Ring and Grove is really a reflection of me (Jeff Ballantyne) and my values and where I go to find peace.
I feel like I am at a place in life where I know who I am, I know what I love, and I really enjoy sharing things with people these days. I love a good story, I love creating with wood, and I love simple objects with great meaning.
My woodworking journey began when I left plumbing to work with a log home building company. My main tools were sharp chisels, a drawknife, levels and a chainsaw. And with that job I was doing very fine work with that chainsaw. Cutting on a pencil line to be exact! This really helped me achieve an eye for detail for all that I was creating.
One of the main differences about the kind of woodwork I was doing compared to other woodworkers, was that I was using Green wood, or freshly cut timbers. This kind of woodwork brings a whole other perspective on woodworking, because you can really see the way the wood was growing, and see the way your tool affects the fresh fibres in the wood. Wood is so flexible when fresh, and when used correctly can bring great strength.
On the flipside, when I wasn't working I found great joy in the woods. I have about 700 acres of bush Im allowed to explore and I would often search for a couple hours for the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the quiet and reflect. It was often a Grove,
As I would hike through the bush, I often created my own path. It was tempting to take the path formed by the deer because that would have been much easier, but I wasn't searching for an easy path. Once I found find the perfect spot in the middle of nowhere, there was always an overwhelming amount of peace that would refresh my soul.
With my rings, I aim to make an object that helps bring you to that place. A place that you cant just get to enough. Currently I'm wearing one of my rings made from a 100+ year old fence from my cottage. I love that place.
As a Ring maker, I don't think the world needs more shiny jewelry, but perhaps something with heartfelt meaning. Something so organic that normally you shouldn't be able to wear. An object that symbolizes everything you believe in but in a truly unique way.
Thats my mission as a maker.