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!!