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A while back I mentioned a project I was working on, but that it had to get back from production before I could tell you more. Well, It’s back and now I can tell you the story!

broken-spade-ring-by-david-bickley

I’ve always gone back and forth on the idea of getting tattoos with the biggest deterrent being how often my tastes change. The ideas have always been pretty consistent, but I could never settle on a style. One of the reigning attributes was that whatever it would be would need to contain a spade somewhere. I’ll explain why shortly. Of course there were other things, but that is the relevant one to this story. I got a little more serious about the idea of ink over the last few months but still couldn’t come up with or source anything I loved…so I had a different idea.

I have always wanted to try making a ring but never really had the opportunity (I missed the class in school), so I set to sketching out a few ideas that were in line with the tattoo I would get, but in a much more removable form. After that was done I ordered some jewelers wax and set off sculpting the design. I would show you the progress images, but I completely forgot to take any. After all that was finished I was able to get it cast through a jeweler Loni knows. There weren’t many options other than sending it out, I don’t happen to have a forge in my house. It came back raw and unpolished just like I’d asked, and after an hour or so doing the finishing and aging the silver myself…I have exactly what I wanted. A ring with a spade on it that doesn’t look absolutely dumb like everything else I found when I thought I’d just buy one.

So, why a spade?

The first reason is that I grew up playing cards. In fact, poker was the second game I learned how to play…right after “Don’t Break the Ice.” So, there’s that piece, but there’s more within the meaning of the symbol. Most people think the spade is a symbol representing darkness or death, but there are actually several different meanings. In some cases it is thought to represent the tree of life, another is that it represents Adam’s punishment from God for bringing sin into the world. Along the same line another meaning is that of understanding.

Each of those interpretations is relevant in my life. Yeah, even the death one…but to explain that I have to correct what most people take that to mean. Death in this sense doesn’t mean the end of life, it means the end of something old, and beginning of something new. I am always trying to become better than I was the day before, and more often than not, that means I have to kill the man I have been. As the tree of life it represents the belief in the interconnectedness of all creation which is something I wholeheartedly adhere to. As a symbol of God’s punishment it reminds me of my own sinful nature and need to pursue holiness. Finally, as a symbol of understanding it reminds me to spend every day learning and improving myself.

But why is the spade broken?

I designed the spade that way to signify that the common definition of the symbol is broken.

So there you have it, the novel of why it’s oddly important to me.

See you tomorrow,

D