Saturday, August 18, 2012

Concrete and graffiti: grad ring 2012

Convocation seems a long time ago now, my Jewellery + Metals Program class-mates alphabetically woven into the long line of bright smiling faces being ejected from under-graduate life, out into the world. I didn’t graduate with them, but a little piece of me crossed the stage in the very specific form of a grad ring commission...


concrete & graffiti. Sterling silver, quartz. 2012.

I delivered it on the morning of convocation, down in the basement as the grads lined up. We joked: “With this ring, I thee graduate…”. Super-tired from finishing the piece at 3am, and with just a cruel 20 minutes for pictures, it all melted away in the pleasure of watching my friend open the box, sort of squeal (yes, she did), and take out her grad gift to herself, the piece of jewellery that she had chosen to honour her achievement.


concrete & graffiti. Sterling silver, quartz. 2012.

Inspired by the ACAD stairwells, this ring was made from concrete-textured sterling silver, with a minimalist approach to the design: it was all about the form, and intense surface marking. My goal was to design a ring that was reminiscent of the typical hollow North-American grad ring, but to subvert the form, give it a makeover, and most especially figure out how to personalise it to my grad’s predilection for big sumptuous jewellery—setting her choice of an asymmetric, 25 carat, faceted quartz. Yum.

And the graffiti? Future versions will likely sport some enamel, but this ring still had remnants of red sharpie from my technical work on the stone-setting. I really liked the marks, just makes me want to use sharpies on lots of other metal work…


More on the ring design: My solution was a twist on the classic Tiffany modular or slotted card setting, creating 6 prongs to support the stone on 4 of 6 sides. The pavilion (bottom of the stone) has unequal angles on every side too, so each arm of the setting is tailored. I had wanted to work on this style for the longest time - this was my baptism of fire. Loved it.