Through this piece I was able to question the position of rings. Who says that rings have to be bound to the finger? Why can’t they become a brooch or a brooch backing or simply a thing? Here I have attempted to free the ring, through the use of rare earth magnets. The rings are made of mild steel that has been sand blasted and covered in a wax polish to prevent the wearer's finger from turning green if the wearer chooses to wear these pieces as rings.
After examining many different ways to attach the silicone such as hooks and brooch pins, I found that the only other form of attachment that highlighted the form of the sphere and the beauty of the pure silicone was to create a circular shape [the two dimensional sister of the sphere] to push one’s clothing out and into a sphere bubbles of silicone. This similarly solved my problem of how to depict the clear silicone without drawing attention away from it through an attachment.
In these pieces I was fascinated by the force of the magnets and both their potential to attract and repel. Through playing with the magnets, I discovered that the magnets repelled or attracted from a maximum of 50mm away from each other, so here I have position two magnets exactly 50mm from each other. The silicone simply aids in keeping the magnets in place.
With these pieces I simply wanted to depict the beauty of the silicone. I used RTV-2 silicone as I wanted stretchy, translucent silicone that I could use to represent the life under our clothing- our skin. To convey this double skin message some of the pieces incorporate a flesh tint. Furthermore to draw the pieces away from simply being a representation of skin, 650 Micropearl pigment powder was adding to highlight the ornamental nature of the pieces as jewellery. The small rare earth magnets allowed me to depict the silicone without hindrance of an attachment. However they still created a presence. By this I mean when you wear the piece as an extension on clothing you can still see and feel how it is attached as the rare earth magnet protrudes from behind the clothing, pushing the circular silicone form out. One difficulty with these pieces was the curing time. Using it too soon and it became to viscous and wouldn’t securely enough set the rare earth magnet and using it to late it would become too unmalleable to run into a smooth circular form. Thus I slowly formed the circles adding to them after a period of time and then again, however this resulted in lumpy rings in some of the earlier trials.
Donna Haraway in her “A cyborg manifesto science, technology and social-feminism in the late twentieth century”(1991) comments on three critical breakdowns in history that demonstrates that we are moving towards a cyborg era. This piece comments on the first critical breakdown: the boundary separating humans and animals is narrowed as animals are observed to be creatures of knowledge. However instead of commenting on the rise of intelligence in animals which would require a piece made for animals I have commented on the revision of humans being as more like animals. Thus in this piece a human can sprout physical feathers, as the barb-like pin frame sits underneath one’s clothing to allow the fine silver feather to sit otherwise unaided on top of the wearer’s clothing. The use of fine silver created a clear impression of a real feather on either side of the silver feather. Furthermore the use of fine silver created a good contrast between the feather impression and highly polished background created by the discrepancies between the different feather patterns. Despite these qualities I feel the use of real feathers would have conveyed more directly the message of one growing feathers, however I felt metal was a more suitable material as it would resist the damage that comes from wearing an object more, than delicate feathers. In the future I would like to examine the possibility of setting real feathers in resin or silicone in a way that would not hinder their natural form but still be wearable.
Donna Haraway in her “A cyborg manifesto science, technology and social-feminism in the late twentieth century”(1991) comments on three critical breakdowns in history that demonstrates that we are moving towards a cyborg era. This piece comments on the second critical breakdown: the blurry distinction between organisms as a whole and machines. This piece attempts to blur the boundary between machine and organism by commenting on how we attempt to transform our organically shaped fingertips to touch things that are very geometric. For example the square keys of a key board. Thus this piece highlights the possibility of our finger tips one day turning into a geometric shape, that would better suit our uses.
In creating this piece I attempted to make it appear as mechanical as I could. Like many machines the piece can come apart into smaller components, pieces must be replaced such as the inner tubing, it has function and movement through the rotation of the wing nuts on the threaded bolts and the more mechanical materials of inner tubing and mild steel are used. This piece creates an interesting sensation when worn as it changes the shape of the finger pad to square. Moreover when it is taken off it leaves a reminder of the impact it has had on the body.