“1,000 Rings” Book Review

59Rings are the great markers of time, celebrating poignant moments in our lives: love and marriage; rites of passage, such as graduations, bar mitzvahs and retirement; bonds of friendship. We dress our digits in high style, embellishing our most expressive and dynamic body part, the hands, for the whole world to see. A stunning ring is often the first thing someone notices about us. It’s not surprising the ring stars in the superb coffee-table-style book “1,000 Rings, Inspiring Ornaments for the Hand,” edited by Marthe Le Van.

“1,000 Rings” displays 1,000 rings in lavish photos accompanied by descriptive text.  Artists share personal stories of their creative process throughout the book. While some rings are awe-inspiring, others’ fun and funky, all are exceptional works of art created by the best contemporary jewelers, vividly representing the artists’ relationship to their craft. Showcasing compelling rings from traditional to extremely avant-garde, “1,000 Rings” showcases jewelry of mind boggling visual and textural contrast that employs a myriad of diverse materials and fabrication methods: precious metals; base metals; precious metal clay, porcelain, Brazilian rosewood, pumice, brush bristles, feathers, Tagua nut, shells, plastic, sand and even meteorites. Classic precious and semi-precious gems, such as diamonds and pearls, are also represented. Big, bold, colorful, gutsy, strange and sublime, here are 1,000 rings that make a powerful and dramatic statement. Artist Michael Zobel comments, “Through the connection of precious metals, stones and unconventional materials, I create unique objects, which make the extraordinary wearable.”

Artist Reina Mia Brill gives us, “Giddy Up,” a double ring of such surprising exuberance and joy that it gleefully jumps off the page with life. Brightly-colored, coated copper wire is hand knit into this playful animated piece. “Cosmic Connection,” by Joe Reyes Apodaca, is a luscious 14-karat gold sculpture featuring Australian opal, diamond brilliant and meteorite. Tamara Clark’s “Starry Galaxy” features a sterling silver platform dotted with 18-karat gold balls and a sparkling star sapphire, all hand-forged and hammered into an astronomer’s dream. Functional jewelry or outrageous art, Ellen Cheeks’ “Back to Basics” is a wide silver and gold finger-cuff with a 9B drawing pencil attached – handy for jotting down notes!

For pet lovers, or perhaps for those who would like something furry that doesn’t require feeding or walking, Heather White’s “Circle Ring – Pet” features a white puff of fur set into a gold and sterling silver ring. “Dog’s Faith” by Becky van den Brink is a sculpture of a dog wearing a leash and collar sitting obediently on a finger. One of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces is Seo Yoon Choi’s “Desire” fashioned in sterling silver and stainless steel, encircled by a glorious arc of soft, white feathers. Jaclyn Davidson’s “Zebra Ring” is a gorgeous 18-karat gold and black enamel zebra head; its neck gracefully curled into a ring. Lee Carper’s “Vortex Ring” is stunning in 14-karat yellow gold with Tahitian pearls. Ungluing Woo’s, “Something Sweet,” is a die-formed chunk of gleaming silver etched and fabricated to look like a delicious chocolate — presented in a sterling chocolate box inset with a 18-karat gold chocolate cup.

Impressive in its brilliant concept and attractive presentation, “1,000 Rings” opens with a thoughtful introduction by Robert W. Ebendorf, the Carol Brotnes Belk Distinguished Professor in the Department of Art at East Carolina University. Professor Ebendorf juried this incredible ring collection and his passionate appreciation of art is palpable. Unlike many over-sized coffee-table books, “1,000 Rings” is a relatively small, soft-covered tablet, only 8-inches-square and 1-1/2-inches thick. Its dull, matte-black cover comes alive with a photo of Patty L. Cokus’ “Articulated Frusta: Ring #1,” an exquisite, brushed-gold creation reminiscent of a soft ice cream cone with a swirl on top. A hard cover would have been a nice finishing touch for this book, giving it a longer browsing life and a weightier feel; nevertheless, “1,000 Rings” deserves a special place in your fine art library.

Firmly anchored in the philosophy that jewelry is art, “1,000 Rings” celebrates rings as the most important piece of wearable art. Rings are, after all, miniature sculptures, compact platforms on which ring-makers display their art. Ultimately, this book is a grand celebration of creativity. It would make a wonderful gift for any ring enthusiast, jewelry lover, jewelry designer and anyone who collects books about contemporary art.

