Monday, January 12, 2009

Thread + Brooch = Art


1. brooch - black thread, 2. Embellishing and Stitch, 3. gocco printed/hand embroidered linen brooches, 4. tree brooch, 5. brooches, 6. Kitty Feltidermy Brooch On White, 7. brooch love, 8. Seascape brooches, 9. The Noble Gnatcatcher (original brooch pin), 10. my mums a hippie brooch, 11. starry-starry-night, 12. pie02

Embroidered brooches can be exquisite tiny works of art. The use of embroidery to decorate clothing has been around since people began wearing clothes. This ‘painting by needle’ has a fascinating history. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find information about the use of embroidery in jewellery prior to the Victorian era. However I’m sure it did exist. Evidence of the existence brooches dates back to the Bronze Age so there is no reason why the innovative would not have incorporated embroidery into these decorations.

The mosiac above of flickr photos shows the diversity of brooches being made by some of today’s artists. If you click on each one and go exploring I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Cathy Cullis really does paint with her needle! Paperiaarre’s marrying of gocco prints with embroidery is innovative, and oh, what about that Feltidermy!

And of course, Etsy has a plethora of artists working in the embroidered brooch area. To me, though, a few really stand out. In the mosaic below, working left to right, we have Wiccked, Lilla Jizo, Crewelworled, Wearablesok, Blue Whimsy, Polyclarific, and WhimsiGals.


Melanie Cook of Wiccked describes the process of creating her piece, ‘Cocoon’ - 'Based on a piece of ivory felt, than a piece of muslin, frayed around the edges, embellished with seed beads, hex beads, glass beads, bugle beads in shades of white, pearl, cream, gold, and even copper, with soft white Australian merino wool fleece, gold organza ribbon, ivory cotton thread and gold metallic thread this design evolved as I stitched. I didn't really have an idea of what the finished design would be when I started. At some point I realised there was to be a cocoon inside the gold ribbon so I added more of the merino, and stitched it in with gold thread. Some of the frayed out threads from the muslin have also been stitched back on and couched, as more embellishment.'

Melanie's art work can be adapted to be used as a brooch, or even as a wall hanging. Similarly Lilla Jizo’s White Linen Jellyfish can really be anything you want it to be - a toy, a hanging, a pincushion, a brooch. Made from a vintage linen fabric and other recycled textiles, it has been embroidered and threaded with wooden beads.

Crewelworled, like most of these artists, uses no glue but sews all parts including the pin ‘I want it to last long enough for you to give it to your ornithologist grand daughter one day’, she says.

Wearablesok has a new ‘Victoria’ series of brooches that includes patchwork piecing, embroidery, and the addition of trinkets. Also using some quilting techniques is BlueWhimsy with her Finding My Way brooch. ‘Narrow strips of green and salmon silk were folded and woven together to form the foundation for this 3" x 3" pin - it is attached to a wool blend felt. The silk strips are embroidered with variegated silk thread and green yarn is couched to the silk.’

And there’s no end to the creativity of these artists. Amanda Hunt from Poly Clarific has firstly drawn a design and then had this carved into a stamp by fellow Etsy seller Tamptation. The hand stamped design has then been worked back into with hand embroidery before being backed and slightly filled with acrylic stuffing.

Kathleen from WhimsiGals took inspiration from the figurine discovered by Josef Szombathy near Willendorf in 1908 to create her Woman of Willendorf brooch. Embroidered on tan salt washed fabric, this goddess wears a headdress of beads.

Although not an Etsy seller, the last space is reserved for Debbie Bryan, a UK artist. Debbie places vintage textiles and hand embroidery under resin in her latest collection of brooches. Bryan’s pieces may be just tiny works but she’s big business in the world of art jewellery.

I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, but I’d love to fill a wall with these tiny treasures!

32 comments:

melanie said...

Thank you, Chrisy, for including me and my work is such a lovely post! I have some new favourites now.. What wonderful artworks you've managed to find! :)

Nigel said...

Chimaera2007 and
chimaerashop@etsy.com says:

Thanks for letting me know about this blog (and in fact including me) - what beautiful brooches these are! You should see all of my brooches en masse - makes for a pretty stunning impact! Loce you idea of a wall full of em!

