We are splashing around here at Walker Goldsmiths with another type of custom Surfer Ring. We were contacted by a lovely lady who wanted to create a Memorial Ring in honor of her Grandfather who has “graduated to glory”. He is a Makah from Neah Bay which is located on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Washington State where the Makah people have lived for over 3,800 yrs. Her memory of her Grandfather was enhanced by the beauty of Neah Bay, WA, a small fishing village where the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean meet. The Makah men carve their canoes from whole trees to hunt seals, gray whales and humpback whales. The men are and have been traditionally occupied with harvesting from the sea and the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula.
This is the place of wonderful whale legends. The most beautiful wood carvings of whale traditionally done by men come from Neah Bay and the sea grass and cedar bark baskets woven by the women often have beautiful whales woven right in the design with cedar bark, sea grass and maidenhair fern stems. It is a magical place that seeps into a person’s soul like the fog off the ocean.
Debra has a persistent memory of her Grandfather always drawing whales whenever his hands weren’t occupied with work which was the most natural thing for a Makah man to be drawing. “I have been looking for a way to pay tribute to him and I think he would approve of this idea. He was always drawing Orcas everywhere…even on the corners of magazines and scrap paper. He carved a pole for my mother and for me…“
Debra liked seeing our “Surfer Rings” so we used the lost wax technique to make her a Memorial Ring. I carved a wax after talking back and forth and trading sketches of the idea. Debra traded a bit of old gold; one was part of her grandmother’s ring, so this made it even more special. She liked it very 3-D, two colors of gold; red and white, 8mm wide, comfort fit inside ring band with the setting sun splashing down between the waves as Orcas cavort on either side. I loved doing this ring as I’ve had my own mystical experiences with Orca. Walker Goldsmiths thanks you, Debra, for this lovely journey of making this Memorial Ring in honor of your grandfather. Oh, and by the way, congratulations on your own journey accomplishment!