RMIT Year 1, Semester 1, Jewellery #4

9 04 2010

First year, first semester, Jewellery, project #4: ‘Ring-a-ring’

This project had two components: the technical exercises that taught us how to make a basic ring (in fact, a number of rings of specific sizes and profiles) and a jewellery piece that was to our own design and concept as long as ‘ring’ was the starting point.

samples from this project, and the previous 'setting' project; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

My starting point was a bit of wordplay with ‘ring’, and I ended up being most attracted to the tree-ring idea. The initial design idea was based on tree-rings recording the memory of the climate of the place they grew, and so played with ‘framing’ a slice of wood in a saw-pierced frame – immortalizing something that was once alive (so I wrote in my visual diary at the time). I did a few rather conventional designs, which the lecture at the time quite rightly challenged as being too safe. The final outcome was a reflection piece, kind of like the double photograph frames.

The plan had been to ‘set’ the wood behind one of the panels, but as I wrote in my assessment text: “during the construction process, when I had done the saw-piercing, a classmate mentioned that it reminded them of the time-lapse photography of stars, and I felt it reminded me of water ripples after a stone has fallen on still water – so I decided that by setting the wood I was forcing the wearer/viewer to see only one dimension of the design – therefore, I decided the piece would only consist of the pierced metal“.

'Ring' brooch; original photograph by Mark Kral; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

Making the fitting of this piece wasn’t fun at all. I was still an amateur at soldering, and in trying to attach the fitting, I ended up melting one of the ‘rings’ a little bit – which naturally I justified as being just part of the process (for there was no way I had any time to make another one, as I was doing the fitting on the last studio access day!).

I’ve never worn this piece, and feel no connection to it at all. Making it taught me a lot, for I made better fittings after this (and I decided that stainless steel was so much better for the pin than sterling silver).

… previous post in this series: RMIT Year 1, Semester 1, Jewellery #3



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