I was recently working on a very special project. Inspired by a previous ring I made using Iceland Spar, known as a Viking Compass or "Sunstone" I was asked to create a ring using this stone but with personal references to an Italian heritage inspired by childhood tales of erupting volcanoes, family heirlooms, and treasured ancient artifacts.
Inspirational images personally provided by the commission
At this time I had been researching ancient vessels known as Pyxis after seeing them first hand on my visit to Greece. Used to contain jewellery and personal objects they had been made throughout time using of many materials including glass, clay and stone all over the world.
There was so much rich history and personal details to put into this very special piece of jewellery, we decided it needed to grow and become so much more. To make a vessel that would hold some of the precious fragments inside, it would also represent the person it belonged to through details in it's design.
More significant details to be included in the piece as part of their identity
In researching ancient Pyxis, this particular vessel caught my attention. The handle on the lid reminded me of my Hewn rings. I thought instead of the vessel merely holding the ring inside as a jewellery box, it could actually became part of the design. This would display the ring when not worn and make a sculptural combination of the pieces fitting nicely together.
For the actual aesthetics and technical creation of the piece, I needed to experiment. The image of the worn but vividly coloured tiles provided in the commission and the stories of forebears escaping volcanic eruptions meant the colours and formation of lava flows would be a fitting choice.
Studio experiments trying to capture lava's viscosity.
This gave me the method of unique marbled colours hinting at movement and with a lot of shaping and layering I had my vessel! The lid was cast and shaped to fit with a deep lip and hand carved with the niche to fit the bespoke Iceland spar ring to stand on top.
And here it is, the full combination! This piece also has a few more hidden details requested especially to make it personal but I will keep a lid on those...
If you have any niggling notions about having a unique piece made, get in touch! I'll be happy to answer your questions whether for just a little special somethin' or a wild and crazy idea you're not even sure is possible!