“Firm, But Flexible”

After I fell in love with a Turkish Carpet one day…

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…I started falling in love with other Turkish crafts, such as ceramics…

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…and now puzzle rings!

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There are many different designs of puzzle rings. I purchased a silver ring that has four pieces. When it’s broken apart, it looks like this:

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I spent about half an hour in the Grand Bazaar with the gentleman who sold me the ring. He kept trying to teach me how to complete the puzzle, but if I moved the ring the wrong direction, he couldn’t explain to me how to fix it. He would just take the ring from me and say, “Like THIS,” and put it together for me.

I tried my best to do the ring at home, but I couldn’t manage. Luckily, there is a lady at work, Wylla, who is the MASTER. Within minutes, she taught me how to put the ring together.

There are basically three steps. When you’re halfway, it looks like this:

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From here, you have to wiggle the pieces a lot, but you can’t release your grip on the ring either or it’ll lose its shape. As Wylla was teaching me how to put it together she kept saying, “You have to be firm, but flexible at the same time.” Pardon my giggle.

Wylla said there are two stories that go along with the puzzle ring tradition.

1. A man wants to marry an intelligent woman, so he gives his bride to be a broken puzzle ring. If she can put it together, she’s wise enough to marry.

2. A man gives his bride a puzzle ring as her wedding ring. If she takes it off to cheat on him, he’ll know she cheated because she can’t put it back together.

She gave me an assignment. Puzzle Ring Karate, if you will…

1. I have to be able to put the ring together under a table without looking at it during a meeting.

2. I have to throw the ring into a pool, dive in, pick it up, and be able to  put it together before I reach the surface.

3. Put it together behind my back.

“Challenge Accepted!”

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