Born in Newcastle, England, Castro Smith is leading the revival of the signet ring. Having trained in painting and printmaking, he took an apprenticeship in engraving in London’s historic jewelry district of Hatton Garden, before travelling to Japan to study under the great Japanese masters, where he perfected his skill in metalwork, engraving and patination. Cross-fertilizing European and Japanese processes, he predominantly uses the 5000-year-old ‘seal engraving’ technique, cutting reverse 3D relief images into precious metals to create evocative pieces inspired by history, biology, myth and folklore.
Using symbolic motifs of flora, fauna, insects and even the human heart engraved into gold and silver, then plated in subtle shades of ceramic and rhodium, this eclectic selection of imaginative contemporary fables has a mystical, slightly fantastical quality. With variants of his Heart, Sunflower, Bird, and Hare and the Trap signets, the latter a story of entrapment and escape told from shank to face, as well as his Serpent rings and Heart and Bee pendants, this collection has delicate and complex allegorical, lyrical and poetic narratives running throughout.