The Manta jewellery range was inspired by that most aerodynamic yet water-bound of creatures, the Manta Ray. Rob Morris carved the designs in wax, and the largest was over 3 days in the carving, with Rob ultimately using a needle to get the fine definition. The design is meant to be an abstraction of a Manta rather than an anatomically correct representation, the essence if you will – a sort of homage to this beautiful natural wonder. Some of the pieces are totally abstract (the earrings) and focus on the textured skin of the animal (which has the largest brain of all fish).
Rob was particularly intrigued by the Manta’s amazingly tactile surface, and to really make it sing out, Rob has oxidised the low spots by painting oxidising fluid, which artificially ages the silver’s surface. The fluid most commonly employed used to be liver of sulphur, but the smell in the workshop made Rob fearful customers might think he’d ‘stepped on a duck’, so he switched to a Swedish product, Platinol, and thankfully the finish is superior and the colour is richer. Rob then gently polishes the top surface by hand back to bright silver, creating a dramatic contrast. The light plays on the high spots – which are filed and are both concave and convex – the finished effect is almost like marcasite.
The largest pendant is a dazzling chunk of silver weighs a whopping 25 grams… it comes on a strong leather with silver fittings, but could equally be worn on a long oxidized chain for a versatile look. This piece is dwarfed, however, by the absolutely stunning Manta cuff, which weighs in at a hefty 70 grams… this is one of Rob’s favourite pieces of all time and is worn by both men and women, it’s a really strong statement piece.