The Cernunos figure that I described in my last post took a lot of effort. After that, I decided to do something simple — and use up the clay left over from making the Cernunos. I made three simple rings, each with a twist to make it somewhat unusual. All were both easy to do and visually appealing. I will describe the three of them here, and say something about how they were made.
This ring is the easiest to describe. I made a simple textured ring, although I made it a bit thicker than usual (1.25mm instead of 1 mm). Then, using a small plastic straw, I punched evenly spaced holes in it. The increased thickness is to make up for the ring not being as solid as usual. I patinaed the ring, and then polished the patina off the raised part of the texture. The holes complement the texture, which combines light and dark, giving the ring a unique look.
For this ring, I rolled out a snake of clay. I then gripped it by the middle, held it up in the air, and spun it slowly, so the snake would twist around itself. I then placed the twisted snake over a ring mandrel. I used a clay shaper and a bit of slip to make sure the ends would stick. After firing, I decided that this ring looked best shiny. In other words, I did not apply a patina.
To make this ring, I extruded a snake. An extruded snake is even; a rolled snake, as in the ring above, is not. Neither is better than the other. It’s simply an artistic choice. I then rolled the extruded snake around a ring mandrel. I made a ‘cinnamon bun’ shape around a bezel cup, making sure the extruded snake was snugly fit around the cup, so it would stay in place. Using a clay shaper, I cut around the edges of the cup, so the setting would stand out and so it would be easier to set the stone. After firing, I decided that this piece, also, did not need a patina. I set it with an aquamarine stone. The combination of the twist of the rounded band, the ‘cinnamon bun’, and the pale stone give the ring a lovely ‘organic’ look. One caveat — a ring like this has a top and a bottom — if worn the other way, it tends to twist. However, it is easy to figure out which way is correct — just wear the ring a few minutes and, if it needs to be reversed, you will quickly know it.
These pieces are all easy to make, and provide attractive alternatives to standard rings. They are also light-weight, and do not get in the wearer’s way. Give ring design some thought — there are many easy ways to make unique rings!!