‘At The Back of the Drawer’
By Claire Skelton
This pair of objects was created from the treasures found at the back of the drawer in my studio. Among other items, I discovered a gold chain bracelet that once belonged to my grandmother. To retain a portrait of the past, I took an impression of it in delft clay and cast it in pewter. The precious metal of each link in the chain was deconstructed and reformed into a contemporary ring, using traditional skills. The ring shank was formed by melting, milling and forging the bracelet from an ingot. I used the technique of granulation to melt increasingly more chain links to build a graduated bridge of golden spheres, which reaches the last existing link. This work reflects the process I focus on in my practice; taking an unworn piece of jewellery, found at the back of a drawer and creating a second life for it. I am continually intrigued by how we handle our sentimental jewellery of the past. When making bespoke pieces for clients in this way, I found that the stories behind the original pieces were always unique. Though I heard the same phrase repeated, ‘it was sitting at the back of the drawer’. I heard this even more often during lockdown, as so many people engaged in the cathartic process of delving in to our collections of belongings and deciding to either; relinquish, retain or renew these things.
Materials: recycled 9ct yellow gold. (ring), recycled pewter (plaque). Measurements: Gold ring: Approx. 2cm in diameter. Pewter plaque: Approx. 9cm in diameter