Zoe Dayan - Cosmic Journey
Artist: Zoe Dayan, Italy
Materials: sterling silver, fine silver, opal, black spinel
Dimensions: 1.75in x 1.25in x 0.75in
Artist Statement: The universe is in constant movement. Atoms and molecules are in constant movement. My inspiration for this ring comes from the ever changing and cycling nature of the cosmos, and the wonder it evokes. Rings are my favorite type of jewelry to make and I love exploring shapes that break away from the classic round ring. I wanted to create a ring that would hold mystery to people seeing it worn for the first time. This piece is designed so that the band is hidden when being worn, meaning onlookers will have to take a closer look to understand how the piece is made and how it is sitting on the finger. As soon as I had the idea for this ring I knew exactly which stone from my collection would be the perfect fit. I cannot think of a stone to better represent the essence of the galaxy more so than an opal, which is both mystifying and awe-worthy. This opal flashes yellows, greens and reds, changing colors and patterns depending on lighting and the direction you look at it, reflecting the constant movement and transformation this ring is inspired by. The tiny silver spheres dancing around the ellipse represent stars moving through space. Three black spinels have been set into these spheres, a detail that is revealed only to whom takes the time to take a closer look at the ring, adding visual interest while gently framing the opal. This ring is completely hand fabricated in sterling silver, without the use of casting or prefabricated elements. Each piece of metal has been melted down and milled personally, giving me utmost control of every detail and ensuring it is of life-lasting quality.
Artist Bio: As a child growing up in Costa Rica, I spent much of my time transforming the world around me into jewelry. Clay shaped into beads, flowers tied into crowns, sea shells strung onto cords. For as long as I can remember, wearing jewelry has given me a sense of self expression and empowerment, and has been a life-long passion of mine. This early interest led me to melt down my first silver ingot at age 15. I immediately knew I was forever hooked. The power of melting down raw materials and transforming them into meaningful objects seemed like pure alchemy to me from day one. I have a deep love for adventure and travel, which inspired me to start backpacking around the world at age nineteen. I traveled to over twenty countries to hunt down unusual gemstones, find inspiration from exotic destinations, connect with other makers and exhibit my work. My hunger for a deeper knowledge in metals & jewelry led me to move to Florence in 2018—a city with one of the oldest goldsmithing traditions in the world. This is the city I would call home for the next three years and where I set up my workshop while pursuing a diploma in goldsmithing. I have recently moved from of Florence and into the Tuscan countryside, where I work from my current studio amongst olive groves and vineyards. I am proud to say that I continue to make jewelry here the way I learned that first day: 100% hand fabricated, from scratch, and without the use of molds or pre-fabricated elements. It is no-doubt a slow process, but one I have come to absolutely fall in love with.
Rings from this collection will ship or be available for pick up after the competition concludes on April 29.