Once Upon A Time - Regina Al-Habib Nmeir

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London View Inspiration Details

Artist Statement

Regina Al-Habib Nmeir

I always find the idea of movement in objects a very interesting one; each time I am intrigued to discover how the mechanism works. I wanted to create something myself which had the capacity for movement, something playful which could amuse and delight.
I came across the Choral Top in the Moving Toys section of the Museum of Childhood, a lovely spinning top, which brought back childhood memories – an exciting fun toy, which inspired me to create a ring.
I immediately fell in love with the simplicity of the design, the combination of movement and sound; I wanted to capture all of these elements.
The project was technically very challenging, I first had to get to the bottom of the magic behind the construction.
I researched the history and designs of spinning tops. After developing ideas through drawings and making paper models I started to work in copper to get the right proportions and develop a working mechanism.
The college helped me with a great working space wonderfully equipped, friendly advice, technical support, and enthusiasm.
The ring had to be functional and stable enough to withstand the pressure of spinning, but also beautiful, I wanted it to be wearable but still a statement piece.
I decided on silver, however wanted to combine a lace imprint to soften and contrast the hard metal. From a technical point of view, I roller printed the lace into the silver and then carefully domed the shapes. For the sound I have included a little bell inside the dome.
I still wanted to add a bit of green, my favorite colour! I have found an emerald, which beautifully reflected the light; I wanted the stone to sit in a golden ruffled middle, within an organic flower-like shaped head.
I loved the whole process.

Once Upon A Time - Regina Al-Habib Nmeir

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspiration details:

The Choral Top

Spinning top


ca. 1900


V&A collection reference number(s):

Exhibition Guide

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