I am introducing an interview series on my blog called ‘Conversations with worn objects’, about jewellery pieces I have made. It gives me the opportunity to revisit and reflect on pieces I have made once they leave the studio from the perspective of the wearer.
Objects… have another aspect to them which is intimately bound up with the subject; no longer simply material bodies offering a certain resistance, they become mental precincts over which I hold sway, they become things of which I am the meaning, they become my property and my passion.
Jean Baudrillard (1996) ‘The Non-Functional System, or Subjective Discourse’,The System of Object. Verso: London, pp 91.
The very first wedding rings that I ever made were for my friends Kasia and Nick.
It was also the first time that I had worked with gold.
So their rings are very significant to me. They were the start of where I am now.
It felt like a gift at the time, to be chosen to make these rings which they would wear every day. A gift and an honour. Every single ring that I have made since has felt the same way.
I remember that I played music that they liked as I made them, and wished them well as I worked.
When I make rings for a couple, I always, place them together, from the beginning of the making process to the finish, they sit on my bench as a pair and remain that way. Even with orders for people that I do not know, I wish them well.
‘Conversations with Worn Objects’ Blog series- I
1. Why did you choose this particular piece of jewellery?
Gold and ruby – ruby the birthstone for July, Tom’s birth month and mine too.
Nick commissioned this ring and gave it to me on my birthday in 2005 – 27 days after I gave birth to our son Tom.
The little ruby is set off-centre in an oval or egg-shaped piece of gold. We thought if we had another child, we could ask you to have the other birthstone set next to Tom’s. As it happens, Tom is our only child, but the ruby has never looked out of place or lonely, rather it sort of sits up and says ‘Look! I’m here!’
It is a very special ring, I didn’t expect it and I think I probably cried when N gave it to me. I love it. It sits on my left hand ring finger, next to my wedding ring, Nick’s ring, the one which joined us and which is inscribed with his name on the inside of the band. Thank you so much Katherine for these beautiful special rings – and for being our ring bearer at our wedding all those years ago!
2. Tell me about the experience of wearing this piece?
I wear Tom’s ring – and Nick’s – every day. I never really take either of them off unless I have to. I would feel lost without them now!
Sometimes the ruby & gold ‘stone’ slides around to the side and I flick it back in front with my little finger – I quite like doing this, it reminds me of my boys by drawing my attention to the rings.
3. What story does the jewellery piece tell, what is its significance to you?
The ring is about family, a ring to commemorate the birth of our son, from my husband – my best friend. It’s about becoming a family, about being together and sharing this crazy old journey. It reminds me daily of how lucky I am.
4. What about my practice drew you to commission your piece?
You drew us to your practice! Wonderful you! And your wonderful work – unique, personal, thoughtful, organic, fluid, living, being. Our wedding rings are particularly special to us, not just because they are so lovely, but because we feel so honoured to be the recipients, from your hands – as maker and ring bearer – of the first wedding rings you made! I remember talking to you about the rings and then you describing the thoughts and process that created the rings. They are old and new, worn and polished shiny by our hands. I love the softness of them, the way they look as if they’ve just been formed by kneading and sculpting the gold like wax, and that little marks and fingerprints – and our names written in your handwriting – are still there to see.
Thank you lovely Katherine.