Danielle Giese | Which Came First?

Artist: Danielle Giese, California
Materials: sterling silver, gold, copper, brass
Size: 8.75

Artist Statement: Which Came First? The genesis of this remarkable ring can be traced back to the heartfelt joy derived from tending a backyard flock of chickens. What started as a simple desire to celebrate this connection with nature evolved into a truly unique piece of wearable art.
The sterling silver egg at the core of the design was crafted by soldering tiny segments of sheet, then gently shaped using a custom-made wooden block. The egg cradles a tiny chick, meticulously formed from various purities of gold. The gold used in this process was sourced from recycled scraps, which were combined, melted and rolled into a sheet. This sheet was then skillfully formed into the hollow figure of the chick, with intricate details added to bring it to life.
Resting on a nest of copper and brass, the egg is a focal point, perched atop a copper shank. The shank itself is adorned with silver leaves, vines, and berries, completing the harmonious blend of materials and symbolizing the interconnectedness of nature.

Artist Bio: Danielle Giese discovered her passion for silversmithing in the late 1990s. With the exception of an intermediate jewelry art class taken as a college elective, she has acquired her skills through the generosity of other artists who have shared their techniques in books and videos, as well as exploration and self-challenges. Because of her informal training, Danielle enjoys working outside of traditional metalsmithing rules and expectations. She is quick to find unexpected solutions to challenges, including building her own tools when necessary.
Danielle lives in the suburbs of Sacramento with her daughter and 16 chickens. During the week she works as a special education teacher for a local homeschool charter school. Weekends are spent recharging in her workshop creating tiny masterpieces. She says, “I get to play with fire and tools to make pretty things - what could be better?"

This ring was part of Battle of the Rings: Ring Smackdown 2024, an online exhibition and competition. View the entire collection HERE, view the matches HERE, and learn more HERE.