In January I was asked to take part in the ‘Ring Show’ ‘Its all in the details’ by the very talented Patsy Kay Designs. I’m not a jeweller so to make 5 rings would be a challenge . Part of the deal of the exhibition was to collaborate with another artist with at least one of each others rings. All 5 rings are to go in a exhibition at Visual Space Gallery in Vancouver in June.
I love a challenge so of course I said yes.
I was partnered up with Susan Remnant to collaborate, whose work I really admire. We met first at her studio in Squamish, I was introduced to her work, discussed ideas on how to collaborate and wondered about our own rings and how we would be approaching the project. At this point I had no ideas on what to make. I wanted my rings to be 3D stitched thread as that seems to be my ‘thing’ right now. I also felt it should NOT be ocean themed, my life seems to be obsessed by the ocean! I also thought making something as small as a ring was going to be hard!
A picture on Susans mood wall really inspired me, turns out its from a beautiful book , Seeds; time capsule of life.
I came home and bought the book.
For any artist, especially textile artists or felters its full of delicious inspiration!
I started to play, trying to get the dimension and shapes as photographed in the books. The colours are fun too, very different to my usual palette, so I decided to use the colours as well as the shapes as inspiration.
I was having fun, but a big concern was how to attach my embroidery to a sterling silver ring, and where to buy the sterling rings to work for my embroidery.
Susan was working on a pod theme and wanted to learn how to felt to include in her pods, so we decided our collaboration would be through teaching. She came to my studio and we felted. I went to her studio and made 3 sterling silver rings!
The drive to squamish is beautiful especially when the sun is shinning, a number of times along the trip my breath was taken away.
I took my silver, solder, flux and embroidery pieces. Susan showed me how to saw, shape, solder and sand the ring.
I even made one a bit too big so I hammered it to give a lovely texture and help make it a bit smaller.
I then rolled my remaining silver to make it thinner, cut disks, drilled holes and then soldered the disks to my rings (with
some a lot of help from Susan) . These holey disks mean I can sew my embroidery to the rings and no need to for glue which would discolour my silk thread.
They then went to the polishing machine to make them super shiny! Its a dangerous machine so Susan helped a lot with the polishing!
I had so much fun, I am most definitely hooked with metal work! Maybe making more jewellry but I also have a whole shelf of antique sewing machines missing parts that I could make and replace!!
It helps of course that I got to play in a studio full of tools, so everything I needed was right at hand.
Once I got home I stitched the embroidery to the rings. Since my embroidery all started out white silk then dyed once the embroidery was complete I made sure I dyed enough silk thread to sew the embroidery to the rings.
No Glue which I’m thrilled about!
The exhibition is going be wonderful, I highly recommend you visiting. June 5th-14th @ Visual Space Gallery