wonderful jeweler, outside San Francisco, who my gut told me was the right person to build this ring. The ring itself is an open design with white gold and yellow gold interwoven and diamonds all the way around. After a wax was prepared, it was shipped to me for approval. Shipped because I live in Atlanta. We tweaked the ring just a bit and I saw a final casting before the ring was completed; when it was, it was simply spectacular.
Perhaps you can see, I have been called a hopeless romantic (more than once) who enjoys giving gifts. That is how I express my love.
Of course, the entire design, acquisition and building of this ring was unknown to my bride-to-be. When it was finished, over a romantic dinner, I showed it to her for the first time. Much to my chagrin, she looked at it and said, “It’s a beautiful ring but when would I wear it? I am a ceramic artist whose hands are in clay all day.”
To her our earlier search was simply a fun exercise while to me it was much more serious. My beloved had told me long ago that she didn’t really like diamonds. I took it upon myself to show her something beautiful in anticipation that she would change her mind. While I heard her words, I did not listen. That was several years ago. To this day, that ring sits in a safe and sadly we did not marry.
Not to be dissuaded, the one thing my fiancée complained about the most was the studio in which she worked. It was a warehouse with no heat or air conditioning and no windows. During the four months out of the year where one can be perfectly comfortable with windows and doors wide open in Atlanta, she would work feverishly while the rest of the year she either was much too hot or far too cold.
This time, when I suggested that I build her the studio of her dreams, I listened carefully as she told me what would make that studio ideal. I then added a few touches of my own, like floor to ceiling windows, a 20 foot cathedral ceiling, and, of course, heat and air-conditioning.
Each day for a month, I would be so excited to show her the progress. This was a 1,500 sq.ft.studio and I was the general contractor and assisted in the construction. Again to my dismay, my beloved showed no interest in the process.
When the studio was completed, she stepped inside and said, “…this is beautiful. Thank you.” With that, I then moved all of her equipment from the warehouse into the new studio where she quickly unpacked everything and organized the space.
She received my gift and my passion in the love language of giving.
Written by Barry