She escaped from Los Angeles with barely a carload of possessions, leaving behind her Hollywood lifestyle, her eccentric artist husband and the famous actors and actresses that were her neighbours. She took the possessions that meant something to her, the items that had layers of memories, and drove back to Calgary. The gold chain was a symbol of love …. It reminded her of the good times.

It was now time to move forward, to reshape her life and change and transform her very existence. It was time to change the malleable gold into another gift of love…

The artist was surprised by the request …. he was taken by her intent and intoxicated with the challenge of creating a unique piece of jewellery. It needed to be a lasting piece that would be cherished and appreciated by the wearer as well as the people around for generations….

The instructions were specific: “I want you to melt this chain and transform it into a ring…. a ring worn by a warrior, an athlete who has withstood numerous battles on the field and who carries the scars of these encounters. The ring must relate to the classical period of Greece…. it must be as close as possible to a 500BC Greek seal ring. It must be solid, sculptured yet rough, elegant yet robust. It must be long-lasting so that it can be passed from generation to generation.”

The artist just stared at her, hearing her words, embracing a fellow artist who understood his craft. She had already purchased another of his works, sterling silver armour for a cat and mouse so she knew his work well and delighted in changing the postures of the cat and mouse on her mantlepiece each night to suit her mood. The artist had also crafted armoured neck ties and exoforms, so he looked forward to beginning his commissioned piece.

The artist carefully melted the gold and poured it into a cast, creating the one-piece masterpiece complete with inset discus thrower. He filed and polished until it was as perfect as he could make it. The ring glistened in the light. He studied each face of the ring with his eye-glass which magnified each aspect of the ring. He smiled, appreciating his own artistic expression of a client’s verbal description. He carefully signed the ring and polished it with a cloth. The artist sat silent admiring his work.

The receiver of the ring was twenty-nine, two days younger than her, a strange coincidence in the cycle of life. She claimed she learned a lot in those two days of extra life. He received the ring, a gift of immense proportions, a gift that he cherished, a gift that would outlast even their existence….

Initially he wore the ring with the image displayed outward so that others could admire the craftsmanship, the uniqueness, the presence of the ring while he was with her. As circumstances changed, he reversed the ring to remind himself of who he was and who he should become. The ring became a symbol of his resilence, his strength and his ability to adapt. The ring has been his companion for decades and it is rarely far from him, energising his spirit because of its combination of body, heart, mind and spirit.

Twenty-one years later he was finally able to write the story of the ring, only able to remember fragments of a life long ago…. He is unsure whether it is ‘a seven generation ring’ or a ‘seven chapter ring’ encountering extraordinary people with whom he connects, like Odysseus in his famous journey.

A ring made by a famous artist: Jeff Deboer
Armour for a Cat and Mouse
Armoured Neckties