Convergences II - Holding Place

Materials: Argentium Sterling Silver
Dimensions: 4" tall, 2.5" diameter

I am fascinated by the way that metal that has been textured and/or patterned changes when the metal is formed by deep-drawing in a hydraulic press. This vessel is one of a series exploring the patterns created by deep-drawing microfolded (corrugated) metal. I am entranced by the way the folds pull together elegantly—hence the title for this series: “Convergences”.

-Sterling silver sheet was microfolded (corrugated) in a microfold brake. After annealing, it was microfolded again, at an angle to the first direction.
-Each sheet was sawn into a circle.
-Each circle was deep drawn in a hydraulic press to make cylindrical forms.
-The forms were trued and gently flared with mallets and steel stakes.
-The center section was formed (anticlasted) with hammers, mallets, and stakes. The rim was carefully formed and fitted. Soldering these to the textured vessel was tricky—getting the alignment right, and making sure that the solder did not fill the texture were exacting procedures.
-The sterling silver is a new alloy containing germanium, which is called Argentium Sterling. The germanium replaces some of the usual copper. This gives the metal tarnish resistance as well as fire scale resistance.

Photo credit: Cynthia Eid

Cynthia Eid
Lexington, MA. USA

The paradox that a “soft”, fluid-looking metal form has evolved from flat, stiff rectangles though my force, determination, and tenacity fascinates me. I am entranced by the metal’s progressive mutations — through hammering, persuasion, and struggle — from a lifeless plane of metal toward an object of vibrancy, unity and fluidity.

The forms of the objects I make have their roots in my gardens, and my meanderings through the woods and along the water’s edge. It is difficult for me to take a walk without lining my pockets with rocks, shells, leaves, and twigs. These souvenirs fill the windowsills of my studio. The allusions to nature are intentionally ambiguous, to encourage interactive response and contemplation by the viewer. The similarities to nature occur through my subconscious sense of beauty and methods of moving metal, rather than through conscious study or design. Experimentation, a sense of play, and serendipity play large roles in the designs of my work.

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.