Celtic Box - Holding Place

Materials: Silver
Dimensions: 30mm X 28mm X 20mm high

A small box with an open design incorporated as part of the lid.

Photo credit: Andrew Cameron-Mitchell

Andrew Cameron-Mitchell
Bushmills, Co. Antrim. USA

I am very much an amateur silversmith, still learning the discipline through book study,some night classes and time at the bench. I live in Ireland, a few minutes walk from the Giants Causeway, and my inspiration comes from the land - literally. I have made four-, five-, six-, seven- and eight-sided boxes reflecting the structure of the famous Causeway stones, the symmetry of these natural curiosities is superlative.

I am also fascinated by the interlace patterns woven in the old Irish manuscripts, the Celtic craftsmen had an exceptional talent for creating designs representing endless life. With a little help from a modern day drawing program it has been possible to incorporate a two dimensional design into a three dimensional structure.

These containers and vessels definitely hold their place in the world of stunning art objects as well as in the world of metalsmithing.

Since the dawn of time humans have created containers to hold things that were important to them, from large vessels to hold food and harvests to intimate containers for small precious things. They might hold memories, ashes, medicine, beverage, fruit or food - but all spring from the imagination and skill of the maker. Some have specific religious functions, some are meant for everyday use. When one thinks of a vessel or container the inclination is to think of something with solid walls - yet many of these works involve the exploration of positive and negative space, and the use of negative space to help create the illusion of the wall of the vessel.

As the world’s largest jewelry related internet site, Ganoksin strives to develop exhibitions showcasing work from around the world. This exhibition was open to all metalsmiths, professional and amateur, advanced and beginner. Participants are from The Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Israel, Hong Kong, Colombia, Romania, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia and Denmark. While most of the pieces are by an individual metalsmith, some are collaborations, one of three artists spanning 50 years.

In total 319 artists contributed 729 show pieces for the permanent online exhibition.

Objects in the exhibition include boxes, lockets, urns, ash containers, bowls, wine cups, reliquaries, match holders, vases, teapots, pitchers, sugar bowls, baskets, nests, pillboxes, clutches and a range of sculptural forms. A variety of techniques are showcased covering a wide range of metalsmithing techniques. Materials used include everything from gold and silver to less expensive metals. Ornamentation includes the addition of enamel, chasing and repousse’, gemstones and found objects.

The exhibition was curated by Beth Wicker, President of the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths in the United States, and Adjunct Instructor at Northeastern Technical College in South Carolina. Director of the exhibition is Hanuman Aspler, founder of The Ganoksin Project, the world’s largest internet jewelry site.