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Dreams Become Reality- Making Antler Engagement Rings

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

I started making jewelry when I was 13, and as odd as it sounds, I have always wanted to make rings. I made earrings, necklaces and bracelets, but my true passion was the idea of making my own rings. I have always admired beautiful engagement rings and wanted to design my own, but that dream was so out of reach for me. When I was 18, I started dabbling in wire wrapping and made a ring from wire. It turned out ok, but it was lacking the luster of an engagement ring and I quickly gave up on that venture.

When I started my business 8 years ago, I had the idea to attempt to carve a ring from antler. I had carved a soapstone sculpture of a rose in a college art class a few years prior, so I had a little bit of confidence that I would be able to do it. I sat down at my work space and 2 or 3 hours later I was marveling at my first antler ring-a simple feather band. Immediately my head became flooded with ideas and my dream of making engagement rings was closer to becoming a reality. The first thing I discovered, though, was that this was going to take a lot of trial and error.

Antler is essentially bone, and bone is extremely porous and its strength is pretty unpredictable. Over the tens of thousands of hours that I have put in hand carving antler jewelry, I am STILL learning different techniques that increase durability. I taught myself to carve the insides of the rings round to add a discreet thickness to prevent cracking, and started adding titanium lining as an option to add strength as well. Honestly, unless there is a fault in the antler, it takes quite the force to crack one of my fully carved rings now and I’m quite proud of that. I have people reach out and ask me how durable an antler ring is, and I have to say that they are structurally very durable especially for being bone. However, one thing is for sure that, no matter how much experimenting I have done with different sealing techniques, I have not been able to make a fully carved antler ring completely waterproof. They have to be removed to shower and wash hands, and over time if they are worn non-stop, they have to be resealed because of natural skin oil penetrating the bone. I know that that is not ideal for everyone especially for an engagement ring. I was feeling defeated, until the idea of every day wearable antler rings came to mind.

My every day wearable antler rings are honestly so exciting to me. They are water proof, worry proof and hand sanitizer friendly. They are my most durable antler rings ever-by far. They are a game changer. When I first started designing them, I knew I wanted to create designs that were as unique as my fully carved art rings. Every one of my designs begins the same way-I sit down at my desk and sketch out my ideas the old fashioned way with colored pencils on paper. Every design comes from my heart, and I try to come up with designs that

appeal to women that love the outdoors as much as I do. My other goal is affordability-I want to be sure that no matter the budget, women like myself that love the outdoors can afford something that signifies their passion and reminds them of their adventures.

I feel like there are so many options out there as far as engagement rings go, but very rarely do you find any that cater to women that love the outdoors. I try to make my pieces unique and with elements that remind the wearer of the outdoors-the view from a mountain summit, a feather from a first successful duck hunt, an arrow to commemorate your first successful bow hunt, and obviously the beauty of antler is in all pieces.

I am so excited to continue to design antler engagement rings and weddings bands- my dream has finally come true.

Antler engagement ring prototype
Dove original drawing

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