My Secret Past - Holding Place

Materials: Sterling silver
Dimensions: 5.5cm length x 6cm height x 4cm depth

Hand-fabricated silver box with lid and detail. A butterfly perches on the lid and, when opened, a caterpillar is revealed on the underside of the lid…the butterfly’s former self.

Photo credit: Sorcha O’Horain

Sorcha O’Horain
Waterford, Ireland

My name is Sorcha O’Horain, originally from Dublin, now living in Co. Waterford, Ireland. My work is hand-fabricated with precious metals and gemstones using age-old, traditional techniques. I like to design clean, elegant pieces which allow the pure beauty of the metal to shine. Repeated units, precision and symmetry are prevalent in the jewellery i make however i like to always include curves and soft lines, to create an organic rather than geometric feel. My inspiration comes from the beautiful symmetry and repetition found in nature and from the organic lines of the human body itself, for which the jewellery is made to adorn. My pieces have a satin-like finish to create the illusion of softness in what is a rigid, tough material.

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.