Have you been keeping up to date with the BBC2 talent show ‘All That Glitters’? The show follows eight talented jewellers completing a variety of weekly challenges set to whittle the contestants down to one final winner.
We have decided to take a look each week at the styles of jewellery featured and highlight the skill and the craft required to make each design.
Last week, statement earrings were created from sterling silver and cabcochon gemstones. This week the focus is on spinner rings.
This week, the contestants were tasked with creating a spinner ring; a tactile and playful ring style. Spinner rings usually feature at least one moving band that twists around a base ring, with the spinning bands held in place either by built-up edges on the base ring, or a concave shape. The concept of the ring style is said to derive from Tibetan prayer wheels; spinning cylinders engraved with sacred text in the Buddhist religion. Many people find the action of spinning, moving, or "playing" with spinner rings to be meditative and soothing. This style of ring is technically very demanding so we were fascinated to see how the jewellers coped with this challenge!
The jewellers were given the option of using a mixture of metals to create a multi-coloured look in their spinner rings. Mixing precious metals allows different aspects of a design to be highlighted and provides a jeweller with the means to add extra interest to a piece. Rather than just different textures and shapes, using a combination of metals adds a further dimension to a design. We love when three colours are combined, such as sterling silver, gold vermeil and rose gold vermeil. Each precious metal has its own unique allure and glows differently against the skin. We use a combination of silver and yellow gold in our Birthday Flower collection to highlight the detail of the individual flower designs. Our Pinnacle and Entangled collections use a combination of three precious metals to emphasise each element of the design.
A mixture of different precious metal colours in the Birthday Flower & Pinnacle collections
Our Favourite Designs
Watching the creation of the spinning rings really showed the technical difficulty and engineering involved in these rings. The rings not only have to look beautiful but they must flow and spin smoothly. The spinning bands must not be able to come off the main ring and the piece must be comfortable to wear. We loved Emma's silver and yellow gold message ring, but our two favourites were the snake design created by Piers and the modern, unusual piece made by Jack.
The yellow gold snake in Piers' design really stood out against the sterling silver background of the base ring and we loved the minute snake scales on the gold serpent, with a larger 'snake-skin' texture replicated on the silver background.
Jack's modern ring played with negative space in a cut out design, with a central polished gold band appearing to spin around magically suspended pieces of sterling silver.
This beaded spinning ring, from our Nine to Five collection, features a deep concave band, cradling a freely-spinning beaded ring. The design gives the effect of many tiny silver balls floating around the ring.
Beaded Spinner Ring
This simple spinner ring is formed from a simple central wavy edged band which spins around another slightly wider ring. The sterling silver ring is finished in a high polish.