Monday, 29 December 2014

On the 5th Day of Christmas ...

... this blogger gave to thee ...

... five gold rings! ...
... four private spaces...
... three things unfired...
... two little birds...
... and a corner shop made of felt.

Usually, the fifth day of Christmas, is one of the hardest for me to compile, but this year I actually had three out of the five picked out in my head in advance. That said, it's also a hard one to search out designs for. Type in "gold rings" to Google Image Search or Pinterest and ninety-five percent of the images you'll be greeted with will be the traditionally gaudy wedding and engagement rings which feature brassy gold and oversized gems.

Don't get me wrong, I like gold, I like gems, but we're talking seriously tacky, mass-produced rings which are really not my style in any way shape or form. The fifth day is all about showing off hand made pieces of beautiful craft work by jewellery designers and metalsmiths/silversmiths/goldsmiths (technically we're all, but I can never settle on one).

So, here are my five offerings...
Jennie Gill
(25ct natural grey rose cut diamond set in 18kt yellow gold on silver and enamel)
I love this beautiful ring by Sheffield based jewellery designer, Jennie Gill. I know there seems to be such a tiny amount of gold on this ring, that surely it would be more at home of a list of silver rings, but you know the old saying, size isn't everything. I just love Gill's organic approach to jewellery, the fact that she actually likes hand cut and natural diamonds for their flaws, and embraces them within her designs. I also love the subtle use of aqua enamel in amongst the clusters of granulations, it looks like bubbles on the seas. 

Gill is currently collaborating with fashion designer Rita Britton, on a collection for Britton's clothing label Nomad.
Sarah Brown
"Floral Seaweed Ring"
(24kt hard gold plated Sterling Silver set with marquee clear quartz)
Sarah Brown is another organically led jeweller. Growing up in Islay, Brown uses her memories of island legends and tales of sea creatures to inspire her jewellery designs, which grow from smaller organic elements into her encrusted designs, which look like barnacles and lichen. I love this style of jewellery, it's free and (to be incredibly repetitive) organic, which is something I always wanted to be, but always seemed to fail at. 

Lawrence Woodruff
"Blossom Series: Bloom Ring 2008"
(18kt Gold)
Canadian jewellery artist, Lawrence Woodruff's Blossom Series, represents the fragility of decaying flowers. Made with incredibly thin sheets of precious metals, layered, fused and compressed together to create a single floral form. It's a simple design but it's enough to represent exactly what the designer is trying to express.
Sarah Straussberg
"Graduate Collection: Jodie Ring 2011"
(18kt Gold plated Stirling Silver)
One of my favourite shapes. I don't quite know why, it's certainly not their similarity to the hull of a boat, seeing any experience I've had with them has led to illness. Perhaps it's because it satisfies my need for both an organic and architectural shape. London based designer, Sarah Straussberg uses just these properties to create her naturally inspired, sculptural jewellery, each piece being named in tribute to her closest friends. Which given how hard it is to give your work a name, is a nice and deeply personal touch.
Karen Konzuk
"Orbis Gold Collection: KMR167g"
(18kt Gold and Concrete)
And now for something, completely different. A ring that is incredibly simple, architectural and striking. Karen Konzuk, a graduate of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, uses gold, stainless steel and dyed and undyed concrete within her designs. Hand casting the concrete ball and hand forging the 18kt gold sphere to create a perfectly balanced and simple design.

This is why I found finding a style (which I still haven't) so hard, I love natural evolving designs which real of spontaneity to develop but also the simplicity and elegance of start architectural design... combining them well is very tricky.

Anyway, those are five designs I very much like for your fifth day and here's a little bit of knowledge to pass on, which I am ashamed to say I had always kind of brushed over. In jewellery you see Kt and Ct written to describe the materials. Kt standing for Karat, describing the the percentage/purity of gold (9kt/18kt/24kt) and Ct standing for Carat, which describes the size/weight of a gemstone.

It's kind of embarrassing that I'd never really thought about that, isn't it? But I suppose the majority of my work was silver, resin, wood and semi-precious stones which don't come with a carat/karat rating.

That's my excuse at least... rather than just being completely unobservant or playing the dyslexia card.

Link | Jennie Gill Website | Nomad
Link | Sarah Brown Website | Pinterest | Etsy
Link | Lawrence Woodford Website | Blog
Link | Sarah Straussberg Website | Pinterest | F7 Jewellery
Link | Karen Konzuk Website | Blog | Pinterest

Merry Christmas! Part six tomorrow...

Listening: Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) - BeyoncĂ©

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