Squirrel Ring, £299, Jon Forster

Squirrel Ring, £299, Jon Forster

Many societies use animals to reflect and express aspects of the human personality. They’re almost cliches: lions represent courage; monkeys, the Lokis of the animal kingdom, mischief; seahorses, fidelity – and so on, with regional variations. Independent jeweller Jon Forster’s collection of rings in sterling silver are inspired by beasts closer to hand but the totemic quality still resonates.

The red squirrel, fox, badger, otter and hare heads are handcarved in Forster’s Brighton studio; classic motifs made contemporary and streamlined. The heads look hyper-realistic but reduced – to become a ‘typical’ red squirrel, a ‘typical’ hare.

The approach comes from the myriad of influences that inform Forster’s work. One glance at his Instagram account will tell you this is no ordinary goldsmith. From wax sculpting to tattoos, from childhood hero Jacques Cousteau to comic book artists Frank Miller and Alan Moore, interests are broad and eclectic. Cousteau and Marvel themselves are responsible for some of his punchiest works including octopus and anchor cufflinks and an Iron Man ring he made for himself. My personal favourite? Articulated cutthroat razor cufflinks in sterling silver.

Badger ring, £299, Jon Forster.

Badger ring, £299, Jon Forster.

Wax sculpting is the technique Forster uses to make the rings. In a blog post for Brighton stockist Baroque Jewellery, Forster said: ‘Wax carving is a technique that allows you to make objects or pieces that would be impossible to make straight from metal, in other words things that are more organic than the usual forms in jewellery which are more engineered. Once you’ve made your object in wax you then convert it to whichever metal you require through the process of lost wax casting which is a technique that dates back hundreds if not thousands of years.’

Forster graduated from the Surrey Institute in Farnham with a degree in three-dimensional design before moving (back) to Brighton where he’s lived and worked since; all his pieces are handcrafted in his studio: ‘I am very passionate about British made jewellery and keeping this unique industry alive.’

Jon produces each piece individually and the styles are custom made. To place orders, contact jonfourstar@yahoo.co.uk or call 077-6651-7635 or visit http://www.britainsmakers.co.uk

Fox ring, £299, Jon Forster.

Fox ring, £299, Jon Forster.

Otter ring, £299, Jon Forster.

Otter ring, £299, Jon Forster.

Hare ring, £405, Jon Forster.

Hare ring, £405, Jon Forster.