Why I Make: The Ring That Saved Me

Why I Make: The Ring That Saved Me


Ring by Lenore Moritz

This is the inaugural post of our new blog series "Why I Make," featuring dispatches exploring the human impulse to create. Kicking things off is guest blogger Lenore Moritz of Mom Culture.

The ring was not perfect. In fact, it looked a little odd - think "Band-Aid cast in metal." It was made of sterling silver, but had it been crafted in diamond-covered platinum, it could not have been more valuable to me.

That silver ring was the first thing I made in a jewelry studio class I took at New York's School of Visual Arts in 2000. At the time, I was single in the city, working long hours, and spending all of my free time going out. Downtime? Sometimes I sat in front of the TV at 2 a.m. eating a bowl of cereal post-night-on-the-town. That's why I needed the jewelry class: I needed something to tether me, and I knew it would get me out of the office at a decent hour at least once a week.

In short order, what started as a whim turned into catharsis. I loved toting my tackle box of supplies, and the act of using my hands to transform a silver sheet into wearable art felt empowering. I became an accidental craftsperson.

Especially rewarding for me was the moment when I finished a piece - a crescendo I never knew in my day-to-day professional life. At the office, my world was nothing but to-do lists and complicated, open-ended projects; a sense of completion was rare indeed. But in jewelry class, it was crystal-clear when I had finished a project, and I reveled in that closure. Not only did wearing my silver pieces to work remind me, in the midst of a trying day, of my ability to accomplish something, but also the creative process was grounding - and so much cheaper than therapy!

The class even made a lasting impact on my love life. As I hustled around New York, I carried in my wallet a piece of scrap silver, on which I had pounded out "I Love You." One night, when my boyfriend and I were having an argument, I handed the scrap over without saying the words - words we had never broached with each other. It took him an agonizingly long time to read it - we were caught up in our conflict and standing outside on a poorly lit street. But the turmoil resolved itself, and the moment ended well; a year later we were standing on a beach exchanging wedding vows. Now we have a great story for our kids, and I have another wonderful memory of that transformative jewelry-making class.


Why I Make is a guest series exploring the human impulse to create. Read more posts in the Why I Make archives or submit your own story.