The collection is called Re-Form·ed. It looks at why people wear jewellery. In particular, investigating the emotional and sentimental connection to these cherished objects.
So far, this year has been about pushing my work beyond the traditional decorative function. My aim is to create jewellery that lets someone express themselves in a way that may not otherwise be able to. And to encourage people to think about what jewellery is, what it can be and why we wear it.
The ring designs and forms are developed from drawing on my own experiences and relationships with the people around me. If these experiences are universal enough, then everyone can identify with them, on some level. For example the design based on my homesickness whilst I was overseas can be interchangeable with some else that is missing someone their life. The person represented can change but the form and emotion stays the same.
I am continually building on the collection of rings. At the moment there is no set number. One ring inspires the next and the designs continually evolve. So far all the ring models are either in wax or brass.
My aim is to cast each ring in precious metals. By asking people to donate old, unused, stamped gold or silver jewellery. Maybe there is a ring or a necklace that is never worn, but still want the memory of person who gave it. Or that place where it was bought? Or just turning a negative into a positive.
The old pieces of jewellery will be melted down and the material recast into a ring form. In exchange for the donation, after my assessment and graduating exhibition, the donor gets the ring. The design that they have chosen and was cast from the jewellery that they donated. This way they are bringing a little of their own history to the object.
Another aspect of the project is collecting stories behind the pieces of jewellery that were donated, its history. Also investigating why the people chose a particular ring design. What aspect of the design do they connect with? This information will inform my making further. Having direct contact with people who acquire jewellery and investigating their motives.
This first series in this collection is the only one that is labour free with donations of material and each ring will be created once. The rings with red dots have been chosen. Once the material has been received the image will be updated to show the ring cast in its precious metal.
I hope to continue this collection beyond this series, collecting stories and transforming the old into the new.
Music by Longzijun
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