Two New Pieces!

It’s been a long time coming, but now the studio time has paid off- I’ve now got two new pieces to show!

Floral Wallpaper Brooch

Floral Wallpaper Brooch, side

Floral Wallpaper Brooch, Back

The Floral Wallpaper Brooch uses a wallpaper pattern from the early 1900’s-

Original Wallpaper

I took photos of the wallpaper (which is still in use at a house here in Birmingham), then used Photoshop to isolate parts of the wallpaper design that I wanted to work with. I changed the scale of various parts of the design (like the line of daisy-ish flowers that are found on a small scale on the front of the brooch, then used as a large piece on the back of the brooch). I made the plaster disc (front and back pieces) first, then set about making a metal frame that would fit around it all. Let’s just say that I spend several days filing and sanding again! All in a day’s work, eh?

Damask Brooch

Damask Brooch, Back

Damask Brooch, Side

Damask Brooch, back piercing detail

For the Damask Brooch, I had some photos I’d taken in an 1800’s museum house in London-

The Red Room

The Green Room

I loved walking between these two rooms, seeing everything go from reds to greens. I used photographs I took in both of those rooms to inspire this faded red/pink and green pattern that I put together in Photoshop. I liked the way the pattern changed with the folds of cloth on the drapes (as seen in the Red Room photo) and decided to try to mimic this in the plaster damask piece. I’m really pleased with the result: the rigid plaster gets a soft, smooth cloth-like feel with this new method of construction.

Always a sucker for punishment, I decided that I wanted the same damask pattern to be used on the back of the brooch, and set out piercing that pattern into the back plate. I softly formed the back piece of metal, making it curve and ripple slightly to mimic the “cloth” plaster piece at the front. The softly curved metal piece makes a good transition between the very 3-d front element and the very flat brooch back plate.

My normal working method is to only make one piece at a time, and while I work on that piece I’m busy thinking up the next one. Somehow these two pieces ended up happening at the same time- it was a nice change- when I got tired of looking at one pattern for hours on end, I could just change and look at a different pattern for a few hours. The only problem is that since I was concentrating on two pieces at once, I didn’t plan out what to do next! I spent a morning at my favorite coffee shop  (– if you’re in the Birmingham area, you should give this place a try!), designing some new pieces and now have 8 more designs that could possibly happen. Not sure when the next piece will be finished, but I’m hoping to have a new one in another week or so- see you then, if not sooner!



Filed under grad school, jewellery, jewelry

5 responses to “Two New Pieces!

  1. Pamela Rowe

    I wish there were a way that the wearer could choose btwn front and back–which side to show as the backs are so pretty, too.

  2. Hi Miriam,

    I was actually thinking the same thing – the back of the Damask Brooch is as delicate and beautiful as the front..

  3. Anna

    Hey girl,
    I love both your pieces. I love how you designed your brooches from rooms in an old home in Birmingham!! So cool!!
    Love you,

  4. I’m falling in love with your backings! They are absolutely gorgeous! I love how perfectly circular the floral wallpaper brooch is! Great work! I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  5. Christa Olson

    Beautiful! Not sure why I thought of this (it was in the night when I couldn’t sleep!), but I wonder if your kind of designs would work well to embellish and loosely clip together a shrug or wrap in the front? In my imagination, I saw a series of several of jewelry pieces similar to the above on a string or chain about 6 inches long. I’d spent some time on Etsy looking at some of the creative flowing wraps people have designed.

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