All Rights Reserved Copyright 2008 Susan Dorling
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Vegetarian Burgers

Vegetarian_Burgers_001

Ingredients for yummy burgers made without real meat:

¾ cup chopped red onion

½ tablespoon chopped ginger

1 14 ounce can of re-fried beans

¼ cup chick pea flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chana masala (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

a few slices of avocado, for garnish

fresh garden sprouts, for garnish

a few slices of tomato, for garnish

Chana Masala
2 tablespoons garam masala

2 teaspoons pomegranate powder

2 teaspoons mango powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon ground red chili pepper

2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves, crushed with hands

pinch of salt

Get the full recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/vegetarian-burgers/11343/#F8mOmvvOzjwTU75T.99http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/vegetarian-burgers/11343/

History of Animal Motif Jewelry and the Jewelry of Laurie Stetzler

The_Reef_Views_PhotoFor anyone with a passion for jewelry, especially jewelry inspired by animals, collecting decorative art jewelry with animal motifs is a fascinating journey of discovery. From an early Cartier diamond-studded, gold panther reflecting this famous jeweler’s passion for form, abstraction, geometry and animals(the first Cartier panther ‘arrived’ in 1914 and a vibrant and exquisite parade of owls, eagles, pigs, giraffes, herons, and snakes followed)—to Celtic jewelry heaped in symbolism rife with boars (masculine power), bulls (virility, sovereignty and wealth), and dogs (archetypal symbols of shape-shifters)to the contemporary, animal-inspired, art jewelry by Laurie Stetzler—every mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, marine animal, insect and arachnid one can possibly imagine has been represented in artfully-crafted jewelry throughout the ages, in every culture and society.

Antique & Vintage Animal Jewelry

Both sentimentality and symbolism were major elements in Victorian jewelry. In the late 1800s, Darwin’s controversial theories on evolution, as well as new, exciting botanical discoveries of the day piqued interest in the natural world. Personal adornment reflected these new interests, with jewelry created in the forms of insects and animals. Combining our love of antique and vintage jewelry collecting along with animal motifs, there is a cornucopia of animal delights from the Georgian and Victorian (Early Victorian and Romantic Era) eras from which to choose.

It was a time when jewelry could be read like books; the design so poignantly expressing the giver’s feelings and hopes. For example, dogs symbolized fidelity, butterflies symbolized the soul, salamanders and lizards symbolized passionate love. Look for beautiful, gem-set butterflies, enameled beetles, silver monkeys and even lovely, golden house flies. Throughout the years, some of these same creatures have been used over and over again, incorporating the styles and workmanship of the Victorian era.

Contemporary Animal Jewelry

For the discriminating collector of unique, handmade contemporary art jewelry, award-winning jewelry designer, Laurie Stetzler, meticulously crafts animal art jewelry that reflects her love of animals, and her compassion and reverence for all life and the natural world.

Her extraordinary body of work incorporates exquisite animal motifs, dragons, mermaids, feminist/goddess themes, mythology, masks, unicorns and more. Her fabulous “Leopard Pin” is reminiscent of the Art Deco era. Others, such as the dramatic “Roebuck Earrings and Necklace” are from mythology” Her enchanting interpretation of the Bear Totem, Coyote Totem and Horse Totem in sets of earrings and bolas, is crafted in sterling silver and natural “Sleeping Beauty” turquoise. Her whimsical, “Cats on the Couch”, and all her animal motif and other sophisticated jewelry pieces are masterfully made by Laurie, from the original design to the finished piece.

From hand-carving precious metal, cutting rare gemstones and hand-setting them, to lost wax casting and other techniques that are supremely difficult and take years to master, Laurie Stetzler has been making jewelry and doing lapidary since she was sixteen years old. She is inspired by what she calls the “Spirit of the Universe”, and most interested in interpreting the beauty of life, both the spiritual and the manifest.

