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CONTEMPORARY NEW ZEALAND JEWELLERY

Ruth Allen

Amulet Series

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From 2020

The Tubular Necklace was born from an intimate relationship with material, process, aesthetic and the conceptual departure from earlier jewellery works. I am interested in minimising, streamlining and simplifying. The tube encompasses breathe, inside/outside space and can be worn nestled within the natural curves of the body. A play with shape, scale, length of suspension delivers a broad scope for individual taste, body shape and personal attraction to colour and detail. [When experiencing these works on the body the wearer will note that any predominantly clear necklace will absorb the colour of dress, scarf or coat; frosted glass has a beautiful capacity to absorb and emanate colours from it’s surroundings.]

The Tubular Glass Necklace is first made by pulling a tube in the hot shop. The tube can be created as a clear or coloured tube and can be/or not be decorated with additional coloured cane stripes for detail. To add the detail of coloured cane to the tube, further solid canes of colour are pulled, cut and picked up during the hot process surrounding the clear or coloured tube. Once these aesthetic decisions are made and the tube pulled they are annealed or cooled down slowly to temper the glass for their second hot process. At room temperature the tubes are cut into lengths and each end ground with edges bevelled, these are then picked up in the hot shop a second time and hot manipulated. The pieces are formed into subtle curves or fluid spirals, it takes a skilled and careful hand to carefully melt the tip and not close the tube. These are then annealed. The tubes are heated for a third and final time on the flameworking torch to beautifully round each end and complete the form. These are then annealed. Finally, at room temperature the tubes are sandblasted to give a satin finish and allow the forms to absorb and emit light rather than reflect it. The 100% cotton chord has been hand-plaited by Ruth and a flameworked borosilicate toggle formed to complete the piece for safe fastening.
Ruth Allen

Tubular Neck Piece in frosted clear glass, 8.7cm wide x 8.7cm high   $290
Tubular Neck Piece in frosted red glass with white cane stripes, 10.5cm wide x 4cm high   $290

Ruth Allen

Tubular Neck Piece in frosted clear glass with black cane stripes, 8cm wide x 7.5cm high,   $290
Tubular Neck Piece in frosted blue glass, 9cm wide x 5.8cm high   $290

From 2019

Matrix Series Neck Pieces
Matrix - definition: 'the cultural, social, or political environment in which something develops.'
The Matrix jewellery series is the natural evolution to previous signature works titled 'Synergetic Series'. The Synergetic sculptures are derived from the study of natural systems and influenced by the philosophies and design science of the most notable American architect, philosopher and mathematician, Buckminster Fuller.

Photo Credit: Fred Kroh
Ruth Allen

1 x Matrix in Silver Lilac   $580
Mirrored glass beads, linen, 650mm x 15mm (variable)

Ruth Allen

1 x Matrix in Gun Metal   $580
Mirrored glass beads, linen, 650mm x 15mm (variable)


Amulet / An ornament or piece of jewellery thought to give protection against evil, danger or disease.   Oxford Dictionary

I have been working with the manifestation of Amulets in glass since 2004. I hold strong spiritual and physical ties to my birth-land Aotearoa. I am excited by the serendipitous nature of hot glass, in this hot state I like to give the material as much freedom of expression as I can facilitate. I love carving glass dramatically and working with surface textures to refract and reflect light. In the end, I hope to create an object that holds power for those that wear it.

Ruth Allen

Materials & Methodology

The Amulets are made from crystal, this glass is normally used in the casting process, it has primarily been chosen because of it’s magical relationship with light, it is also coloured throughout and soft in nature allowing easier carving.
The crystal is pre-warmed in a kiln and then picked up on a blow pipe in the hot shop, the glass is blown and free formed into it’s rough shape. Cooled down to room temperature the Amulet ‘blank’ is carved into a more defined form using a lathe, the glass may pass through two grades of diamond before being ready for the next process.
Now the Amulet is in it’s final form with a smooth surface the process moves to the smaller engraving lathe to work on the surface texture. Small diamond wheels are used to carve marks in the surface, this technique is inspired and developed from the traditional Venetian technique known as Battuto. I can choose from a number of wheels with different profiles in both stone and diamond all delivering very different effects upon the glass. It takes considerable time to work both the front and back of the Amulet, the surfaces will be checked over and over to see that no area has gone untouched. Once satisfied with the result I hand rub the surface with fine emery to polish the high ground, the different surface textures and treatments become highlighted when seen under moving light.
To finish the work I plait a long chord from 100% waxed cotton, in my experience this thread is extremely strong and durable. I flame work my own toggle from boro-silicate glass and bind it into the chord.
Voila!

Ruth Allen

Pendant, glass. 8cm diameter x 1.9cm   $580

Ruth Allen

Pendant, glass. 8.5cm diameter x 0.8cm   $480

Ruth Allen

Pendant, glass. 8.5cm diameter x 1cm   $480

Ruth Allen

Pendant, glass. 7cm diameter x 2.8cm   $650

Ruth Allen

Pendant, glass. 7cm diameter x 1.8cm   $650

Ruth Allen

Pendant, glass. 8cm diameter x 1.8cm   $580

Ruth Allen

Pendant, glass. 7.5cm diameter x 1.5cm   $580

Ruth Allen

Pendant, glass. 7.5 x 6 x 3cm   $650

Photograpy by Fred Kroh.  © All images copyright the artist

Ruth Allen

Urchin Series
Urchin in Aubergine Glass, waxed cotton cord   $480
Urchin in Clear Glass, waxed cotton cord   $480
Urchin in Steel Blue Glass, waxed cotton cord   $480

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