Gustav Reyes is a wood whisperer. The Chicago-based designer mines old bass violins, castoff Little League baseballs bats, even the keys of an abandoned xylophone for maple, walnut, and rosewood, which he coaxes into the fluid arch of a cuff or the perfect circuit of a wedding band. Reyes uses a cold bending process to hand-form his pieces, then finishes them with beeswax to “bring out the warmth and honesty of the wood.”

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WOOD SHOP

For Reyes, using salvaged wood is a reminder that the past, present, and future are intertwined. “All the material used to make these rings had a previous noble life before their transformation to a new life of beauty,” he says. “I endeavor to maintain the original spirit of any wood that offers itself to evolve into something new.”

+ Gustav Reyes