Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Prison Rings.


With such extremely limited resources, those incarcerated tend to get crafty. Many people know that inmates fashion working tattoo machines, Pruno wine, and rather innovative forms of weaponry. With that said, prison rings are fascinating items. I tried to find more information on them before making this post, but there is shockingly little available via the internet. From what I know, prison rings, like the ones I am wearing in the above photo on both of my middle fingers, were made by inmates in the early part of the 20th century. They were fashioned out of anything celluloid or bakelite prisoners could get their hands on, such as toothbrushes, combs, etc., and were usually made for themselves or as gifts for family and friends. Often they included photographs of girlfriends or wives, or like the ring I am wearing on my right hand, figureheads from coins as embellishments. These rings are so amazing in the fact that neither mold nor glue has been used to make these rings- simple heat was used to shape the plastic and acetone to bond the plastic together. The ring on my left hand was purchased from a friend, who in turn had purchased a great lot of them from an elderly man in the Midwest. He had learned how to make these rings whilst incarcerated in the 50s. They are now his livelihood. The ring on my right hand, my favorite of the two, was a lucky find on eBay, and features an incredible Abraham Lincoln profile cut from a penny. The craftsmanship of both of these rings is impressive as the history of them is interesting.

1 comment:

  1. hi lady, i really enjoy your blog, you have such a distinct and sophististicated renge of interests..and your so talented! i'll stop by daredevil to say hi soon
    check out thomas woodruff's work, i believe you'll really dig it
    love
    cecilia

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