From Dust to Diamonds
Custom made 18kt gold an Eterneva lab grown diamond ring made from exclusive Temple Burn Ashes
This diamond ring began as a question. What if a sculpture could be more than just temporal art at Burning Man? In 2011 I conceived of a sculpture project called Ring of Fire: a 25-foot steel ring to be placed onto the playa.
Imagined as a rough CAD outline, ladders on either side. In the side of the diamond facets allowed citizens to place love letters, divorce decrees, custody battle documents, fond memories and more to be burned inside a round faceted mirror polished stainless steel diamond. What if the ephemeral remains could be collected as carbon and spun into five diamond rings to help non-profit art organizations in a unique collaboration between an event and as jewelry?
I applied to Burning Man for an Honorarium, and was accepted, provisionally- but I had to fund the entire thing, as no money was available. I had support from DPW, and all the logistics that it would take to build on the playa, but no funds.
The vision remained, and the idea that a diamond could be created someday stuck in my mind. I continued to collect carbon from every Temple Burn and Man Burn from 2006 to 2016.
In 2021, Burning Man held an art auction to stay afloat during the Pandemic. Titled "Boundless Space- The Possibilities of Burning Man", it was run online by Sotheby's featuring many of Burning Man's great artists. I was accepted to create this ring.
With this diamond ring, I got to finally create the proof-of-concept of creating a lab grown diamond with Eterneva, who embraced and supported my idea. The carbon from the 2011 Temple of Transition burn was sent to them and spun into a 1 carat, red, emerald cut diamond.
The black silhouette on the right side of the ring is filled with resin inlay from the very same carbon that created the diamond, embracing the lovely Easter egg of meaning.
The diamond took 7-10 months to grow. The full process included growing the diamond, wax carving of the ring by artist Kenn Kushner, its casting in 18K gold, then setting the diamond and resin inlay.
Jewelry, like big sculpture, can be a collaborative process. My jewelry heroes- Faberge, Tiffany, Cartier, unknown Thai Goldsmiths, and Cellini, all make stunning jewelry in a collaborative fashion. This ring is no different and is truly a one of a kind diamond ring.
I love items that have meaning, and are self-referential by capturing a precious moment in time.