I am Steven Wyatt, and my shop is called Wedgewood Rings. I make unique rings from some of the most extraordinary woods in the world. Design, construction, customer service, pictures and packing – I do it all from my home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
I’ve been making wooden rings for about six years, though I’ve been slowly nursing an obsession with wood and other natural materials my entire life. My first rings were just for personal use – they were made of found wood, and I carved them using only a Leatherman knife and sandpaper. Having no background in woodworking or any other craft, I could hardly imagine at the time that I would soon be making my living with considerably more sophisticated equipment, metals, and a vast array of fine woods. Then three years ago, while ostensibly toiling away on a Ph.D. dissertation, I decided to start Wedgewood Rings.
In the beginning, I had no intention of making a business (or a living!) out of Wedgewood Rings. I have a bit of an obsession with rare woods, and they can really break the bank; when I was starting out, my intentions for the shop were purely to fund the purchase of more expensive, more exotic woods. Soon, it became obvious that Wedgewood Rings was going to be a brighter future for me than academia, in terms of both personal satisfaction and financials. Since then, I’ve tinkered with new equipment and refined my technique. I’m lucky to have retained all my fingers in the process.
Every ring I make is first and foremost a wooden product, because wood is my passion. Every piece has a story to tell; for some woods, the story is visual – the grain and its patterns speak of the life of a tree, for example. Other woods, like the oak of a used bourbon barrel, or teak from the deck of the USS North Carolina, have an intrinsic history and meaning to the wearer, independent of their appearance. I love using materials that have meaning to my customers. My favorite custom projects involve wood that a buyer sends to me: wood from a family farm, a barn beam, a rifle stock, a skateboard – it is exciting to create a piece with particular sentimental value.
To me, Etsy is freedom: freedom from a conventional job and freedom from borders. It is so rewarding to check another state or country off the list of places I’ve sent rings. My plan for the future is to continue introducing new materials and designs, including new metal, stone, and, of course, wood. No matter what, I will be making things; if I am lucky, people will sometimes buy them. I am truly blessed to work on my own terms, surround myself with the materials I love on a daily basis, and to have this amazing platform to present the results to the world.
All photographs by Wedgewood Rings.