Ring A Day: 700 Photos From a 365 Day Jewelry Challenge

Marthe Le Van assembled 700 fun and creative images of rings from a Flickr design challenge of which more than 16,000 were done in one year.

Challenge artists to come up with different ring designs for a year, photograph them, and post them to the Ring A Day group on Flickr, and what will you get? A Brooklyn jeweler came up with that challenge in 2010 and she received over 16,000 photographs at the end of the year. Marthe Le Van then assembled 700 creative and unique designs from the project for her book, Ring A Day: 700 Photos from a 365 Day Jewelry Challenge. Brief biographies are listed of all the featured ring designers, and all photographs are set in a diary or dated notebook entry style for each day.

How the Ring A Day Project Started

The RAD (Ring A Day) project was a Flickr photo sharing project in 2010 set with these parameters: make a ring a day for a year, with whatever materials you have available on any given day (and with whatever time you can squeeze in for the ring), take a picture of it, then post it to the Flickr group. Those who participated expressed their creative sides and sometimes used the rings to show the world a special event, such as using a saved-cork from a Champagne bottle opened on New Year's Eve.

Ring A Day Materials Used: Old, New, and Found

The materials that the artists used for the rings are varied, and sometimes inspiring. Edible creations (rings made with food) were made of torched angel hair pasta (day 73); fruits and vegetables (day 85); rice noodles (day 318); lime zest (day 142); a piece of chocolate (day 359); and even a curved octopus tentacle (day 173). Days with ordinary materials — such as paper, tape, and string — were shown alongside days with rings made of fancy gemstones and sea shells.

Along with the culinary theme, the copper ring creation shown on day 324 was a multi-function utility ring which was a kabob maker and an alfalfa sprout pot, and also a candle holder. Day 203 featured a unique ring for roasting mini marshmallows over a match.

Functional rings include a pin cushion (day 229); mini vase or flower holders (days 4, 79, 148, 158); pencil sharpener (day 105); a mini cleaning brush (day 209); a sundial (day 336); and even a tin foil holder for chocolate chips (day 115). A unique use of letters and the printed word came in the form of cut-out sentences from paper, and a contraption made of four individual rings that turn to read different words such as 'love' and 'life.'

Since designers had to create rings each day of the year, some seemed to be spur of the moment with whatever they could find with no further fabrication on their part, such as making a ring from plastic bubble wands or a curved piece of scrap sand paper or piece of bark that formed into a ring. Other rings were not made to be worn, and were photographed from things outdoors such as a ring found on a patch of grass and one on cement. Animals were even used in the creative process such as a cat's tail twirled around a finger.

Some rings were not created from actual materials at all. On day 32, a ring was photographed that was created from kindergarten children's pointer-fingers surrounding an artist's finger. Technically, it is not a tangible ring that could be worn, but a unique take on a ring, nonetheless.

Recommended for Crafters Needing Ring Design Inspiration

Ring A Day provides 700 images of rings that were created with all kinds of materials representing different shapes, colors, and formats, such as one-finger rings, multiple-finger rings, and more. If you have a particular material that is plentiful in your craft box that you need help fabricating into jewelry, this would make a great stepping stone on using those for interesting designs.

Many designs were thought-provoking and inspiring, some were comical, and others were useful such as a Parmesan cheese grater ring was made on day 68. Despite the varied nature of the rings, they all give would-be ring designers a starting point for ring design.

Book Information:

  • Ring A Day: 700 Photos From A 365 Day Jewelry Challenge; by Marthe Le Van
  • Lark Crafts, an Imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., 2011
  • ISBN13: 9781600598241
  • Paperback, flexbound, color photographs, 256 pages
Disclosure: This book was provided to the author from the publisher. Any opinions are the author's own.