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Laurie Cavanaugh is from California. She is jewelry artisan who loves classic lines and historical motifs. In fact, her website Acanthusleaf Designs (Updated - no longer available) has a subtitle - "Your Medieval Jeweler". Now here is an artisan who shares my love of history!

Laurie was inspired by a ring in Diana Scarisbrick's book Historic Rings: Four Thousand Years of Craftsmanship. The original 17th century gold ring opened up 90 degrees. Her prototype ring shown above opens up with a shallower angle giving it more of an armillary sphere effect than the original. The prototype is made from brass but Lauire plans to have these rings available in silver and gold, in various sizes, starting in June. What a clever design and beautifully wrought!

An armillary sphere (below left) in case you are wondering is a spherical astrolabe. An astrolabe is a historical instrument used by astronomers and navigators to figure out the position of the Sun, Moon, planets and so on. As you can see from the picture of Yale's Harmann astrolabe below right, astrolabes were flat objects. In Laurie's LiveJournal entry, she said her prototype ring could be labelled clockpunk jewelry - the clock part no doubt comes from the fact that early astronomical clocks were influenced by astrolabes.



The earliest armillary spheres were invented by the Ancient Greeks and the Chinese over 2000 years ago. The name comes from the Latin armilla which means circle or bracelet. Ancient armillary spheres were celestial spheres - the rings represented the principle circles of the heavens. These were typically arranged from center outwards, starting with the ring or sphere for the Moon, then Mercury, Venus and so on.

Aren't these early instruments beautiful to look at? You can find the instructions to make your own armillary sphere here.

If this multi-ring design has inspired you and you'd rather not make an armillary sphere, here is a necklace project from Beadage Blog called Circle of Love which uses multiple rings and some wire wrapped beads.

Photos with kind permission from Laurie.

Via

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