The silver and gold wedding band is ready and spectacular. “This was quite a challenge,” explains Silvio, “but most of all, I am very thankful to that young couple from Montreal for deciding to have their wedding bands made here and for planning their entire wedding locally, at the Second Congregational Church and at the Smugglers Notch Inn.”
Silvio stood behind his display case, admiring a new wooden bowl he had just placed on top of it. This is the new receptacle for his business cards and it is spectacular. It was hand crafted by Craig Hall, of Pleasant Valley Woodworks. In fact, he and Silvio were visiting just as I walked in.
“It is made out of a cherry burl,” he explains. A burl is a rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree. “The shape of the burl determines the shape of the bowl on the outside and the inside. The edge is the natural edge of the burl when it is separated from the tree.”
The turquoise inlay provides a natural accent, as though it had been there all along. Craig favors this method to fill small cavities in the grain of the wood rather than using saw dust. The specks of color provide a rich contrast. Pure beauty.
A customer walks in. She apologizes for interrupting. No apologies necessary. She immediately notices Silvio’s wedding band and asks if he can make a larger one. “Yes, I can, but I would have to actually make a new ring.” “How long would that take?” she inquires. “About two weeks.” They chat for a while. Everybody chats with Silvio, naturally.
A few moments later, we return to our previous conversation. “Now I have to make the wedding band for the bride,” says Silvio, holding a roughly cut fine silver ring. “I measured her engagement ring very precisely so I would have all the details I need to make a wedding band that will fit perfectly against it. It’s quite a challenge to work without the other ring.”
Jewelry making and wood working are acts of deliberate transformation. They take elements from nature and give them a voice and a story. As sculptors often claim, the final expression was there all along. This is what the artist reveals, more so than his own vision. In truth, the two are one and the same.
Craig’s beautiful and unique wooden bowls are available at The Village Sampler.