Creating rings that are one-of-a-kind | Lifestyle

Leslie Kelly
Posted 2/2/21

For some, wedding rings are just bands of gold and don’t have to be personalized. But for others, they want bands that are “theirs” — something that no one else …

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Creating rings that are one-of-a-kind | Lifestyle

Jewelry artist Stephanie Selle
Jewelry artist Stephanie Selle
Photo courtesy of MJ Photography
Posted

For some, wedding rings are just bands of gold and don’t have to be personalized. But for others, they want bands that are “theirs” — something that no one else has.

That’s where “With These Rings” comes in.

With These Rings is a local Port Townsend business where couples who are planning to be married can schedule a two-on-one workshop with jewelry artist Stephanie Selle, who will lead them in creating their own wedding bands — unlike anyone else’s.

Selle opened her business in 2012 and has been at her current location at 211 Taylor St., for the past five years.

In most cases, couples make each others rings and they become “rich with love and memories,” Selle said. 

“These are something that will be with you for many years — hopefully the rest of your lives.”

The process begins by looking for ideas of what you want your rings to be like. Simple bands can be meaningful, as well as others that have more flair. Looking online at the website for inspiration to see what other couples have created is an option. Consider the width you want, the shape — half-round or flat, and the type of metal.

Then couples schedule a workshop with Selle. During the workshop, Selle will help the couple fabricate the rings using the metal of choice. Metals are all recycled and include yellow gold, rose and peach, palladium white gold and palladium silver.

Many couples fabricate their rings in four hours or less and take their rings home with them at the end of the session.

Some rings require custom work which Selle does herself, such as adding family stones or engraving, and then the rings are delivered several weeks later.

The cost of the rings will depend on the design and metal choice, Selle said. The workshop costs $620, and rings can range between $980 to $1,700. Adding stones can add to the cost, too.

Selle suggests that couples plan doing their workshop three to four months prior to when they want to have the rings ready.

Selle began her career in jewelry by apprenticing with a jeweler in her hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

“I always knew I would grow up to be an artist,” she said. “At 17 or 18, I took my first jewelry class and fell in love with it.”

She said she pestered a local jeweler until he allowed her to apprentice and then she got her bachelor’s of arts degree in metals from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. After college, she moved to Seattle and started a jewelry line of her own. In 2010 she became a jewelry instructor at North Seattle College.

“I fell in love with teaching,” Sells said. “And then I found a way to combine teaching and creating.”

When Selle was married, she knew she wanted their rings to be handmade and meaningful. 

“My partner suggested that we make each other’s rings,” she said. “It became such a special experience and memory that after we were married I thought about offering the opportunity to others.”

She has worked with couples from every continent. Her first clients were from Antarctica. Her business is one of very few places in existence where couples can make their own rings.

Juri and Roarke Jennings, of Port Townsend, worked with Selle in February of 2017 to create their wedding rings.

“My husband and I loved the idea of wearing a ring that we made for each other,” Juri said. “It has more meaning when one crafts it themselves and experiences the process.”

Juri learned of Selle’s “amazing work” through Weddings Across the Sound, a Jefferson County wedding vendor group that she was a part of as the wedding coordinator for Fort Worden. 

“We are also big advocates of green businesses and Stephanie’s business model and responsible personality, and the fact that she uses 100 percent recycled metal was also a deciding factor.”

Making their rings took Juri and Roarke about two to three hours.

“It was full of cutting, bending, heating, dipping and hammering,” she said. “And after we crafted the rings, Stephanie did her magic and put the stones that were dear to us in the rings.”

The couple was married in April 2017. He works at the Food Co-op and she now has her own business “Peddler PT,” a bicycle powered grocery delivery service. Juri said she would recommend making your own wedding rings to anyone.

“And working with Stephanie — 120 percent,” she said.

While Selle has remained open for business, the pandemic has affected her work.

”With COVID, it’s been different because people are not traveling much,” she said. “In the past I’ve been like a travel agent. When couples make their workshop appointment, I work with them on where to stay and what other things there are to do here in Port Townsend and on the Olympic Peninsula. I love helping them explore this beautiful, romantic area.”

More recently, her business has been couples from Seattle and the local area. 

“I’ve gotten to know more local people and that’s allowed me to make new friends,” she said. “We’ve been here six years, but before now I haven’t really gotten out to meet people here.”

Once the pandemic subsides, she is thinking about doing jewelry workshops for small groups.

Getting to be a part of the ring-making experience with so many couples is very meaningful to Selle.

“It’s an intimate process,” she said. “Being able to share in their love and their joy is so rewarding. There’s so many great love stories that I’ve been able to be a part of.”

Her business motto is: “You can’t buy love, but you can make it.” To learn more go to www.withtheseringshandmade.com, or call Selle at 206-724-8673.

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