Recently I was asked to make weddingrings. While this was on my mind, the exhibition shown on the Klimt02 website, “Yes, I do! –partnerrings” (originally in German: “Ja, ich will! –partnerringe”), caught my eye. The idea behind the work ‘Let’s melt together/ Lass uns verschmelzen’ by the Swiss Claudia Stebler, really appealed to me.
At their engagement, the happy couple is given a wooden container with 2 solid gold little boxes. The boxes contain 2 solid silver rings, one for each partner, and a solid copper plate with the promise ‘LET’S MELT TOGETHER’ engraved on it. The gold, silver and copper, add up to form 18 karat gold (750 parts gold, 125 parts silver and 125 parts copper).
Both partners get to literally ‘wear’ the solid silver ring during their engagement period, marking it with their personality. Every scratch on the silver will be proof of their daily activities. Close to the actual wedding the silver rings, golden boxes and copper plates are returned to Claudia Stebler, who melts everything into 18 karat gold. I assume both rings are then made from one piece of gold based on the worn silver rings. The engagement period is therefore melted into the final wedding rings. I really like the way the original promise on the copper plate melts together with the couples’ actual life, symbolized by the worn silver rings. The two metals melt together with the beautiful 24 karat gold boxes, like the silver engagement gets melted together into a golden future.
The exhibition "Ja, ich wil -partnerringe" is on until the 4th of May at the Beatrice Lang galerie für Schmuck in Bern, Switzerland.
Raisins, named the golden fruit by their sellers, are a sweet, fast and healthy snack. The box shows a cowboy-like figure, and jeweler Aline Vandeplas associates him with a gold-digger looking for a quick buck. He is someone relying on fast nutrition for survival, therefore the snack has to be easy to carry around, and always ready for consumption. This makes the snack as valuable as the gold he is after. To Aline Vandeplas there is no such thing as easy money and a penny saved is a penny earned. Most of the time it wasn’t the gold-digger who struck gold, but their wily suppliers. This is why she exhibits the Golden Fruit boxes in the same way gold bars normally are stacked.
Aline’s fascination with the word gold on the package, and the story behind it, does not stop there. She transformed the ‘golden fruit’ into jewelry, a necklace with a cast silver raisin as a pendant. The choice of silver, as material to work with, fits well with the raisins. Looking at its market value, silver is the snack version of metals traditionally used in jewelry. The golden fruit is taken out of its box and made into something easy to carry around and always ready to wear.
For several years Belgium’s’ Aline Vandeplas has been collecting everything on her path referring to the word ‘gold’. She created stories around her finds and like the work described above, she managed to turn it into something completely new. This resulted into the exhibition 'Gold-up'.
The exhibition lasts until April 25th at Silke&theGallery, in Antwerp, Belgium, which is also featured at Klimt02.