Ring #21 thumbnail 1
Ring #21 thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Ring #21

Ring
1988 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Mary Lee Hu was born in Lakewood, Ohio (USA), in 1943. She studied metalsmithing at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan and the Southern Illinois State University. In 1980, she joined the Washington State University school of Art, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2006.

Her work is characterised by her interest in textile techniques, prompted by studying both metalworking and fiber arts. She specialises in wrapping, plaiting, coiling, weaving and twining metal wire to create effects based on the natural world and on her study of textiles. The central panel on this ring is formed of woven gold wire, set off against the polished gold of the hoop. It is part of a series which she began in 1985.



Object details
Category
Object type
Materials and techniques
weaving, beating, melting, 18k gold, 22k gold
Brief description
Gold ring. Designed and made by Mary Lee Hu, USA, 1988
Physical description
It is a large ring, taller at the front than at the back, and designed to stand out from the finger except at its angled upper and lower edges. It consists of three sections: the upper and lower sections are of beaten 18k gold and the central section is of woven gold wire. The unusual form of the ring depends on the concave spreading of the beaten panels that sweep the woven central panel out away from the contour of the finger underneath. At the front the upper and middle sections are separated by a narrow opening although the two are firmly attached at the back. Hu explained that the wire section is a slice cut from a short tube woven using an 18k gold warp and a 22k gold weft.
Dimensions
  • Front height: 2.5cm
  • Back height: 1cm
  • Width: 2.7cm
Marks and inscriptions
: inside lower beaten panel: HU monogram
Object history
Purchased from Electrum's 20th anniversary Exhibition: Electrum Gallery, 21 south molton st, London, W1Y 1DD (£1900).
Summary
Mary Lee Hu was born in Lakewood, Ohio (USA), in 1943. She studied metalsmithing at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan and the Southern Illinois State University. In 1980, she joined the Washington State University school of Art, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2006.



Her work is characterised by her interest in textile techniques, prompted by studying both metalworking and fiber arts. She specialises in wrapping, plaiting, coiling, weaving and twining metal wire to create effects based on the natural world and on her study of textiles. The central panel on this ring is formed of woven gold wire, set off against the polished gold of the hoop. It is part of a series which she began in 1985.



Bibliographic references
  • Cartlidge B. "Twentieth-Century Jewellery"
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, "Masterworks of Contemporary American Jewellery: Sources and Concepts" 11th May-27th June 1985
Collection
Accession number
M.26-1991

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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