Sunday, July 22, 2012

Behind the Brooch

I have been plugging away at several new brooches, because I want plenty to select from when I submit images to "Behind the Brooch," a CraftHaus online exhibit organized by my friend Lorena Angulo. The point of the exhibit is that the back is just as important as the front of the brooch. I always lavish love on the backs of my artwork. I think half the reason I won national art quilt awards back in the day was that I took the philosophy that the back was another canvas and made the quilts truly double sided. If you ever visit Paducah, KY, stop by the National Quilt Museum to see if my quilt, Enlightenment, is on display and ask to see the back. Or for a time now, you can see another of my double-sided quilts, Tailspin, as part of the Texas Quilts Today exhibit at the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange.

I've returned to sterling clay for two new brooches (and a lot of other new work). The first is Silver Lining 2, which will replace the first Silver Lining which suffered from slight blistering on the back. Of course, remakes always get upgraded a little, so I took the opportunity to add a quote to the back of this version: "Every cloud has a silver lining." The first Silver Lining will be reclaimed.

The other new brooch began with a window piece that lay on my bench for months. I decided it needed to not be open after all, because I wanted that back canvas to work on. So I added a textured oval to the background, and then set to work on the reverse.

I wanted this piece to be worn as either a brooch or a pendant, so the vertical format works better. The large leaf at the top over the pin hinge forms a bail for a chain.

I love the strength of sterling clay. I would never form such delicate pin mechanisms in fine silver. The mystery with this piece will be how the shrinkage works out with those fine silver bezel cups affixed, which won't shrink. I expect some movement.