A linguist by trade, Sarah-Abigail Chiappelli earns a living by writing pedagogical grammars for second language learners. In her off hours, she attempts to procure mid-century modern furniture, vibrant art, vintage eye-wear, and inspired jewelry. Recently married, she met her husband online, and she is continually glad he remains interested and affable even after she was three hours late to their first date, since she had locked herself out of the house in purely absent-minded anticipation. They share a house with their four cats and one rat.
I’ve been fascinated with rings long before getting married made the interest compulsory. As you can see here, I see rings as a rather space-efficient means to endorse eccentric craft, by curating a rotating collection at my well-adorned fingertips. When the prospect of marriage manifested itself last summer, I was confronted with the traditional requirement to signify such contract compactly on my left ring finger. I was, at least, well experienced in the ring market. Having been quaintly cognizant for years of my own aesthetic inclinations, I knew what I was looking for. However, as it’s usually the gentleman who buys the ring, my pointed zeal didn't directly translate into carbonate commerce. So, I very indiscreetly constrained my now-husband's hand in the search for that valuable enhancement on mine—keep things under $500, Josh dearest, since I cherish panache and creativity over that terrible type of annular insipidness hawked by big-box jewelry suites at the mall. I felt slightly guilty over expensive gilded experiences, you see, and I didn’t really want to burden my good hand with a boring band at the cost of an en-suite boudoir or Eames lounger. Yet, buying a ring for me is maybe like being asked to direct a movie for Steven Spielberg, exciting in a dissuading sort of way. Sensing Josh’s fear at satisfactorily engaging the ring-expert, I finally told him I'd buy my own ring.
I had the perfect one in mind. At the 2013 American Craft Council Show in Baltimore, I asked Texas-based enamellist and jeweler Lisa Crowder to design a twist on a traditional diamond ring. As I envisioned it, the ring was something simple but perverse, something parsimonious and playful, something that winked and grinned at you with all of its tactile parameters—size, material, shape, all of it. I wanted Lisa to imagine that hexagonal shape that's become flatly iconic for a faceted diamond, to cast it in white enamel, and to overlay it with black stitching to indicate, in soft ingenuity, those hard sparkling edges. I told her that it had to be big and heavy. I wanted to sense our nuptial bliss every time I picked up a pen, applied hand cream, engaged the turn signal, or even typed a word requiring the far left reaches of the keyboard. I wanted the ring to transform the mundane, those perfunctory elements of life, into rapture, as good art often does.
Except that ring never happened, or at least, not yet. Certainly, the court-house wedding took place, complete with red and black striped stockings and wedding-cake-topper fascinator, but the ring on my hand on that occasion happened to be a platinum-set, 3-carat flawed diamond given to me by my father-in-law—not necessarily a family heirloom, but something he once saw and considered nice. The gesture was lovely and so was the ring. It is quietly resonant with sleek and settled quirk, a clouded and silvery mirth layered under the immaculate faceting. It also happened to fit my finger, such beautiful kismet. I still plan on asking Lisa to give me my wonderfully fake diamond ring, and I may use it as a secondary wedding ring, since I have six ring fingers, not just one. Marriage is, after all, something to be indulged and comprehensively celebrated, whether in memory or in metal.