Artist Aaron Ruff of Digby and Iona is one of the jewelry world’s golden boys. Best known for his absolutely stunning signet rings that feature bold flash inspired imagery, as well as his line of one of a kind engagement rings emblazoned with diamonds and stones of every color, shape, and size, Ruff is an artist that knows a thing or two about the intersection of tattoos and fine jewelry. Jenna Bouma aka Slowerblack of East River Tattoo in Brooklyn is one of the most renowned hand poke artists in the tattoo community today. Focusing on simplistic yet elegant black work, Bouma’s work is a testament to the artistic integrity of hand poked designs. So imagine our delight when the two announced they were collaborating to produce a capsule collection of signet rings inspired by Bouma’s work as a tattoo artist.
The second collaboration for the duo, the collection will consist of three signet rings designed and made by Ruff centered around Bouma’s artwork. Sold exclusively through Bouma's website, the collection will consist of two pinkie style signets in silver and 14k gold, and a large souvenir style ring that will only be available in silver. Ruff finds working with tattoo artists is always a pleasure as they tend to share a similar creative process. “Jenna came to the studio with a flash sheet of ideas and I just cherry picked the themes that worked best as jewelry,” Ruff recalls. “From there it’s my turn and I carve out the ring blanks and sketch the designs directly on.”
While there are slight differences in designing for jewelry versus designing for tattoos, Bouma believes that the overall goal is the same. “I've always been a big fan of tattooing birds and sunsets, and I suppose it's because they tend to invite a romantic type of longing,” she says. “Sounds cheesy, but it's sweet pairing that sense of longing with the timelessness of a beautiful ring.”
Consisting of three different designs — a Tibetan inspired pattern, a sunset, and a bird — and set to launch sometime later this month, the new Digby and Iona & Slowerblack collaboration is everything we never knew we needed. It seems Bouma and Ruff have done it again.