Rings are arguably the most sentimental and meaningful of all jewelry pieces.  We wear them to signify commitment and upon marriage, and as mementos of special milestones such as graduation.

Rings have been around for approximately 6000 years and designs continue to evolve.  Lark Crafts' latest 500 series book, Showcase 500 Ringswhich I received for review, celebrates the work of some of today's most creative and  inspiring designers. 

Nisa Smiley's Collection of Antique Shell Button Rings
Sterling silver, 24K gold leaf, gemstones, antique shell button rings
hand fabricated, forged, bezel set, stamped, keum boo
Photographed by Robert Diamante

The range is incredible - some rings are utterly luscious, some are distinctly artful, some are spare contemporary ones and yet others are outrageously flamboyant. Sure, some of the rings are not what you and I would wear but what all the designs show so clearly is the boundless imagination and skill of the designers.  Their ability to craft such novel rings, sometimes with highly unusual materials, should motivate us to go beyond our comfort zone. 

Ben Neubauer's Square Ring
Sterling silver, 18 karat gold, diamond
fabricated, oxidized
Photographed by Courtney Frisse

The techniques used also differed and include the modern computer aided design ones such as 3-D printing and rapid prototyping.

Karolina Bik's Honeycomb Ring
Sterling Silver, 22K gold plate, CAD, rapid prototyped, cast and sandblasted
photographed by the designer

Some of the rings were whimsical, others were kinetic. One of the loveliest interactive rings was this one :

Joanna Hemsley's Inter(action)
silver, 14K gold plating, silk, hand dyed
Photographed by  the designer
Turning each page was a pleasure and the sense of anticipation of what would be revealed grew as the book went along.  The superb jewelry photography was also a joy to behold - many of the artisans were also accomplished  photographers. One unusual standout is this one:

Sharon Vaizer's Fun Ta Sea
Sterling silver, plastic, Swarovski crystals, welded and inlaid
Photographed by Heftsy Elgar
It was very difficult to pick just a few designs to show! So check out the links below for more featured designers from the book whose work I previously wrote about.

Marjorie Schick's Orbiting Rings : Balancing Act
Wood cut, constructed, carved, painted
Photographed by Gary Pollmiller
A minor regret was the book's sole index which only listed the designers/contributors. If only there were other listings by materials and technique - that would make it easier to search for favorites. But even without, it is still a wonderful coffee table book for jewelry lovers! One to dip into at intervals and marvel over again and again at the innovation and vision of talented designers.


More Featured Designers from the Book :
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