Thursday, August 19, 2010

Byzantium ring


18ct white gold Byzantium ring

a big name for a simple ring

Byzantium n. an ancient Greek city on the Bosporus, commanding the entrance to the Black Sea: Constantine I built the city of Constantinople on the site, AD330; now Istanbul.

Many years ago I began researching ancient jewellery.
I realised that in most cultures, what was considered  important was put onto  jewellery forms as well as textiles. Motifs of significance were engraved, enameled across the surface of the jewellery piece. And then worn on the body. When I started making production jewellery I wanted to make jewellery that could be worn everyday, but at the same time I wanted the work to reference other things. Things that make life more significant. So what came to be seen as decoration across the jewellery that I made, also were a system of symbols and signs that reference my research and I suppose belief systems. In Byzantine art feathers are engraved across the surface of jewellery,vessels and utilitarian objects, the inclusion of such hinted to the Divine, the sacred and so on.
The motif of the feather has perhaps been the most significant for me as a motif in my jewellery. I have also used the motif of the warp and weft of fabric for many years (this is also my Markers Mark).
So my Byzantium ring continues this tradition. I wanted to make a ring that looked very old (and wonky as a result). The engraving  is also wonky as the form it is engraved across is not perfect. With wear parts of the engraving will wear down, be burnished off, so the patterning will continue to change along with the person wearing it.

this ring can be seen at e.g.etal