Simona Girbou | The Zen Ring

Artist: Simona Girbou, Romania
Materials: sterling silver, glass enamel, pearl
Size: 6 3/4

Artist Statement: The Spirit of Sabai Sabai - Collection

Sabai, sabai. [pron. suh-BYE suh-BYE] There’s no literal translation to English because the word encapsulates a bunch of variations on the idea of relaxation: happiness, peace, comfort. It applies to the general pace of life, everything from how fast you walk to the time you take to eat a meal.
In Thailand you can find peace and relaxation everywhere and this is wat this collection brings forward.
The collection is inspired by Thai philosophy and combines traditional motifs in an urban way.
Sabai is a deep undercurrent in the Thai vision for a complete and well-rounded life.
Being busy to the point of stress has become an unspoken value in our culture. If we’re busy, we’re valuable. In Thailand, the line between work and relaxation is a little more blurry— they aren’t polar opposites, and can be shared in the same time and space. Maintaining a peaceful, buoyant spirit is the best way to live a good life.
That open-handed approach to life and our role in the world feels much more aligned to us than the endless grind that doesn’t bring joy or peacefulness to the deepest parts of our souls.
The collection combines silver, semiprecious stones and glass enamel in a unique way.

Artist Bio: In my teens, I set foot on the steps of “Nicolae Tonitza” Fine Arts High School. I was naturally following my vocation traced back in my childhood. Then I considered word-painting the beautiful and the useful, choosing the Faculty of Letters, the Romanian Language - Imaging Science Department. Although there I had the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of art theory and history, my first jobs were in advertising, where, much to my surprise, nothing seemed to make sense, nothing seemed to last. The beautiful and the useful often ended up wrapped in pragmatism.

Then I found the metal words and finally made sense of the unwords.
It took only one introductory course in jewelry for me to discover my passion for it and set off on this journey.
I love making earthy, modern, edgy yet sophisticated jewelry.
I have fallen in love with ancient techniques that I now integrate into my jewelry.
Looking back, everything I had been doing before attending the classes of Assamblage School of Contemporary Jewelry was but a quest for meaning.
Today I can lay my cards on the table and say that I love glittery things and that I am fascinated by the metal’s behaviour, which sometimes conducts itself as a liquid, and sometimes as a solid. I also love the way people enjoy wearing my jewels. It's a kind of unique appreciation, a feeling that what you created makes sense, is worthwhile.

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.