Faerie said...

Thankyou Chrisy,

What a wonderful surprise to find myself and my work included in your lovely post!

Some very exquisite brooches from talented artists!

Kathleen xx

Heloise said...

What a great start to a wet windy day, to find that you have included my work in the top mosaic. Thank you so much. I shall enjoy looking at all the other work.

Natalia said...

As ever - a great post Chrisy!

Jackie said...

Thank you for featuring my brooches. The joy of making brooches for me, is in the scale, and diversity. I haven't done any seascape brooches for quite some time, I'm onto other things now!
I think 'fill a wall with tiny treasures' could be a good marketing theme.

Claira said...

Beautiful collections! I really must investigate some of your finds. ;)

& many thanks for putting etsy/lostintheforest's brooches up there, she makes the most gorgeous stuff. I love the brooches I bought from her to absolute distraction, they are such treasures - I love that other people get to take a peek at them *beams*

niftyknits said...

fabulous!

edward and lilly said...

This is such a great overview of some fantastic artists. Very inspiring!

Rachel said...

Wonderful! I love broaches, they're definitely my favorite accessory :)

Gillian :O) said...

oooohhhh I LOVE brooches!
and enjoyed ths post so much Chrisy :)

Hey Harriet said...

Great post! Love the idea of filling your wall with them!

Chrisy said...

Yes I'm on the lookout to find some perspex display cases that can be hung on the wall...for textile art pieces...if anybody knows where i could get some at reasonable prices let me know...:)

Goddess Findings said...

Hi Chrisy- great, great post. I adore fabrics -I love the selections you chose here!

It's an interesting question you raise about embroidered jewelry pre-Victorian times. I do know that in the Renaissance (15th century to 17th century), embroiderey was used to afix pearls and gobs of sparkling gems right onto the rich velvet and silk robes of both men and women. Jewelry went hand in hand with fashionable costume back then-- what a fun time for fashion! Cheers, Janice

Goddess Findings said...

P.S. Check QVC for those inexpensive display cases you are describing. J

please sir said...

Love this...well ok, it's hard not to love anything with stitching!

Chrisy said...

Thanks Janice for the Renaissance info...oh wouldn't it be wonderful just to be able to go back in time for a visit...mind u think the aromas would be a bit of a shock for our noses!

emjay said...

Hey Chrisy,

thanks for the lovely comment on my blog, and for the follow! i'm taking your words on board. i will start... just as soon as i stop commenting here. :)
if you adore hand made brooches... check out my friend sophie's work: www.herlibraryadventures.blogspot.com sounds like they'd be right up your alley. ox

Chrisy said...

Thanks emjay...have checked out sophie's etsy shop...her brooches are very inexpensive...my fav piece tho is the travellin circus mixed media...gorgeous...and love the quote in her shop announcement..One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art...from Oscar Wilde...

AnastasiaC said...

great selections!! i think i need a new summer brooch...i have so many white Tshirts that can do with some sprucing up!

picciolo said...

wow what an interesting post with lots of great finds - and thanks for leaving a kind comment on my blog
: )

ppdesigns said...

wow so many cool brooches. I never really think about wearing brooches but this post has made me rethink!

Amy said...

Hi Chrisy,

Thanks for your lovely comment today! I just wanted to pop over and say CONGRATULATIONS :) You were the 200th commenter on my blog & I've offered you a little prize to say thank you.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. You can read the whole post (if you are interested) at http://moyou-design.blogspot.com/2009/01/200th-comment.html

Thanks again,
Amy x.

PS: What a gorgeous selection of brooches!

ArtSnark said...

very cool - love your blog!

Jill said...

Wow excellent post - beautiful brooches too! :)

Kala Pohl Studio said...

What an amazing collection of artists and their work, thank you:)

Maisy Brown said...

This is a wonderful post, very much a subject close to my heart! and thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment, Chrisy.

ButtonsByLouLou said...

Some really great finds here! They do look good all together!

Bird Bath said...

yes brooches are pint sized art you can wear close to your heart...I have managed to collect a few myself.
I enjoyed seeing the brooches you featured here.

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