Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 23, 2013

Valdostan fuses woodworking, rings

VALDOSTA — Most people wouldn’t see a connection between woodworking and jewelry making. Byron Myers is not most people. Myers recently began Byron’s Rings, a business focusing on creating unique and beautiful wooden rings.

While he has not been in the business for long, his wooden rings are slowly making a name for themselves across Valdosta.

Myers has spent his entire life in Valdosta. He was actually born in Pineview General Hospital, as it was known at the time. He then went on to attend Lowndes Junior High and High School. It was during his time at Lowndes Junior High that Myers discovered his love of woodworking.

“I was taking a wood shop class with Mr. Clark. Mr. Clark allowed me to build a gun case and two lamps. From that it just blossomed. I immediately loved all of it, the way wood looks, working with my hands, all of it,” said Myers.

Myers went on to attend Valdosta State College for a year and a half before moving into the workforce. Myers spent most of his life, almost 30 years, self-employed in the carpentry field.

Following the drop in the economy, Myers found himself without work for almost a year. During that time, his wife was able to get a job working with Hobby Lobby, which offered him a position soon after.

Despite working in different fields, Myers never forgot his love of woodworking. His spark was reignited about five months ago while attending church with his daughter.

“I was at church with her when I noticed her pastor was wearing a simple wooden ring made from live oak. It was like a light came on and I thought of what I could do,” said Myers.

Nearly five months, and almost 150 rings later, Myers passion is still going strong.

During these short five months, he has been able to improve and become more efficient. A process that originally would take him almost a day now takes Myers about three hours.

“Before I got my technique down it would take a lot longer. I have found better ways to do things. I made tools for sanding the inside and outside of the ring, I have found better ways to do finishes,” said Myers.

It is the special finishes on Myers’ rings that make his product different from other wooden products. Most wooden rings will hold water and can warp. Myers’ has found a way to finish his rings so that they will not deteriorate or warp.

“You can wash your hands and it won’t hold water. You could even soak it in water and it won’t deteriorate,” he explained.

His rings are also durable.

“Many people think that a wood ring will break easily. If it is made well, a wooden ring is hard to break and it is really durable,” said Myers.

Myers ultimate goal is to make a ring from every type of wood in the world. He guesstimates that there are about 50,000 different species of trees. So far he has made rings from about 10 different species.

“The possibilities are unlimited. You could even combine different species. I have thousands of ideas, I just can’t do it fast enough,” Myers said.

When making his rings, Myers uses everything from common woods to exotic woods. Zebra, Red Heart, Cypress and Bocote are just some of the species that he has been able to use so far.

Myers’ rings are perfect for someone looking for a unique piece of jewelry. Each of his rings is unique, whether it is the way the grain appears or the type of wood he uses, and each is guaranteed to be special.

As for his favorite ring, “I really like the Bocote. The grain contrast is beautiful. It also has what I like to call a ‘butterfly’ in the design. Where the grains meet, it looks like the wings and the head of a butterfly.”

Picking his favorite part of woodworking is a bit harder for Myers though.

“I don’t really have a favorite part. I just love all of it. I love picking the wood I want to use, coming up with an idea, putting it together how I like it, the whole nine yards. Then when it is done, looking at it and thinking ‘Man, this is beautiful. Someone would be proud of that,’” he explained.  

Myers hopes that this hobby will one day grow into a full time business. He would like to expand to include other products once the business catches on.

“This is a fairly new thing. It hasn’t caught on yet, but no one in our general area is doing this,” said Myers.

Byron’s Rings are available exclusively at Klutch in the Valdosta Mall at this time, though Myers is looking for other venues to sell his product through.

He also accepts special orders by email at sowoco@yahoo.com.

Rings range in price from $30 up to $120, so there are varieties available for every budget.

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