Ring Number Nine in 20k Gold
One more week passed, another baby was born and Ring Number Nine was made!!!! Yes, another beautiful, healthy granddaughter of mine was born this week. Both of my grand-babies were expecting to arrive in March, a few weeks apart, but somehow, they decided to show up earlier and closer apart than we thought.
At the beginning of the week I started to work on what I thought was going to be Ring Number Nine. I started to carve a wax for a new ring. I was planning to set colorful sapphires on it so they could be cast in place, but the birth of my granddaughter changed this plan. I got busy again, witnessing her being born after a long, slow, all nighter labor. Well, it was well worth the wait; there’s nothing more moving, exciting and rewarding than watching your daughter have a baby. The baby girl was named Alyson, she is petite and beautiful, with fair skin, rosy cheeks, and blonde eyelashes. She has such long fingers that I am sure she will make a fantastic ring model!
To celebrate grand-motherhood again, I went back to knit a second ring. I started to wrap a sterling silver band with the pink thread and fine silver wire, but I didn’t like the direction it was going, so I decided to draw very thin 20k gold wire to wrap one of the gold bands I made the week before. You see, when I started the FOAK IT! project, I envisioned using gold wire to make the rings the weeks my daughters gave birth. However, last week the first attempt didn’t work and ended up using the pink thread instead.
This week I was determined to make the 20k gold wire work, so I took my time, and made sure to draw the wire the exact thickness necessary to knit it, not too thin and not to thick. I practiced threading the wire, annealing it as I worked (I found a fantastic tip of using a cigarette lighter to do so). I also played with different pliers to find the one that was strong enough to pull the wire hard enough to make it tight, and covering it with tape to make sure it wouldn’t leave marks on the wire. While trying a plastic covered plier, I was happy to discover that it helped smooth the various inevitable bents created on the wire while working on it. And I finally got myself into a steady rhythm, threading the gold wire, knotting it, pulling it, smoothing it, annealing it and starting over again, until it was done. Just like my grandmothers used to do it, but this time using gold wire instead of yarn.
I absolutely love how this ring came out. The lines formed by the wire are lovely, evoking drawings and textiles created by artists such as Eva Hesse, Anni Ablers, and of course Agnes Martin. This ring still has the geometrical and architectural aesthetic that has always been present in my work, but a delicate organic element has been added to it. Ring Number Nine feels very intimate and personal, and that is because it was inspired by one of the most moving moments a woman can have: watching her daughters giving birth to her granddaughters, twice in two weeks.
Next week I plan to go back to my wax carved ring. I love its silhouette; it looks like a dramatic elongated signet ring. I still have to work on it a bit more before I can set the sapphires on it. I can’t wait to get my hands back on it, see it finished and show you the results!
If you want to see the process as it happens, make sure you follow me on Instagram. Click HERE to follow me.