Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Opal Chalice for Anointing Oils - Holding Place


Materials: 18k gold, carved crystal opal, soapstone 24k gold inlay
Dimensions: Chalice: 30mm x 15mm x 12.5mm, height on base: 76mm (3")

A miniature chalice, created to hold sacred oils during an anointing ceremony…

Photo credit: Jeff Behm

Douglas Zaruba
Frederick, MD. USA

There are certain people who are more aware of ghosts in the House of Time. They are sensitive to, fascinated by, obsessed with the power that resonates from objects or from the careful combination of selected materials. Our history is rich with stories of magical amulets, rings of power, enchanted stones, and objects of supernatural providence. I am an incarnation of that tradition. The objects that I create serve as points of departure. They are talismanic doorways opening into the collective unconscious.

Each of my pieces is a story in itself ancient science fiction, notes and impressions from the journey that inspired it. These impressions from a time traveler’s journal come in the form of fables, myths, allusions, memories from a time before and after. They serve as a map to those who would explore the realms where I have journeyed.

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.