One of Walker Goldsmiths customers from a while back came to see us about a Custom Engagement Ring for his Sweetheart. Nate had bought a bracelet for his sweetheart from Owen Walker a year ago, so this young man was no stranger to us. He had been trying to get out to see us, but his current employment as an Engineer on a Fish Buyer boat had been keeping him extremely busy. There’s always a huge amount of work to be done on the boats before heading north for the fishing season. The Buyer boat that Nate is the Engineer for is owned by a good friend of ours, Mark Mackiewics, in fact, our son also worked for him in his younger years and had wonderful experiences working for “Mac” on his previous boat, the DANCER on the Alaska coast. The Buyer boat that Nate is on now is Mac’s newest boat, the STEELHEAD.
The Salmon Industry on the Pacific NW Coast, in this case Alaska, is time sensitive with the schools of fish coming in to the spawning rivers and then the catch season has legal time issues for fishing. It’s all a quirky balance of luck, expertise and preparation. The fishermen catch nets full of Salmon (hopefully!) on the sea and the Buyer boats come to them to get the fish and transport them to the cannery and market buyers so the fishermen can continue to fish when the season is on. It’s about saving them valuable time because the season is so limited. The folks in this industry are often gone from their families for the whole season living on the boats.
Nate was trying not to be nervous as he told us about his Sweetheart, Lindsie, and his time issues. The Buyer boat had to be ready and out of the harbor here in Bellingham, WA and on the way up to Alaska by a certain date to get there on time for the “opening” and he wanted to be engaged to Lindsie with a Custom Engagement Ring on her finger before he left the harbor! He’d be gone to Alaska a big part of the fishing season with Lindsie working here in Whatcom Co. while he was gone. I loved it! So very cute and romantic. I teased him, “Oh, I see. You don’t want Lindsie snatched up by some other guy while you’re gone!”, and he said, “yah”.
And of course, we wanted to help out all we could. Lindsie’s mother had passed away leaving a ring to her daughter, but Lindsie wanted a unique ring of her own that incorporated the gold and some of the stones from that ring. Her work with Watershed Restoration for the Nooksack Tribe involves slipping in and out of rubber gloves and she needed a ring that allowed this to be easy; no high set stones in crowns, no snaggy design and yes to a heavier balanced bottom shank. This we were able to do. The whole process went so lovely and smoothly that I felt like “Mom” was over my shoulder helping us along. I carved a wax that Nate approved, Owen lost wax cast it in the Recycled 14kt. yellow gold from the original ring then we set the center stone in a tube crown, 2 Marquis Rubys and melee diamonds. The result is a beautiful Custom Engagement Ring by Walker Goldsmiths and “Mom”.
Thanks, kids, we love this job!!
Thank you Janet and Owen for the absolutely gorgeous and thoughtful ring! It is so much more than I could have ever expected and I look down at it every day and am not only reminded of Nathan and I’s future together but my mom as well. Thank you so very much.
You’re very welcome, Lindsie, it was an exceptionally fun ring to make. We so enjoyed our visits with Nathan and I’m sure we’ll see more of him. Owen and he have much in common with their fascination and enjoyment of the challenge of “casting ” bronze. Nate is an interesting guy! And the fact that your mom was so important in the whole process was especially appealing. So nice to finally meet you and see who it was that he was so concerned about not losing while he went north!! You kids are awesome! Thank you, Lindsie. hope we see you again.
Dear Owen and Janet: I am Nate’s mom and I just wanted to tell you how beautiful and special the ring you made for Lindsie is! We have been hoping and praying that Nate would made Lindsie our daughter for a long time and your ring really reveals the meaning and depth of their relationship! Thank you so much for creating this special token of their love and commitment to each other!
Thank you, Nancy. I tell you that Nate is an awesome guy! We sure enjoyed him and he was so cute. We could tell that he had given this new life situation he was going to commit to a good deal of thought and he was serious. We are so about the emotional issues around jewelry and this ring for Lindsie was right there! Thanks again for the comment.