I am going to take you behind the scenes of Star-Ring, its inspiration and making. Star-Ring is the exclusive statement necklace that I created for the Eurovision-themed exhibition UNITY and it is a true show-stopper !

If you want to know more about UNITY and how Essemgé was selected, you can read all about it in my previous blog Eurovision Extravaganza: celebrating with exclusive jewellery at UNITY exhibition in Liverpool.

The inspiration behind statement necklace Star-Ring

The theme, UNITY, is woven into the design of Star-Ring itself. By specifically choosing to make a necklace, I have focused on the circle. It is a universal and one of the oldest symbols of unity, togetherness and perfection.

I have also based the whole design on just one element, a 3D 5-pointed star. The shape embodies everything that I wanted to convey: visually impactful, aesthetically attractive and meaningful.

As a result the neckpiece is theatrical, big, colourful, confident, fit to be worn on a scene and sing. It is definitely a statement necklace! Wear it to be seen! The name ‘Star-Ring’ refers to the fact that you are a star when you wear it.

It is also a powerful symbol of protection and balance. The five points of the star effectively represent the five elements (Fire, Air, Water, Earth and Spirit, the unifying element).

created for Eurovision themed exhibition UNITY – displayed by the Bluecoat Display Centre gallery in Liverpool

From the design to the finished piece

Star-Ring is unique in every way. Not only in its design but also in the materials I have used and in the way I have actually made it. It has been a full in-house process from start to finish.

From the selected sketch I then created paper models. The first test necklaces were made as whole pieces until I had the shape and scale right. The next stage was to deconstruct that whole solid paper necklace into a series of 5 individual elements, one for each star point. That stage was critical to get the movement and fit right. I wanted Star-Ring to be comfortable to wear and to sit gracefully around the neck, not just be a decorative piece of art jewellery. It determined how the individual points of the star would connect to each other, and how the statement necklace would close.

Once I had the paper model sorted, next came the choice of materials. The issue here is that visual impact usually implies volume and weight. As much as I wanted volume I didn’t want heavy. So in order to maximise visual impact whilst keeping it lightweight, I decided to use recycled industrial aluminium. I adapted traditional jewellery making tools and techniques to turn it into the 5 star points that I needed for the necklace. I mixed the textures to play on the volumes and create extra interest.

The skeleton of the finished statement necklace was emerging. Remained the connections between the components and how to inject some colour.

I solved both in 1 go, by using recycled industrial silicone rubber cord. Without getting too technical, aluminium cannot be soldered as a precious metal would. Such challenge actually became a benefit in that particular instance. I could use colourful cord to tie the components of the star together. It also adds softness and playfulness to the aluminium. I have kept the ties too long like radiating rays of light. They give a feathery effect and add even more drama to the neckpiece. The closing mechanism is a simple but effective bow knot made by tying 2 long strands of bright yellow rubber. The idea is to bring a zesty twist to the necklace by the choice of colour, but also to make it very very easy to put on and adjustable.

As a finishing touch I painted a line of burple (or dark purple blue) silicone paint on some of the edges of the star. It gives Star-Ring its signature and helps the eye fully embrace the whole piece. A true and exclusive statement necklace !

Star-Ring exclusive statement by Essemgé for Eurovision themed UNITY exhibition
created for Eurovision themed exhibition UNITY – displayed by the Bluecoat Display Centre gallery in Liverpool
Star-Ring necklace by Essemge - Eurovision themed UNITY x BDC in Liverpool
showstopper piece created for UNITY, a Eurovision-themed exhibition of contemporary jewellery curated by the Bluecoat Display Centre and the Association for Contemporary Jewellery . Held in Liverpool 15Apr-3Jun2023

If you have enjoyed this type of content, let me know in the comments below.

Star-Ring has inspired a limited edition related collection also shown at UNITY. I will tell you more in a future blog. Don’t miss it and join the #EssemgeXMe VIP Club now to be the first in the know. Link to subscribe here.

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