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Ciborium - Holding Place


#1

Materials: Copper with gold plating
Dimensions: 11" h x 6" dia.

The ciborium is a vessel use to hold the hosts in the Christian communion service. Hand fabricating two identical vessels, where both lids had to fit both vessels interchangeably was particularly challenging.

Photo credit: Ansen Seale Photography

Michael Imbimbo
San Antonio, Texas. USA

I have been an architect/artist in San Antonio for 40 years. Aside from architecture my artistic investigations have included ceramics, serigraph printing and copper smithing, focusing on vessel forms. The vessel is the traditional expression of both ceramics and metal smithing. In my work I try to use the vessel as a point of departure to explore new form.

This submission is a group of communion vessels commissioned by a local Christian congregation. The pitcher from this group was submitted on its own previously. Two of each form were fabricated using traditional raising techniques. Consistent with Christian liturgical requirements, the insides of all vessels were plated with 24k gold.


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.