So a new update into a new project!This brief we have been given is to pick a word from a various selection we have been given and design a narrative ring.The word I have chosen to work from is Scottish Identity. Being scottish this is a subject I hold deer and feel as a scot we are known for being patriotic! But what exactly does it mean to be Scottish? Is it to wear our family tartan? is it our traditions? our poridge? shortbread? Our Thistle ?The almighty Nessy? Our nature? Scenery?
Within my research in what it Scottish Identity actually means, I came across many different things throughout history… how Scotland actually became Scotland. Something myself that I, as a Scot never actually knew. I was always interested in history at school but our history as a country is something that we, as children never really got taught at school. We have so much history here its one of the oldest countries in the world!
Thinking about this I soon realised to me tradition is something that I hold dear to my heart. Weather it being what my family does on Hogmanay every year or what everyone does on the special scottish days of the year e.g. ‘Rabby burns ni’ght’. Tradition is something that makes every culture unique no country are the same.
So with this in mind looking into what makes our country so unique throughout history. I came across something I had never really given much thought about. Our Language! Well our traditional historical language of Gaelic! Known as the ‘dying language’. With further research I soon realised this was a large issue that had huge debates about it ‘dying’ and if it should be kept. A saying that really imbedded in my mind when researching these debates was ‘ its called a dying language for a reason – let it die’ this statement very quickly made me realise where I stood on this debate. I felt very strongly about keep this language alive. It was part of us as a country. letting it die was letting a part of scotland die. Soon it would be totally lost and people wouldn’t realise why people spoke Gaelic. This was a part of our history and tradition. If the Welsh can keep there language alive why couldn’t we! I soon realised that tradition was defiantly something that we needed to keep strong! If i barely knew so much about scottish history then what would the generation after me know!
Speaking to my family members many father and grandfather as I knew that they were the most patriotic and interested in history within my family. I soon found they knew a lot about what I had been researching – were shocked that I didn’t know a lot about how we as a country got to where we are. It became very clear very quickly that tradition was very important to me. And to society if we want to keep our heritage and spirit of Scotland alive.
The quickest way and most common way in history- and today to keep things alive and to pass quickly is by word of mouth. Hundreds of years ago, not many people knew how to read and write this was a privilege to only mostly the royals or upper class. Stories and tales known today were passed from generation to generation through families entertaining each other etc. This generation is to interested in the latest GTA game or newest film on the go. Something I love to do is visiting my grandparents every week is to listen to there stories wither they are war stories stories from there grandfather and so on. I feel this is so important and something I hold dear to my heart.
I now had the concept of my ring. Tradition – how its dying and we as generations to come need to keep it alive.
So to me the design of my ring had to contain Gaelic and writing. A very few percentage of people in this day in and age cannot read or write so this was something I knew I had to include.
The next part I knew that I wanted to included was wood- as in previous work I have started to included and enjoyed, also I like working with natural objects.
With these three things in mind. I continues to look into Jewellery traditions. The passing of jewellery is seen throughout history. A very common thing. The Picts were known for there crafts especially jewellery making. One type of jewellery is very common in Scotland is the Brooch. A brooch is used throughout history to represent many different things. The Plaid Brooch, crest brooches and the Luckenbooth brooch etc.
The luckenbooth brooch was what I choose to focus in on for the design of my ring. The story of this brooch is traditionally given to a couple in love on there wedding day and then the brooch was placed in the blanket of there first born to keep the safe.