Ring: Ogun as a Silver Miner

June 29, 2011


RING:  Ogun as a Silver Miner

RING: Ogun as a Silver Miner


Ogun as a Silver Miner is a forged sterling silver ring that pairs a rusted 19th century handforged horseshoe nail with a natural goethite pebble set in a fine silver bezel.  Goethite is an iron ore and is also one of the iron oxide constituents of rust.  This shiny dark brown metallic pebble is a ventifact (naturally wind-polished stone) with a pitted surface that shows the rough image of a man’s face in three-quarter view (more obvious in person, but I’ve tried to capture it in the pictures – this was a very difficult object to photograph).  The ring is about size 6.5 and is slightly adjustable.  Due to the flat back on the stone setting, it isn’t completely circular, so sizing isn’t as exact as it would be for a circular band.  The nail is exactly one inch long and is securely held in the two tapered “claws”.  The bezel and the outer surface of the ring were given a subtle hammer texture with a small dapping punch.  The back of the bezel cup is bur-textured with tiny irregular dots.  This is a fairly heavy ring, but the inside of the shank is beveled and polished smooth for a comfortable fit.

I collected the goethite pebble in 1999 in southeastern Wyoming.  Ventifact-hunting was one of our favorite pastimes when we lived in Cheyenne.  I found the nail a few years ago on one of our hikes in the southeastern Arizona mountains.  I’m not a big user of “found objects” but the petite size and interesting shape made this one irresistible.

Ogun is usually associated with blacksmithing but oversees metalworking in general.  When I found the pebble, it seemed obvious that this was his face, since it was carved by windblown dust on iron ore.  The nail or spike is one of his symbols.  I was going to call this “Ogun as a Geologist” but once the ring was assembled, I realized that he could also be a miner or silversmith.  The ring honors Ogun in his benign capacity as a creative metalworker and a guardian of the knowledge of metal ores.  It also represents the powerful fiery/windy energy of the Summer Solstice, grounded in the earthy creativity of the Dark Moon that follows it.  Water has been here too (it precpitated the goethite in the pebble and is still locked within its structure, and it corroded the nail) but it is gone for the moment, present only as a reflection in the silver.


4 Responses to “Ring: Ogun as a Silver Miner”

  1. judithornot said

    This is beautiful, Lorena! I love the way your artisan eyes see the world, and create with found objects.

  2. debra said

    Very strange 🙂

  3. Nickie said

    I love this ring–it speaks to me in a powerful way. Wish I could see it in person, as it were.

  4. N. Furman said

    Brilliant and beautiful. Honor to Ogun, honor to the Smith!

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