Ever since I was a kid, I hated math.

I had a teacher, Mrs. Mayer, who told me that girls like me just couldn’t learn mathematics. She would keep me inside at recess to do math problems as punishment because I’d scored a 50 on my math tests. Subsequent teachers would remark that I was “a smart kid in everything else” and didn’t understand how I “didn’t get math.” Ever since elementary school, I gave up on ever understanding anything having to do with numbers.

Then I met Matt on a dating site where his profile said, “Message me if… you can define the complexity classes P and NP.”

Fuck, I thought, frowning at his profile. He’s a mathematician. I don’t know how this will work out. I hate math.

I messaged him anyway.

He’s a programmer and a mathematician—I am an artist and a designer. He taught me the beauty of fractals and showed me how confident I was in calculating budgets, tips, and fast arithmetic that had always escaped him. We spent late nights discussing art and mathematics merging and diverging in beautiful spirals. I fell madly in love with him, and he with me.

I came home late one night from graduate school to see that he had written equations on our whiteboard – equations that only years before I would have dismissed as something I never “got.” At the time, I felt a little like one does when they read someone else’s love letters. I had a special window into his mind, and through that window, I found myself able to grow in directions I didn’t think were possible.

That’s why when I suggested we design our own wedding bands, Matt thought that we should create bands that are mathematical dualities of one another.

For those of you who do not know what a dual is, it is when one pattern:

A pattern of hexagons, which are special shapes which have duals.

A pattern of hexagons, which are special shapes which have duals.

…is overlaid with another pattern that is a reversal of the dimensions of the original pattern. They mirror one another. They are complete in their individuality, but together, they are a phenomenal pattern—a perfect metaphor for love.

If a pattern of triangles (a dual of the hexagons) is overlaid onto the hexagons, it creates an intricate pattern.

If a pattern of triangles (a dual of the hexagons) is overlaid onto the hexagons, it creates an intricate, beautiful pattern.

I was initially reluctant about the idea. I never had equated mathematics with love.

I thought of the time before I messaged him, when I thought math was nothing I would ever understand. I thought of our conversations and the equations on the whiteboard, and realized that duality was exactly what I loved about our relationship. I come from the art and design world, and he, from the mathematics and computer science world. We’re two completely different shapes, and yet, when we are put together, we are mathematically perfect.

“Yes, let’s do it,” I said. “And let’s 3D print it.”

And so, we began on our exciting journey of truly customizing our own rings—from sketching, 3D prototyping (in low res, and then later in high-res), and finally, casting them in platinum.

C:

Continue to Part 2: Making the Bands >>