With Valentine’s Day approaching, Salt Lake Community College visual arts student Benjamin Wood is letting people know that there is hope even for those who have given up on love.
When Wood took ART 1040 Jewelry: Culture and Creation, he never thought that the class would help him with his wedding plans. He is currently in the intermediate jewelry class and creating his own wedding rings.
“When I got into the class and saw the things I could make, it just kind of took off,” said Wood. “From there, it was almost like an explosion of ideas happened all at once, and I didn’t have enough time to make all of them.”
Wood has always like working with his hands and found out how much he enjoyed designing and making jewelry.
“I just decided to take the class,” said Wood. “I never really thought I would be interested in jewelry; I am mainly an illustrator.”
Wood has always enjoyed creating art, but when it came to love, he had all but given up on ever finding ‘the one.’
He was about to sign off of an online dating site for the last time and give it all up when he decided to talk to one last woman to see what would happen. The woman, Katie Black, agreed to meet Wood for a date.
“On the way [to the date] something said ‘you know it’s about time,’ on the drive there I’m like ‘about time for what?’ Right when I saw her it was like ‘okay, I get it. I get it. She’s the one,’” said Wood.
After a few dates, Wood asked Black to marry him, and she said yes. Wood, however, didn’t have a ring to give her at the time he proposed but wanted to do something special for her that would stand out.
He decided to design and make the wedding bands himself. After Wood had drawn out his ideas on paper, he asked Black to pick the one she wanted.
Wood enjoys the feel of the metal he works with.
Metal needs to be worked gently, too much heat and it melts. Too much hammering or bending could break the metal. He also enjoys being able to take scraps and making something useable or wearable.
Patterns and color, especially patterns in metal, are Wood’s design inspiration. This semester Wood has been experimenting with mokume, which is layered metal that is given a wood grain pattern. Wood is making the rings out of fine sliver and copper. Black’s ring will have a fire opal in its setting.
“A ring like that would cost more money than I have at the moment or am able to make,” said Wood. “Plus, I wanted something that no one else could give her. I wanted something made by my own hands to put onto her finger. Every time she looks at it, it’s a part of me.”
Wood says that it is important to not give up on love. Finding love was unexpected for him but good.
“I am just really surprised that this is happening when I was ready to give up,” said Wood.