Lark Jewelry & Beading in late February 2011; back row, left to right: Kathy, Carol, and Abby; front row, Marthe, Ray, and Nathalie

Last Monday we took our team photo, which we do now and again. We all agreed to wear stylish accessories for it. For my teammates on Lark Jewelry & Beading that meant wearing mostly metal or beaded jewelry, naturally. For me, that meant wearing a favorite tie and my wedding ring.

Which brings up some issues for me. (Blog posts can be therapeutic, after all.)

Lark Jewelry & Beading team members have a remarkable collection of jewelry from author-designers. Nathalie Mornu wears stunning earrings gifted from Maggie Meister and Laura McCabe, for example, and Marthe Le Van just received a breathtaking necklace from Talya Baharal, juror for 500 Silver Jewelry Designs, a book almost as exquisite as the piece.

But somehow our authors never quite picture me in jeweled accessories. I voice my jealousy to my teammates more often than you’d likely guess, if for some reason you regard me as the least bit courteous and measured. “Time for a book about tie pins and cufflinks!” I grumble.

Still, my core jewelry fashion statement every day, like many men, is my wedding ring. On my right hand I also sometimes wear the spinner rings my wife, Loree, and I exchanged during a challenging period three years ago and a beautiful (oops, I mean manly) ring made by Terry Taylor, a former Lark artist and editor.

I married Loree in winter 1998. We went to a downtown Bellingham, Washington, jewelry store — GB Heron Fine Jewelry — to pick out Loree’s gorgeous ring of gold, platinum, and diamonds.

Bear Ring by Lloyd Wadhams Jr.

For my wedding band, we commissioned Lloyd Wadhams Jr., a British Columbia First Peoples artist of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwagiulth) Nation. I’d seen his work at Hill’s Native Art, a shop right near the steam clock in Vancouver’s Gastown in British Columbia. Wadhams comes from a family of master carvers, and he carves contemporary interpretations of traditional native designs into his gold and silver jewelry.

We commissioned a piece featuring a raven, moon, and eagle. Loree is native (Cree-Blackfoot) and raven clan. Hemachandra means golden moon. And the eagle is deeply spiritual to most Pacific Northwest natives and to Loree’s family. The ring, a gold band with the carvings resting atop a sterling-silver band, looks much like the one by Wadhams pictured to the right, which is among his jewelry available at the Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery in Vancouver.

I adore this ring, which over the years has endured my 40-pound weight gain and 60-pound weight loss. First it had to be stretched — hard to do with a ring of carved images — and then it started flying off my hand (and was even missing for a period of a few months). I’ve put 8 or so pounds back on now, and it nestles snugly on my ring finger once more.

Ray with his bird by Shane Fero

One more thing, to loop back to the start of this post: I worked on many books outside of jewelry and beading before becoming team lead for this wonderful group of people, and I do have one piece of artwork gifted by an author in a different category.

I cherish it, and to be fair, others here frequently voice jealousy about it: a bird made by the magnificent Shane Fero for his magnificent chapter in the magnificent The Penland Book of Glass. (You might guess that I like the book.) I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Shane’s studio in Penland, North Carolina, a couple of times now; see Beth Sweet’s video of Shane at work here.

The bird perches near my desk, visible to me always.


17 Responses

    Meaghan Finnerty says:

    great post, ray! and love the group shot — I miss you guys!

      It’s spooky how clever some ppl are. Thanks!

      Ah, on se croirait dans une oasis. je garde toujours précuesement les idées de desserts aux fruits, vu que je ne fais jamais e patisserie.Pour Débo, Massis Bleue, c’est L’Epicerie arménienne de Paris.

      Fajnie wyglądasz, wolę Cię w takich "spokojniejszych" zestawieniach ;). Miłego pobytu w Londynie, mam nadzieję, że posty będą się często pojawiać.

      http://www./ says:

      on I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks!

      http://www./ says:

      really. and what race inspired the music they’re playing here. I mean, at about 5:20 George even references Marvin Gaye and the Motown movement as his favourite stuff. I don’t like you.

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      I wanted to say this blog is almost amazing. I always like to hear something new about this because I have the similar blog in my Country on this subject so this help´s me a lot. I did a search on the matter and found a good number of blogs but nothing like this.Thanks for writing so much in your blog.

    artist_w_a_good_i says:

    I love all of the tags that I can click on and immediately see more wonderful art makers. It totally inspires me!

    SewLindaann says:

    I’m not a jewelery person, and usually skip over the posts having to do with anything pertaining to beads, etc. I was inclined to read this one because the title was interesting, and was happy I did. It was a good post, I enjoyed it.

    Anonymous says:

    Great to meet you Ray – I feel like we just sat down at a cocktail party and had a chat…thanks! …why is there no 500 book of “men’s furnishings” (how old school in that term).

    Oh – I agree love the new photo.

    Woolensails says:

    That is a beautiful ring, what a unique idea for a wedding ring.


    Karen B says:

    What a beautiful post, Ray. And a gorgeous, gorgeous ring.
    C’mon crafters: make him some cuff links!

    So great to see a photo of everyone, too. Now I finally can put faces to the names.

    ... says:

    such a wonderful post on many levels. thanks!

    Cassie Moore says:


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