Star Anise Box - Holding Place

Materials: Sterling silver
Dimensions: height 50mm, diameter 30mm

Small round box, fabricated, to hold spices. The lid is formed by chasing and repoussé, and is a tight push fit.

Photo credit: Annette Petch

Annette Petch
Annette Petch Jewellery.
Sheffield, UK

I make intricate, delicate jewellery- necklaces, earrings, bracelets, cufflinks and rings, in silver and gold; tiny silver books with messages inside, little boxes to hide your secrets in, and small decorative bowls.

Chasing is a technique I use in most of my pieces, where the silver or gold is stuck onto pitch, and worked into with different shaped punches, to create textures and forms in the metal. I am fascinated by the way the lines I chase onto one side of the metal can be altered and transformed by working from the back to form emerging three dimensional shapes.

I also specialize in hand made chains, where each link is individually formed, soldered together, sometimes hammered to reflect the light.

Influences are the structure and texture of natural forms- shells, seed pods, leaves, flowers, bark, rippled sand and swirling water. I like my jewellery to incorporate sound and movement. Places that inspire me are gardens, woodland and the seashore.

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.