My fave things #1 – brooches

Julie Gibbons, a PhD Silversmith and the talent behind tractorgirl, will be sharing a bi-monthly column here at Indie Fixx starting today. If you like what you read, check back here on Mondays to read her column. –xoxo, jen

Hi, I’m Julie Gibbons. I’m a maker—but more importantly, I am an admirer of the things other people make. Here, I want to share some of my favourite types of handmade things with you. My first favourite ‘thing’ is the brooch.

Brooches are definitely not what grandma used to wear – gone are all the rhinestones and swirly gold bits! Originally made of metal primarily because of their function as pins to hold clothing in place, now the idea of the brooch is as broad as anything you would like to stick on a pin and decorate your clothes with. In fact, only one of the brooches I’ve chosen here is made from metal.

What is it about brooches that is so appealing to me? I love the singularity of them, that they are self-contained little works of art. I like the way they make a statement right out front, demanding to be looked at. There’s something special about these individual things that sit brazenly on the front of shirt or jacket. They can complement your clothes enhancing colours or shapes, and provide a focal point for your outfit; they can tell a story, and intrigue with their form and mastery of materials. And there is such an endless and amazing variety. I’m a big sucker for a brooch, and have {ahem} a small collection.

Here’s a few I found on Etsy recently.

{DogDaisy92 – paisley leaf felt brooch}

This is such a beautiful and delicate piece. Velvet embellished with machine stitching on wool, this leaf reminds me of medieval decorations. I love its soft textures, and am so drawn to touch it! Rich and simple at the same time, it would be equally at home on a woolly sweater or a silk dress.

{SconnieAndJam – Caravan and Kombi Brooch}

This particular piece is laser cut, and then hand-coloured. It is so fab, so very cute and fun! It is 10cm (3.94in) wide, which means it would need to be on a surface that remains fairly flat, like a fitted shirt or sweater (it would look completely awesome on something high-necked and aqua-ish!).

{DesignedByJane – Bouddica Felt Brooch}

I love the colours of this one. It is so reminiscent of Eastern European folk art, in both its form and the colours. It makes me want to wear big gathered skirts and boots and go walking in the forest, hunting for mushrooms and gathering berries.

{OhMyAmpersand – blue glass flowers}

The multiple layers and textures in this one are lovely. The pretty blue glass flowers sit proud on this piece providing colour and shiny texture. The green leaves frame the flowers, and the whole floats on richly coloured and textured wood. Pretty and modern at the same time, this piece would look wonderful on just about any outfit, from blouse and jeans to pinstripe business suit.

{JennyMaynardDesigns – Korean inlay fantail}

The only metal piece in this group – and what a beautiful piece it is. Korean inlay is a very specialised technique. Here, the surface of the metal (in this case, mild steel) is heavily textured by engraving it very finely, before fine silver is pressed into it to form the design. Such a special piece deserves to be worn on a special jacket.

I hope you have enjoyed these picks! Next post might be about handmade shoes. (Are you drooling yet? You should be…)

About the contributor:

Julie Gibbons is tractorgirl, a maker of homewares and accessories, and a lover of colour, texture and pattern. She completed her PhD Fine Arts in 2001, majoring in Silversmithing. Now she blogs about contemporary craft, surface design, food and books at tractorgirl.

3 thoughts on “My fave things #1 – brooches

  • May 17, 2012 at 7:36 am
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    thank you so much Brianna, glad you enjoyed it. Yes, there are some rather gorgeous things there!

    And Jackie, thanks for making such beautiful work! It was a pleasure to feature you 🙂

  • May 15, 2012 at 6:51 am
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    Thank you for the lovely things you said about my brooches. I love making them and you ‘get’ it.

  • May 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm
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    Those are adorable! Thanks for sharing. (My wallet just winced – a few of those might need to be mine!)

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