Three Garden Boxes - Holding Place

Materials: Sterling silver, handcut natural Australian zircons.
Dimensions: Approx 2 cm wide x average of 3.5 cm high

Three little boxes in Sterling Silver using sawwork for the designs on the side. Very small and good for holding thoughts which makes it debatable whether the container is greater than it’s contents. Depends on your thoughts.

The tops of the boxes are so shiny that it gives the optical illusion of them being lidless.

Photo credit: Renate Sommer

Renate Anna Sommer
Seabreeze Silver
Adelaide, South Australia. Australia

Inspired endlessly by nature and the sea, I’ve been making jewellery for over 30 years now. Every now and then I have the need to break out and play at new ideas. Always liked making tiny silver boxes. Hinges are a constant challenge but so satisfying when they work.

Taught in the late 70s by the late and wonderful Christopher Headley Neave, I lost some creative years in the need to make money to survive and sat boring long hours in offices instead, silly me. Now I’m working from home in my lovely studio under the house, within the sound of the sea, and just loving it. Poor in dollars but rich in experiences.

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.