Patricia Tozer - The Orrery
Artist: Patricia Tozer, Canada
Materials: sterling silver, 18k gold, 9k gold, brass, iolite, amethyst, peridot, Baltic amber, aquamarine, citrine, rhodolite garnet, Mozambique garnet
Dimensions: 48mm high, 9mm band width
Artist Statement: Since time immemorial humans have been fascinated by the stars and planets that move through the night sky. Efforts to understand their movements, how they seem to disappear and re-emerge at different times of the day, month or year have inspired the likes of Copernicus and Sir Isaac Newton. An orrery, also known as a planetarium, is a mechanical model of our solar system and is used to demonstrate planetary movement. Planetariums and orreries have been made since ancient times, although most early examples show planets orbiting earth in a geocentric fashion. The earliest orrery in existence is over 2000 years old and is thought to have been used to forecast and calculate astronomical positions. As a modern orrery, this one is heliocentric (meaning that the Sun in the centre of the model - thanks Copernicus!) and shows eight jewelled planets in orbit around our glowing amber Sun. The orbits are concentric sterling silver rings, and while they do not turn independently of one another, the entire structure revolves around a central axis, causing it to spin freely. The model sits atop a wide band fashioned to resemble the Milky Way, which swirls around the band in gold on patinated sterling silver.
Artist Bio: Patricia Tozer is a multidisciplinary artist, silversmith and designer living on an island in the ocean off the west coast of Canada. Patricia works in close relationship with precious metals, stone, and other natural materials to create unique pieces to adorn wild, embodied spirits. Her work is informed by the belief that decorating one's body is a deeply rooted human instinct. Far from frivolous, it is an ancient imperative, supporting self-expression and community belonging. For the artist, jewellery is an emotional, highly personal vehicle through which we can foster connections with others by revealing our hearts. In her hands, jewellery becomes the medium through which we discover our true selves and find our kindred spirits. Patricia studied fine arts at McMaster University and earned her master’s degree at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., Canada. She was fortunate to learn metalsmithing from master goldsmith and multimedia artist, Tosca Terán in Toronto, Canada. Other teachers include Melissa Hampton, M.A., of Ascendant Jewelry, from whom she learned Melissa's signature gold flow technique, and goldsmith Nina Turczyn. Patricia's work can be found in collections around the world.
Rings from this collection will ship or be available for pick up after the competition concludes on April 29.