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Dittlmann & Jank


for a moment you are lying upon a beach of glittering sand. Overhead billowing sunlit white clouds are suspended in a sumptuous blue sky. To the horizon all is reflected upon the surface of a shining shimmering sea. The air is filled with repose


perhaps you are at the edge of a sea. Delicate white capped waves roll in softly breaking upon the strong black boulders of the shore. A breeze is there too, the gentle one, the one we all love. It, from time to time, softly lifts a few strands of your hair and tosses them about your face. Let us suppose you fall into slumber. As your thoughts drift into the silent lovely depth of the night sky you may dream amongst the scintillating firmament. At dawn you are awakened by the glow of the rising sun, are infused and delighted by it*s delectable warmth.

The glorious day and the gorgeous night, each in their own way, are essential to our sense of well being. Light, gentle wind, water, deep night, the steadfast stars, are amongst the greatest universal pleasures in life. They are elemental to our joy.

These then, our great pleasures, can be absorbed into the rings of Michael Jank and Bettina Dittlmann, for they too work on the elemental level both figuratively and literally. Pure gold, pure silver, pure copper, pure iron. To the iron they introduce the smallest amount, 0.01 of pure carbon ( the stuff of which diamonds are made ) turning iron, scientifically, or magically if you prefer, into steel.

Is it the purity of material which makes the rings so desirable or is it something else? is it, in the case of gold, it's incredible and matchless color, a color we link to the sun? For after all, all gold on earth resulted from explotions of far distant suns. Or perhaps it is it's tactile quality, it's feel of warmth, for no other metal on earth feels like pure gold.


is it the cooler color of silver? Nearly luminous when polished or whitish when not. We often associate it with the moon. It is an attribute of the Goddess Diana and a metal which is just as lovely as the ancient Greek sculptural images of her.


pure copper for it's marvelous colors ranging from hot oranges and fire reds to deep purple plums and black?


is it the superb black grays of porous iron?


steel's ability when handled in the correct manner of compression blows, to briliantly reflect light?


is it perhaps, simply the intrinsic, physical or emotional weight of the metals?


it is the form they have given the rings for these too are elemental. They are, though not pristine, straightforward geometries. Squares and circles. Circles in squares as in the round hole of a square ring.

The rings are continous. They are all forged. Literally beaten into shape. A hole is punched into the center of hot metal, which sometimes, is almost glowing and is then expanded with repeated hammer blows forming an encompassing ring. There are no seams, no joining of parts, just the negative hole expanded, into the positive whole of the ring.


is it the destruction of the nearly pure geometry? Not a purposeful destruction but rather an organic one. Sometimes slight fissures appear in corners or on edges. Minor but impressive folds begin to occur. All are within the rhythm of the artists, the metal and the hammer. Structural folds are allowed, in fact encouraged, to happen. They are never denied nor are they ever permitted to outweigh the finished work.

The elegant forms are made by supporting the pure metal upon a heavy blacksmith's anvil. The work is struck from above by swift solid blows of weighty hammers. The force of the hammer is transmitted through the pure metal ringing the solid steel anvil as if it were a bell. It is a sound to enchant Hephaestus the Greek god protector of jewelers and blacksmiths.


is it the horrific din that produces the silent rings?


is it the silent ring on the hand? This is not quite accurate as each ring has its own voice enabling it to maintain a dialogue of emotion. This phenomenon can be observed as you watch someone else trying on the rings.

Every ring has its own character as does each finger upon which it is placed. Confronted by an assembly of rings, it is fascinating to watch someone, in turn confront them. This begins with a pause in which each of the unique rings is viewed. The decision then comes, of which one to try on. This is often accompanied by a stated preference of metal, " I only wear gold " or " I like the white color of silver, "

and so

a game begins. It is a lovely game to watch and hear. " It doesn't fit, " " it's too large " or "too small. " It is tried on another finger, it looks good there, a pleasant surprise because, " I've never worn a ring on that finger before. "


comes the statement, " it's too heavy. " ( Although some narrow bands are as light as a whisper ). Very soon, the finger, the hand, the person, becomes accustomed to this weight, accompanied by the discovery that weight in a ring is suddenly a most satisfactory, even desirable thing.


shortly comes the addition of another ring upon another finger, then three rings on three fingers. " How great that looks, " " cool, ", depending on the wearers age or inclination.


" I wonder how the gold looks with the steel? " " Great! " Now, other combining of metals and shapes begins. Gold to gold, gold to silver, matt iron to reflective compressed iron to silver, thin to thick, square to round and on and on and on because it is simply to wonderful to stop.

but then

subconsciously, something else has begun to happen. The difficult even terrible moments when a descision must be arrived at, as to which one or ones are to be chosen. This charming but serious game of combining is so joyous it holds at bay the final choice.


because there is the unrealistic desire to own all of them. Greed due to the beauty of the rings quickly morphs into saintliness. The metals and their forms are too pure, too elemental, and so greed is defeated, kicked, so to speak in the dèrriere, and passion takes it's place.

and so

wearing a ring of Michael and Bettina's will provide you, your friends and aquaintances great pleasure. The larger rings will elicit from each person the question," is it too heavy? " Whereupon you can smile, laugh lightly and do as I do. Take off your ring and have your friend hold their hand out palm up. Drop your ring into it from three or four inches above. When their lips part slightly in surprise you can say. " See how wonderful the weight feels ".

I promise you will be engaged in a lively discussion. As to which of the qualities that makes the ring so excellent; it is of course, all of the above.


words don't quite suffice, they only give an idea of the rings.


These are rings by two great and good people whom I am proud to know and call friend. Our conversations are as rich and varied as their rings, elemental and honorable.

In case you are curious, oh yes, I most certainly have one of their rings. Mine is made of pure copper. Hold out your hand and into it I will drop a glorious reddish glow, the poetry of the earth and the warmth of the sun.