Welcome to Marne Ryan Designs
All the work is made from 15, 17, 19 or 1/4" x 21 gauge round wire and 28 gauge sheet. The 18k red, white, pale yellow, green, peach or regular gold, 22k and 24k gold and platinum are fused for the High Karat Pieces. The same wire and sheet sizes in Sterling silver with 24k, 22k and 18k gold are used in the Silver and Gold work.
Individual wires or sheets are cut and formed into multiple pieces. Each sheet may contain hundreds of smaller pieces. Wires are cut and spiraled, folded, bent, and milled with a texture. Sheet metal is cut into strips, triangles, squares, rectangles or arcs, and some are folded into specific shapes then milled or heat treated. The texture is made by placing the wire or sheet in patterns on a sterling silver or 22k gold 2'' X 3" X 28 gauge sheet, or a 21 gauge disc. It is fused then milled to an even thickness. The process is repeated until the desired texture is achieved. A unique alloy of 18 karat pale yellow is used in the framing the pieces.
"I love to play with fire, suspending the rules of what can't be done with metal and integrating the elegance of form and function within the barely controlled chaos of my life."
About the Artist
I look towards my history and environment for contexts and concepts in making my work. My parents' home is in the middle of a tree farm. I am sixth in a family of two older sisters, three older brothers, and four younger brothers. My mother taught me to appreciate the elegance and drape of finely made fabrics and her mother taught me sewing from three years of age. My father, a test pilot, flew us through the clouds and the land would flow below disclosing the earth's patterns and formations.
The source of my artistic expression comes from an amalgamation of these childhood influences and memories. Of the many skills I learned under my parents' tutelage, my favorite was rendering the household refuse to cinders. The sheer joy of working with fire has never left me. Utilizing flame in a constructive manner is the foundation of all my work.
Since 1976 I have been exploring, developing and teaching the process of making textures through heat. Patterns are created by fusing thin layers of silver, high karat gold, and platinum together in sheets to form fabrics of metal. This material is then made into hollowware, vessels and jewelry.
In recent years my interests have expanded to include hollow-formed vessels made from copper and silver. I am very interested in creating larger pieces so people are better able to see the textures that I've been exploring through the use of different tools.
Many of my pieces are used to mark rights of passage i.e., marriage, birth-death, graduation and personal transitions. The piece of jewelry or vessel becomes part of the ritual in one's life. This level of intimacy is the ultimate goal of my work.
Each ring is unique and sized to the individuals hand. When designing a custom product you can request any combinations of metals and colors.