This year we received 138 entries, from around the globe. All of the rings are shown here. Our jurors, Sharon Massy and James Thurman, esteemed artists and educators in our field, selected 64 competitors through a blind jury (selections indicated by the green boxes). To level the competition playing field, every ring will be photographed at three identical angles. Then each day during the month of May, thousands of people will vote for their favorites in matches paired on Instagram. This fast-pace event is REAL and BRUTAL as rings are booted from the competition daily. By May 31, only one ring will remain, the CHAMPION!
Where on earth did this project come from? Four years ago, in the first week of March 2020, a couple weeks before the global lockdown, I was hanging out with an employee and a studio member anticipating shuttering Danaca Design. We were brainstorming ways to keep our community connected and to lift spirits!
A local pottery studio, Saltstone Ceramics, hosts a virtual competition called, Mug Madness. I stumbled upon it the year prior and thought it could be fun to try with jewelry. Then I promptly forgot all about it until that fateful March afternoon. BATTLE of the RINGS is modeled on their event with a jewelry twist. I chose rings because at the time I couldn’t offer enough ring workshops to meet the demand.
Within a month, we put the call out to our email list and Instagram:
“Do you have a little extra time on your hands or need a distraction from our current global crisis or just need to GET AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN?! A small team at Danaca Design has created a challenge for you. Well, actually a competition with a cash prize!”
The response was enthusiastic and the enthusiasm has not waned. The first year we received twice the entries possible to compete. The second year that number rose by 50% and the entries came from over 25 countries.
What has surprised me most over the years is the connections made between artists. Despite this being a competition, as a rule these 64 chosen competitors show far more admiration than spite. They cheer one another on, and in some cases become fast friends. In the end, everyone benefits. Artists new to the scene are discovered and celebrated. Established artists are often humbled by their fall, but EVERYONE gains viewership and a remarkable cross-pollination occurs. Artists who would never meet in the real world or even see each other’s work are genuinely excited for the shot of inspiration they receive discovering one another. Their enthusiasm fuels the competition. This sort of thing is rare in a normal exhibition.
Which leads me to a very important point, maybe the most important: The RING SMACKDOWN is not just a competition. It is an incredible exhibition! All 64 rings and three alternates from across the country and around the world, will be exhibited in both our online gallery AS WELL AS in our GALLERY SHOWROOM in Seattle during the month of May.
If you live nearby, please don’t miss the chance to see these rings in person. If you are planning a trip to Seattle, May is a lovely month to visit! It might be hard to conceive in our image driven world, but these rings are SO MUCH BETTER in real life. Another very important point, these rings will all available to purchase beginning in May.
Join us for an opening reception Saturday, May 6, 1-5pm. RSVP HERE.
To participate in the voting, follow us on Instagram @danacadesignstudio
Visit us in the Gallery Showroom to experience ALL of the rings, in person! Learn where HERE.
Gallery Showroom hours will be extensive during the competition. See hours HERE.
Learn more about the competition HERE.
One Ring to Rule them All – May the Best Ring Win