Not surprisingly, Laurie Stetzlerhas always been interested in the technical aspects of jewelry. Working with precious metals offers her the freedom of artistic expression. She views her jewelry not merely as personal adornment, but a powerful way in which she connects to those who wear her creations, drawing energies, healing and hope. Laurie has shown her work in many national juried competitions, is carried in many national art galleries, and has also exhibited in Japan. Her work is a must-see for jewelry collectors who appreciate the artistic sensibility behind a true work of wearable art.

Check out this gorgeous piece: http://lauriestetzler.com/The_Reef_Neck_piece/

Visit Laurie Stetzler’s site at http://www.lauriestetzler.com

All Rights Reserved Copyright 2008 Susan Dorling

Congratulations Toka, Thika and Iringa

toronto-zoo-elephants-are-leaving-website-promoAs proud members of PAWS, The Performing Animal Welfare Society, we are thrilled that our Toronto elephants have finally arrived at the PAWS Sanctuary in California today! We are so excited for them to have this wonderful new beginning and they are settling in beautifully. Imagine how happy they’ll be roaming all those acres, feeling the luxurious warmth of the California sun on their old bones all year long and receiving expert, loving care from Ed Stewart and the incredible team that make PAWS such a vital force in transforming performing and zoo animals’ lives.These magnificent animals deserve the very best, and now they’ll have it in spades. Yay for Toka, Thika and Iringa — you go girls!

Here’s some photos of the journey and the girls getting settled in at the sanctuary.

Endangered Animals From the Democratic Republic of Congo

200329433-001Per square mile, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the most resource-rich country in the world, containing two-thirds of the world’s remaining rain forests. Sadly, years of armed conflict, rapid deforestation, overhunting and the illegal bushmeat and exotic wildlife trade have had a devastating effect on many animal species in this war-torn country. Mammals, birds, amphibians, fishes and arthropods are among the 51 species on the 2013 IUCN Red List of endangered animals.

Read More at: http://animals.pawnation.com/endangered-animals-democratic-republic-congo-8757.html

DIY Horseshoe Necklace

The timeless appeal of the horseshoe in jewelry design is due as much to it being a symbol of good fortune as it is a perfectly symmetrical, unifying focal element. Whether embellished with crystals, hammered for rich texture or punched with holes to hang gemstone bead drops, horseshoe necklaces are a sophisticated staple in every fashionistas’ jewelry wardrobe. The power of the horseshoe as a talisman or amulet to project positive energy and protect the wearer is thought to be gently held within its graceful, yet strong upward curves.

Things You’ll Need

1 mm to 1.5 mm thick or 26-gauge sterling silver or copper flat wire or flat pattern wire
Hole punch or drill
Flush cutter
Metal file
16-gauge jump rings
Flat back Swarovski crystals or hot-fix Swarovski crystals and bejeweling tool
Pre-made sterling silver or copper chain or sterling silver or copper jump rings for chainmail divided into two equal portions for correct size necklace.
Sterling silver or copper toggle clasp or wire to make your own
Ball peen hammer (optional)
Bench block (optional)

Planning and Implementation of the Design

Step 1

Measure your neck or the neck of the person for whom you are making the necklace at the length you wish the necklace to hang. Generally, a choker-length necklace measures 16 inches, a necklace that sits at the collarbone is about 18 inches or a little longer and a longer necklace that hangs a few inches below the collar bone is 20 inches. A 22-inch necklace sits at or above the neckline and a 24-inch necklace sits below the neckline.

Draw your design on paper to determine the size of the horseshoe focal you desire, the placement of crystals, the placement of holes and the length of chain or chain mail you need to create. Explore the possibilities and your creativity by drawing whatever comes to mind, within the horseshoe design concept. Choose the design that looks the best.

Step 2

Bend the flat or pattern wire horizontally, keeping the wire flat on the work surface. Hammer smooth wire to give it a surface design texture. Leave smooth spots where the crystals will be placed. Punch or drill a hole in each end of the wire, leaving about 1/2 inch at the end. Trim the square ends off the two ends of the wire to create a point at each end. File the ends until they are round and smooth with no sharp edges. Glue on the flat back crystals or use the bejeweler tool to add crystals according to your design plan.

Step 3

Weave the chainmail, if you’re using it. Attach the two chain or chainmail sections to either side of the horseshoe with the jump rings. Attach the clasp with a jump ring to one side for the bar and one side of the chain for the toggle.