Pioneering Ring Makers


Pioneering Ring Makers
Rings from the Goldsmiths’ Company Collection 1961–2021 

Gerda Flöckinger CBE (b. 1927) changed the course of modern British jewellery during the 1960s and 1970s as a teacher and as a maker with an instantly recognisable style. Her pioneering course at Hornsey College of Art influenced a whole generation of makers.

Gerda Flöckinger, ©National Portrait Gallery

Wendy Ramshaw OBE (1939–2018) was a ground-breaking British post-war artist jeweller; she presented her iconic sets of stacking rings on turned acrylic stands, emphasising their strong sculptural role. The minimalistic rings of the German artist Friedrich Becker (1922–1997), with their invisible settings, were key to the development of Modernism in contemporary jewellery.

Wendy Ramshaw in her studio, 1982, photograohed by her husband David Watkins, courtesy of The Scottish Gallery

Scottish craftswoman Professor Dorothy Hogg MBE (b. 1945) makes work of breath-taking precision. The Company recently commissioned a pair of her iconic silver cube rings, one with a single ‘leg’ of 18 carat French green gold.  As Head of the Jewellery and Silversmithing Department at Edinburgh College of Art from 1985 to 2007, Hogg has been an incredibly influential teacher.

“I explored alternative ideas to the round ring…”

— Dorothy Hogg, personal correspondence

Dorothy Hogg in her studio, photographed by Shannon Tofts
‘Cube’ rings, Dorothy Hogg, 2021

Contemporary jeweller Emefa Cole, inspired by landscape and architecture, uses the ancient lost wax technique to cast exquisite, sculptural rings in gold and oxidised silver.

‘Caldera’ ring, Emefa Cole, 2020

The Goldsmiths’ Company continues to build its collection of rings and plays an important role in supporting contemporary jewellery. The beguilingly simple, intimate and endlessly flexible form of the ring continues to offer long-lasting challenge and enjoyment to both makers and wearers.

[1] Amanda Game interview with Dorothy Hogg, 2021