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20.08. – 22.08.2021


Carving rings

I would like to challenge the participants in my workshop to carve rings out of single, solid materials.
These materials may be different kinds of wood, bones or horns, or even the ones I myself like to use, jet, mammoth tusk or amber. Participants are very welcome to bring their own treasures, as long as these can be handled by their usual goldsmithing tools.
In itself, the process is extremely simple; participants should focus on utmost concentration, talking to themselves about what they really want to do but then listen very carefully to their materials, to what they want to become. During this process, I hope that everyone will have found at least one new side of themselves by the end of the workshop.

I make rings out of one single solid piece of material.
Most of my colleagues make their piece of jewellery through a form of construction work, by combining different materials, building layer upon layer, bringing structures together, and by using a variety of techniques such as soldering, pressing, setting, folding, riveting, gluing, overlaying, inlaying and so on.
I take a reverse approach, one that could almost be described as primitive; I saw, file and scrape materials. Not a process of addition, but one of reduction. I neither draw nor create models before working the final material, even when using expensive materials like amber or ruby. I try not to have an image of the finished piece in my mind. I try to find the best form during the carving process.
A Japanese master once told me that the most beautiful form appears just once during carving. You should neither go too far nor stop too soon.
Yutaka Minegishi
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