Jewel of the day: Marne Ryan Boulder Opal Cuff Bracelet
Texture figures heavily in Marne Ryan’s work and this stunning cuff is a perfect exemplar.
Featuring a large Australian boulder opal set in a handmade bezel of 22k gold, it is 1.5″ wide by 5.5″ long. The fused 24k and SS spiral pattern is formed into a cuff and framed in 18k pale yellow gold. It sells for USD$5,400.
Ryan explains, “I look towards my history and environment for contexts and concepts in making my work. My parents’ home is in the middle of a tree farm. I am sixth in a family of two older sisters, three older brothers, and four younger brothers. My mother taught me to appreciate the elegance and drape of finely made fabrics and her mother taught me sewing from three years of age. My father, a test pilot, flew us through the clouds and the land would flow below disclosing the earth’s patterns and formations.The source of my artistic expression comes from an amalgamation of these childhood influences and memories. Of the many skills I learned under my parents’ tutelage, my favorite was rendering the household refuse to cinders. The sheer joy of working with fire has never left me. Utilizing flame in a constructive manner is the foundation of all my work.
Since 1976 I have been exploring, developing and teaching the process of making textures through heat. Patterns are created by fusing thin layers of silver, high karat gold, and platinum together in sheets to form fabrics of metal. This material is then made into hollowware, vessels and jewelry.
In recent years my interests have expanded to include hollow-formed vessels made from copper and silver. I am very interested in creating larger pieces so people are better able to see the textures that I’ve been exploring through the use of different tools.
Many of my pieces are used to mark rights of passage i.e., marriage, birth-death, graduation and personal transitions. The piece of jewelry or vessel becomes part of the ritual in one’s life. This level of intimacy is the ultimate goal of my work.”