A Tale of Two Renewal Bands
Since I started Sparkling Creations Jewelry almost three years ago, I have had the privilege of designing jewelry pieces for several weddings. Creating customized jewelry has always been my favorite part of making jewelry, as I am able to tailor the piece to my customer’s specific needs. Therefore, a few months ago, I eagerly accepted the request of a madly in love couple, at my church. They wanted me to produce a special set of ring bands for their ceremony.
Slight twist though, instead of a future bride and groom, this particular couple had been married for almost twenty-five years! Thomas and Rebecca wanted to hold a full out renewal ceremony for their twenty fifth wedding anniversary. It was particular touching especially since Thomas and Rebecca had not been Christians, when they first married back in 1988. So, they wanted to rededicate themselves to each other and to the Lord as they now understood the spiritual differences deeply embedded in the role of marriage in the lives of Christians.
I did not have to start from scratch either, because Rebecca immediately showed me a picture of a band they wanted me to replicate. That particular ring had three wire pieces elegantly braided together, each one a different type of metal. Besides being very pretty, this pattern held a deeper significance for Thomas and Rebecca, as they had chosen Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 as their Bible verses for the renewal ceremony.
It reads as follows: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
To be honest, the creation process for the renewal bands had a rather rocky start. First of all, the ring in the picture had been soldered (fused together using a small firing torch). Since a basic torch cost at least $200 and probably with my luck, I would burn something besides the bands, I decided to wrap the wires together at the bottom of the band. Easier said than done.
Fortunately I had the insight of using practice copper wire before creating the final bands, rather than more expensive wire like silver. Very soon, my kitchen table looked like a display of a kindergarten class wire sculptures. I had SO much trouble getting the braids to be even and wrapping the wire around the bottom of the bands tended to warp the shape of them. Frustration soon set in.
However, I decided to consult the 21st century solution to all problems-Google. I quickly found an easy suitable pattern on www.Wigjig.com for a braided wire ring. I used a jig (a board with pegs in it in which a person can manipulate wire around to make specific designs) to stabilize the three wire strands, which greatly assisted to allowing the braids to be much more even. I then switched to making the final product using gold filled, argentium silver and artistic copper wire.
It only took a few tries and I completed the renewal bands successfully. Here’s a picture of them:
Last Saturday, November 9th, I had the privilege of attending Thomas and Rebecca’s renewal ceremony in Singer Glenn (about twenty minutes north of Harrisonburg) About eighty other friends and family members watched eagerly as they renewed their vows in front of us and more importantly God. It was a very beautiful ceremony complete with worship songs and a touching moment at the end where Rebecca and Thomas braided three cords together as our pastor read the Ecclesiastes 4:12 passage. Several friends at the reception also gave testimonies on what God did in their lives and how it impacted their marriage. It was a wonderful day and I feel very honored that Thomas and Rebecca asked me to contribute to it through the creation of their renewal bands.