"What Is Jewellery?" Exhibition Piece No.1 Gold Cubed Ring

 

Jewellery is... DESIRE

Gold Cubed Ring, metal, resin, metal dust, Jade Mellor 2014

Gold Cubed Ring, metal, resin, metal dust, Jade Mellor 2014

Box of pyrite specimens: A cube of cubes...

Box of pyrite specimens: A cube of cubes...

In the exhibition What Is Jewellery?" curated by Eve Redmond the purpose was to show unorthodox materials being used by artists today. This ring is made from resin, very different to jewellery traditionally created from precious metal. The piece is also inspired by another material which I use a lot in my work which is Pyrite...


"Pyrite is one of my favourite minerals, the cubic formation has always fascinated me, it looks manufactured with it's crisp metallic edges but builds naturally in this way because of it's unique structure. I love learning about the formation of our environment, triggered by unusual finds like this and researching in Manchester Museum's amazing stores of specimens. This ring is my homage to the beautiful mineral. If Fool's Gold is called so because it appears like gold, this must be (Fool's) Gold Cubed." (my description for this piece)


So with this first ring I want to explore the aspect of jewellery meaning DESIRE: To want something for how it looks, the glint of metallic catching your eye with the magpie's instinct to swoop in and fly off with these shiny treasures. 

This ring was inspired by pyrite. The sparkling mineral nicknamed "Fool's Gold" could be all about it's appearance for those who would be tricked into thinking it was the real thing. 


 
Five "Fool's Gold" Rings of mine,  all using real specimens of the mineral pyrite available now at Craft & Culture  HERE

Five "Fool's Gold" Rings of mine,  all using real specimens of the mineral pyrite available now at Craft & Culture HERE

 


I am attracted to pyrite for how it looks*, it's natural facets twinkling and the smoothed areas gleaming make it a good choice for jewellery, as who doesn't want to wear something that lights up the room in such a way? However the benefits of using this mineral instead of expensive real gold is that I can manipulate it more and I am not afraid to experiment without knowing what the final outcome may be. Gold is a wonderful material to use, but it's preciousness makes it a material you plan for, savouring it, using just enough to make what you intend. Pyrite is much more available to me, this means the exciting part comes from how I can push it. I can smash it, I can grind it, I can use the BIGGEST GOLDEN CHUNKS of it for maximum impact. And when it is worn in this way, it is not showing off value and wealth in the way that a giant 24ct medallion might. It's golden glow is great, but after the wow of the initial impact, there's the head tilt and the chirrup of the curious sparrow. What IS it? How did that come to be? To realise these angular nuggets or magnificent cubes have formed in that shape by themselves as a wonder of nature, that is the thing that continues to excite me, the thing that I love, as well as desire which will never lose it's lustre. 

For some excellent insights into materials and exploring their values vs appearances and how they are being used in contemporary art jewellery today check out the latest CURRENT OBSESSION: FAKE  ISSUE. These guys are the cutting edge of what's happening right now...

 

 

The following posts will look at the other rings in the exhibition. It's been good for me to take the time to think about why use certain materials in my work. Be great to hear what you choose to make your work with! Sometimes having limits can even be the best way to be inventive...

 

 

*(call me a fool, but an honest fool)

 

Behind the Bespoke

The first cast from a mould taken from a one-off master. A mixture of naturally formed raw quartz crystal and cast resin. the rest of the body of the ring will now be built up and cemented with more material.

The first cast from a mould taken from a one-off master. A mixture of naturally formed raw quartz crystal and cast resin. the rest of the body of the ring will now be built up and cemented with more material.

Here is some background on a recent ring I was commissioned to make for a lover of bold, unique sculptural jewellery. Experimental and organic, it takes time and observation to let a piece like this develop.

This scrummy chunk of ferrous pyrite has the same textures I want to evoke through my processes. Naturally rusty and glittering due to it's combination of minerals and metals.

This scrummy chunk of ferrous pyrite has the same textures I want to evoke through my processes. Naturally rusty and glittering due to it's combination of minerals and metals.

Hand shaping with files and emery paper, enhancing the natural shapes and creating my own angles and protrusions.

Hand shaping with files and emery paper, enhancing the natural shapes and creating my own angles and protrusions.

You may notice the cast was originally a dull grey colour. The coloration on the finished ring is due to the iron inclusions in the resin, it is essentially controlled rusting, a process usually prevented at all costs when causing a deterioration in metal objects (just see my poor tools). This ring is rusting to become the glittering metallic-brown, enhanced with lots of graded polishing and finishing. Here are some of the rusted metal fragment residue in my bowl from the shaping I did. To me it looks like a swirling galaxy in the surface of the dirty water. Even the messy work can become beautiful if you look at it closely.

You may notice the cast was originally a dull grey colour. The coloration on the finished ring is due to the iron inclusions in the resin, it is essentially controlled rusting, a process usually prevented at all costs when causing a deterioration in metal objects (just see my poor tools). This ring is rusting to become the glittering metallic-brown, enhanced with lots of graded polishing and finishing. Here are some of the rusted metal fragment residue in my bowl from the shaping I did. To me it looks like a swirling galaxy in the surface of the dirty water. Even the messy work can become beautiful if you look at it closely.

Finished ring, coloured by rust, and finally encrusted with pyrite.

Finished ring, coloured by rust, and finally encrusted with pyrite.

jade mellor bespoke jewellery ring crystal crown.JPG
jade mellor bespoke jewellery ring crystals minerals rust angle.JPG
bespoke ring jade mellor crystal black glove.JPG
A crown or crystals

A crown or crystals

For enquiries into having your own bespoke piece made or giving the opportunity as a redeemable gift certificate just get in touch via info@jademellor.com and I'll be happy to answer any questions.