The sunflower, has in recent days sprung to prominence as the internationally acknowledged symbol of Ukrainian resistance and hope. It’s been a favourite of mine, even more so when we drove through vast fields of them in France. Each one had its little dear little face turned to the sun. These flowers literally look on the bright side. I have some of those stripy seeds to plant on the allotment. I’m hoping that the plants’ positivity will be infectious. Here’s the story of my sunflower ring and its special significance for me.
Over a decade ago my sister asked me if I could make the ring for her fortieth birthday. ‘Sure’ I said confidently and then proceeded to make a right balls up of it. It started out okay. I made a mould and formed a flower out of precious metal clay. It’s amazing stuff that you can form into intricate shapes. Once air dried you heat it with a torch and hey presto you’re left with pure silver. It was when I soldered the sunflower onto a wide bit of sheet metal that things started to go wrong. The kindest possible thing I could say was that it had a industrial feel about it.
With the help of the very kind jewellery teacher that I had at the time I rescued the flower and soldered it to an unused ring that I adapted to fit. In the end I made a half decent effort of it. My sister was thrilled. This is it. My phone doesn’t do the greatest job in macro mode but you’ll get the gist. I originally oxidised the middle to make the seed heads have some definition. The colouring wore away with polishing.
Sadly my sister passed away so my mum returned the sunflower ring to me. I wear it often. Perhaps I’ll do so more now that it exudes extra meaning. I’m sure that my sister would have done the same if she were still alive.