susan ewington jewellery

traditional techniques

Susan Ewington JewelleryComment

Here's an interesting one, a renaissance of a ring, when the wearer used their ring to stamp into a wax seal to use as their signature for binding documents.  It's a style of ring that dates back to ancient eras, but was probably most predominantly used during the European Middle ages and Renaissance.  

This one was hand made using 18ct yellow gold, the central seal in the form of a horned goat, was masterfully hand engraved here in Melbourne by a local trade hand engraver, whose skill is beyond that of most, especially here in Australia.  It is truly a dying art form, where most of this level of detail up until now could have only been hand done, it is now being lost to the arguably more efficient and cost effective methods known as CAD/CAM in the industry, to everyone else, computer aided 3D technology.  Whilst this new technology certainly has a place within the broader spectrum of mass jewellery manufacture and even more importantly in my opinion in the contemporary art scene,  it is sad to think that this type of skill, centuries old, will become very nearly obsolete. 

There is certainly a fiery debate within the jewellery trade about the merits of the increasing CAD/CAM products, a veritable "old school VS new school" argument (I have to say I definitely lean more towards the "old school") and I can't see it dying down anytime soon.  In the meantime, continuing support to the tradesmen and the handmade in general is the only way to keep these incredible skills alive and in Australia.

ring in production, assembling the grape leaves and vine for the shoulders

ring in production, assembling the grape leaves and vine for the shoulders

the wax seal impression of the hand engraved horned goat

the wax seal impression of the hand engraved horned goat