Nicky Oppenheimer, De Beers chair, once stated: ‘’Diamonds are intrinsically worthless, except for the deep psychological need they fill’’. From an early date, jewels were worn as religious/ritualistic ornaments, to protect from evil spirits, or to reflect wealth and stature in an intensely hierarchical and status-conscious society. The engagement ring, now a crucial part of the iconography of a successful adult life, is nothing but the effect of successful marketing in the modern consumerist era.
Since the price of an engagement ring is not affordable for all, this project is an attempt to rethink how jewellery design may be inclusive to everyone coming from any social, economic or ethnic background. My proposition is to reimagine how we might replace precious materials, such as diamonds and gold, and recreate jewels, using a process that mimics natural metamorphism.
Soil is a body that retains information about its environmental history and does not require the presence of life to form. Therefore, soil, bioplastics, and herbs are mixed to create organic matter, with mould making and casting as main processes, representing the route and sequences of one’s life journey and their connection with the environment.
A series of moulds will be created using 3D printing technology where the user can create their own ring for their partner, using materials of particular importance to their relationship.
As we treasure objects and jewellery for the way they recap our memories, these alternative engagement ring propositions aim to disrupt the status quo, celebrate new voices and tell untold stories. The aim is to empower us through materiality and allow our jewels and the way they are created to represent us all.