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The road to the perfect ring

The ski jumping star Johan Forfang made the dream ring in cooperation with the local jewellery designers at Wabi Sabi.

Proposing is one of the great moments in anyone’s life, and the proposal stands as a strong symbol of your love. Lots of thoughts and emotions go into how to do it, and hopefully it culminates in a tearful yes.

– When I decided that I wanted to propose to my girlfriend Kristin I wanted to make something special and unique instead of just buying something mass produced. That’s why I reached out to Wabi Sabi in Tromsø, says the high-flying Johan Forfang.

Together with the local jewellery manufacturers that was established by Ann-Merete Skaue Øines and Dagmar Mildes in 2015, he embarked on a journey into unknown territory. They were going to make the perfect and imperfect engagement ring. This turned into a team effort between Wabi Sabi and Johan over several months.

– We have a very similar sense of esthetics, and the BEAUTY IN IMPERFECTION that the jewellery designers have put into Wabi Sabi resonates well in both me and my girlfriend Kristin. I had earlier bought her a ring from the Mingle collection that she uses every day, so I knew that Wabi Sabi was “the right stuff” for her, says the ski jumper.

Supporting local business

The former Olympic Champion first found Wabi Sabi through social media and have over time become so fond of the style that many Christmas and birthday gifts have come from the unique jewellery studio in the historic courtyard at the Mack Brewery.

– I find it very important to support local business, and I think this is a very special company. It was a natural choice for me regarding this special ring, says Johan.

I’m either the dream customer, or a total waste of time

– When we started this process, I felt both incredibly demanding and at the same time ignorant of what was possible to achieve. This can work both ways, either I’m a dream customer or a total waste of time. I was fortunate that Wabi Sabi up for the challenge and decided that this was  a very interesting project for them. I came in without a clear expectation of the time this would take and without a clearly defined budget – I just wanted something beautiful and unique, says the ski jumper.

New method

– Johan knew what he wanted and was clearly interested in getting a very special ring. To achieve the desired result, we had to develop new working methods, says Dagmar.

Wabi Sabi had to develop a new method for securing the gemstones to the ring, and this also meant that the casting of the ring became very complicated.

– When performing the casting, after it had been prepared for several days, and this did not go according to plan we had to leave the whole project on hold a few days.

Johan was very understanding. He wanted this ring to become perfect and did not stress us during the process.

The cooperation worked very well. We updated him along the way, and he gave us constructive and accurate feedback as we proceeded. We worked together to achieve the result. It was an incredibly exciting project that taught both Johan and us a lot, says Ann-Merete.

She said yes

After a while the cooperation was fruitful and now the ring is finished.

«It’s fantastic. Incredibly nice. Quite perfect” was the message that came back when Wabi Sabi had sent over the finished ring.

–        I had a clear image of what I wanted in my head when I reached out to Wabi Sabi and tried my best to convey my thoughts to them. The team worked hard, and the result was amazing. Together we created my absolute dream ring. After all, she is – well, yeah, Forfang smiles.

–        Did you use any Olympic gold in the ring?

Only metaphorically, where Olympic gold for me symbolizes the world class athlete standards that I put into my life. I can’t do anything halfway.

It’s now been a bit more than half a year since the ring was finished. What started out as a vision of something unique, has been transformed through sketches, emotions and cooperation to the perfect ring for Johan’s fiancée Kristin.

–        Is she happy

–        It’s more than 4 months since I proposed on the French Riviera. She’s still spending time admiring and studying the ring. I don’t think we could have hit the target any better than that, says a happy Johan Forfang.