Friday…with a Life Band

June 26, 2015

Filed Under : Art - collaborations - Summer

image Earlier this year Jessy from Rhodes Weddings and I connected…

Jessy and her partner Perry are the founders of Rhodes Wedding Co and they produce the most unique and beautiful wedding bands…

They believe that everyone has a unique story to tell about how their love has taken them places, and that their ring should reflect that journey in each handmade mark

However…I am a divorcée and I haven’t worn any rings for quite a few years, so we came up with an idea…

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A lot of women of around my age, with a lot of life behind them, sometimes have a sudden urge to have a tattoo, or at least talk about it anyway!

A tattoo is not something I’ve ever wanted, although I quite like the idea of marking ‘middle age’ with a statement, and trying to think about what image sums up how I feel about myself and what my life is…when asked the question “What would your tattoo be?”, I’ve toyed with a red telephone box, a plant of some description, a constellation…and more recently the table!

BUT…I don’t want a tattoo!!

So, rather than a tattoo, and not intending imminently on a wedding band…how about a ‘life band’? A ring which captures something very personal and is also very precious..something which has to be looked after and cherished…

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I noticed that Perry’s wedding bands were very organic and featured wood textures, and that’s when I realised what I needed…

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They created a life band for me which included and featured the minute details of The Table; scratches, dents, holes, knots and gaps; all things which have evolved through my time with The Table…a table which has been the rock of my domestic life as a single parent, and now has proved invaluable within my work. The table is part of me, part of my life and now to see it on my finger is a nod and acceptance to everything I’ve been through over the last decade…

My Life BandI have become a different, more independent woman, post divorce, and although it was very difficult at the time I’ve been on the other side of it for quite a while now…

This ring is my marker; my reminder that life is not perfect or easy, that any marks I make, accidental or otherwise, play an important part in the make up of my life and other people’s lives…I have to keep growing but also acknowledge who I am, and that is often not easy!

When I was at school our motto was ‘Esse quam videri’ which is a Latin phrase meaning “To be, rather than to seem (to be)”…this has always stuck with me; the importance of being who you actually are, and not trying to appear to be something or someone else, so as well as the amazingly delicate work on the outside of my ring, hidden on the inside are the words “Just as I am”.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of my history of The Table,  significant objects in other people’s lives and a chat with Jessy and Perry themselves.

On each post I’ll be creating some different table compositions which feature my life band…a new friend which moves me every time I glimpse it on my finger…

I wanted to start the project off with a look at trees themselves…after all, The Table was once a tree, and although I’m not sure what sort of tree it was, it’s incredible to think that over 100 years ago it had leaves!

imageimage I went for a walk in a local park which has a lot of trees, and I was sort of on a quest for an oak tree…
image image image image Although I know I love trees, actually going on a walk in the rain to study them was amazing…I’ve often heard of a tulip tree, but for the first time in my life I saw one in full bloom and was blown away by it’s beauty…image Also, amongst all these big trees was a small hazel tree with a slightly hidden plaque…image It was very moving; In loving memory of a 14 year old girl with the words “I’m who I am”…

The synchronicity of this sentiment about self, and it also being connected to a tree, felt strangely life affirming…image

I wanted to look at and capture the textures of the trees…imagining each trunk which holds so much strength and growth as well as life scars, immortalised into a ring…image image image image image imageI suddenly became awed by the enormity of trees in our existence…even gateways were once treesimage…and then I found an oak…well, a sapling, held up and supported by a wooden stake, and I couldn’t quite decide which I loved more; the youth or it’s old support…image…and then there it was behind me; the sturdiest and strongest trunk in the whole place…I had found my oak…imageimage

I collected a few windfalls from the walk as well as some grasses, so that I could work on a composition inspired by the morning…image

image image image image image image image image imageJessy and Perry had also sent me 2 of their wedding bands for men to work with if I wanted to, so I worked with all 3, although you can probably spot the matching scratches on the table itself and on my ring…

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And please have a look at Jessy and Perry’s life band page on their site here, as you can order your own Life Band designed to celebrate your personal memories, hopes and who you are…but more ideas and thoughts on that next week !

You can see the Steller Story version of this post here