Lucas Pointon | Coffin Study

Artist: Lucas Pointon, Wisconsin
Materials: sterling silver, bronze
Size: 8

Artist Statement: This "coffin study" takes the form of a ring, and hosts a once living cockroach within its tomb. The original insect was found dead within the halls of the building I teach at. In preparation for casting, I dipped the insect in shellac, invested the model, and proceeded with the lost wax casting process. Once the cockroach was prepared and casted into solid sterling silver, I could begin building the ring around the object. The entire ring is formed and fabricated from bronze and sterling silver sheet with functional 7 knuckles hinge and catch. The roof of the coffin was etched using ferric chloride acid.

Artist Bio: A reliquary ring demands a relic, therefore in some cases this becomes a trace of the animal in the form of a cast insect, or in this instance, a cockroach. However, the irony is that the beauty of the reliquary demands the same attention as the relic and vice versa. The casted silver "roach" asks what is more precious, the original shell of the once-living creature, or the silver object that now contains the evidence of that insect, transformed by a skilled maker. The divine creature is now transubstantiated through death, and formed by human hands into something else-- an object that evokes life and death simultaneously.

This ring was part of Battle of the Rings: Ring Smackdown 2023, an online exhibition and competition. View the entire collection HERE, view the matches HERE, and learn more HERE.