Handfasting was practiced in Northern Europe
as a primary stage to marriage
still practiced into modern times.
“Handfasting” is derived from the verb
used for making a contract of marriage.
The couple is promised for “a year and a day”
as they hand-festa
(Norse:” to strike a bargain by joining hands”).
The rite varies between practitioners
but usually incorporates the participants
to bind their hands together with ribbon or chord;
a physical extension of promises made and kept.
Using a design of two strands creating a combined knot
stronger than the sum of it’s parts.
The bracelets are to be put on during the ceremony
and worn for the “year and a day”;
then cherished as a keepsake when the marriage is preformed.
Many have chosen the bracelets for handfasting
and the rings for the marriage.
The Handfasting Rings
hold the same knot work design
for those people that find the bracelet too cumbersome.
Lovers Knot Ring
I have made another version of the Lovers Knot,
giving it a more “Celtic” feel:
weaving the knot work in to a more intricate design.
Celtic Lovers Knot Ring
If you are looking for a custom piece to be created for you,
I can design a knot work for your Wedding
or Handfasting that would be a “two of a kind” set.
Other Rings may be seen at the
created and developed
by Kirk McLaren
of Amulets by Merlin
I truly enjoy creating wedding rings. Once folks realize that I can make what they want, the images begin to fly: combinations of animals, geometric designs, people and even small scenes. Many people have a design and developed perfect renderings of exactly what they want. Sometimes I take rough sketches of what they have and render them into something they enjoy, then hand carve the rings the couple designed themselves: each a one of a kind.
A couple of the Druid Faith wanted special rings reflecting their lives and where they wanted to go from there. Knowing Gold is not considered a metal associated with the Religion, they chose it because of what it meant to each other in a more personal way.
Her ring is a classic Celtic weave and the circle of life set in it’s tendrils. Each knot develops a weave which is definite and precise, yet has the fragility of fibers For Him I created a knot similar to hers; additionally I carved an Oak tree with the Moon breaking over it’s crown; the branches and roots extend into the surrounding design, bringing the knots to life. The Tree cast in yellow gold and set into white gold knot work.
The Druid Wedding Rings are for very active people who work with their hands. Thus the rings are heavy with bold design, textures which will hold up for many years and strong shanks for daily wear. If you wish to have wedding rings made to fit your personalities, please see my How to order Custom page.
An important step in planning One’s wedding is getting the right ring. The majority of rings available are mass produced or look that way: “fine jewelry” is considered “classic” in the jewelry industry. A very simple design: a basic shank with a stone on top. If you look, you will find a few variations on the theme, perhaps a little scroll work is added to the head (that which holds the stone in place); but when looking for something unique, it really is difficult to find a ring that is a one-of-a-kind piece unless you have someone make it for you “custom”. Even then when presented with options, a jeweler is procuring a shank, head and stone from a catalog and assembling it for you.
I was asked to create a custom ring for a Bride, however she wanted something both unique and simple in design. Quite a challenge because of the vast number of designs out there. After much discussion, renderings were created and rejected, until finally the lady decided on a concept: a very simple wave cresting over the finger: minimalist, no fancy head, no prongs. She wanted it to look like the surf had caught a stone in it crest.
The design was approved and I then carved the piece making the setting a combination of channel and bezel. The white gold architecture is minimal allowing the amethyst to be seen easily in full view in parts, buried in the gold in others as a wave would crash around the stone.
The Custom Wave Wedding Ring was created for the Bride without a mold taken; a one-of-a-kind piece for a one-of-a-kind Lady. I heard from her husband who says she is willing to present her finger at a moment’s notice, often showing him, saying “have you seen my ring?”
If you would like a custom, one-of-a-kind wedding ring, please visit my how to order custom page.
A variation on a theme: the Lover’s Knot. For centuries, this has been used in rigging by sailors, the merging of two ropes extending the use of one by merging it with the other: a knot that makes the bond stronger. In the Traditional Lover’s Knot Ring, I developed the design as a promise ring, hand fasting or wedding ring. I have used the same knotwork pattern in the creation of the Handfasting Bracelet.
Some have decided they like the idea yet wanted something a little different, so I designed the knot to be more “Celtic”, using the traditional knot work approach illustrated in the book of Kells. The weaving “in and out” says the same thing: two become one, their strength is greater than the sum of it’s parts; a metaphor describing how a couple’s commitment may strengthen each others’ lives. This Celtic version of the Lover’s Knot is woven “in and out” providing a more dense look to the design. By following the strands that wrap around the band you can see that the “two (chords) are one”. This design has been used to symbolize the “wedding knot” for centuries and used in “handfasting”: a promise to be true “for a year and a day”.
If you would like to have this ring made for you, don’t worry about sizes, each is made as they are ordered to allow for the right size and the possibility of inscriptions to be made on the inside of the band. Simply go to my web page featuring the Celtic Lover’s Knot Ring.
More often than not,
folks who want wedding rings want something special,
something that would be uniquely their own.
When a couple contacted me a bit ago,
they were looking for someone who could create rings they designed themselves.
Stag and Doe Wedding Rings
After approaching the larger companies and corporate jewelry stores,
they found the “custom” typically means “choose a shank,
setting and stone” from a catalog.
They were refereed to me by a good friend for whom I had created several pieces in the past.
After I received sketches over the internet with detailed telephone conversation and emails
I began the rendering process: developed their sketches into several versions
until we struck on a combination between what they wanted and what was physically possible.
The goal was to create a pair of rings of a stag and doe facing each other
with a diamond between them.
Because they wanted something that would last a long time,
they decided on an “etched” look rather than an embossed. The “etched” images of the deer
cut into the shank of the ring,
thus preserving the images of the deer over time.
The heavy banding of gold raised over the deer and stone setting
to protect the surface and stetting damage of direct blows to the ring.
The over all feel was to be medieval, strong and enduring.
The shanks were to be heavy and in sterling silver with a touch of gold.
Being as they were to be on the finger of someone who is allergic to gold
yet have the gold incorporated in the design,
the gold banding is raised off the finger.
The sketches were to be “as close to the sketches as possible” and still look recognizable as deer.
Stag and Doe rings
After the design was approved,
I carved the rings by hand and cast the main shanks in sterling.
Gold banding was cast separately for the man’s ring while the woman’s ring was adorned with gold wire.
The settings are of white gold.
All assembled with diamonds and blue zircons.
They are now happily married with their new rings they designed themselves,
created by hand from start to finish.
The progress of the ring’s creation is illustrated in my Gallery Page for the rings and may be found here.
If you are interested in wedding rings made just for you,
please visit my “How to order custom” page.