Wow. I am utterly flabbergasted at some of the…I can’t put this
any other way…blinkered responses I’m seeing here, and from people
whose work and whose intelligence I hold in high esteem. And I
thought I was a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to "conceptual"
I love the “500/1000 whatevers” books, and it surprises me that
anyone could get so flexed over their mere existence. As I see it,
the goal of “1000 Rings” is simply to give 1000 examples of how
contemporary jewelers have answered the question, "What is a ring?"
Clearly, there is going to be a huge range of responses to this
question; some will be traditional, some avant-garde, some serious,
and some silly. There’s nothing wrong with that. Search my posts in
the archives and you’ll find me kvetching about objects that are
only called rings because you can stick a finger in them, but I think
that, considering the goal of the book to represent the entire
spectrum of “ringness,” they had to be included.
It is shameful to say that all the rings in this book are worthless
pieces of schlock, or “landfill jewelry,” or whatever. Look at the
back cover, where there’s a ring in high-carat gold with cabochon
stones and beautiful granulation, all quite traditional (heck,
downright ancient). Check out the interlocking wedding set by Anneli
Tammik on page 54, the technically demanding and gorgeous Moebius
ring by Klaus Spies on page 59, or the mindblowing assemblage of
teeny gold components by Cathy Chotard on page 72…the list could
go on and on. These are not gimcrack; they’re innovative,
well-executed, beautiful rings that took a lot of time and skill to
create, and these artists deserve a hell of a lot better than to
have their work dismissed as trash.
If you want a book with more textual content, say a book that
describes different techniques used in making rings, there are plenty
of those. That’s not the purpose of the Lark books. I return to them
again and again to get me unstuck when I find myself short on ideas,
and I’ve probably been just as inspired by some of the “WTF” rings as
by the “Wow, that’s gorgeous” rings.
People come up with different ideas. Don’t fight it. Enjoy it.
[End of big rant. For now.]