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Brooch The Subject

Gill Wing Jewellery

Somewhat overlooked by recent fashion the brooch is experiencing a revival in its desirability with designers and art collectors.

Ancient Parthian bronze brooch, 500 - 200 BC from Art Ancient

Ancient Parthian bronze brooch, 500 - 200 BC from Art Ancient


From their functional origins, brooches evolved from bone and wood fastenings into decorated metal fibula. Eventually becoming opulent displays of wealth they're seen in historical portraits adorning the rich and powerful as a symbol of luxury.

 

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Sapphire and diamond brooch given to Queen Victoria by her husband Prince Albert in 1840. Worn on their wedding day onward until he died where she began wearing black mourning jewellery. Now often worn by Queen Elizabeth II.

Unlike other forms of jewellery which interact directly with the body, brooches must be attached on clothing and therefore are "worn to be seen".

 

Contemporary designers like ours here in Gill Wing embrace this medium which enable them to design wearable miniature sculptures and show of their skills in a singular object.

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Gold-fused silver brooch by Jessica Briggs, utilising her signature style in the ancient Korean technique "Keum-Boo".

May 2016: Inspired by the views of rooftops and chimney pots on Emily's train journey between London Bridge and Waterloo East.

May 2016: Inspired by the views of rooftops and chimney pots on Emily's train journey between London Bridge and Waterloo East.

August 2016: Experimenting with Marquis shaped stone settings, Emily found the leaf shape perfect for an Autumnal brooch.

August 2016: Experimenting with Marquis shaped stone settings, Emily found the leaf shape perfect for an Autumnal brooch.

Examples from Emily Kidson's "Brooch Project." A specialist in combining materials, Emily utilised a range of techniques to create a new brooch every month in response to the events or places she experienced at that time. 

June 2016: Very different to Emily's usual colourful style to acknowledge the seriousness of the EU referendum.

June 2016: Very different to Emily's usual colourful style to acknowledge the seriousness of the EU referendum.

July 2016: Inspired by Erigeron daisies, the freedom of using paint allowed more subtle colours than laminate.

July 2016: Inspired by Erigeron daisies, the freedom of using paint allowed more subtle colours than laminate.

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This is a one-of a kind brooch by Malcolm Morris. Malcolm also specialises in beautiful bespoke rings, as well as making unique pieces like the tiara worn by Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love. 

Long without their necessary function and free of the restrains of fit, brooches come in endless shapes and sizes utilising a wide range of materials making them inclusive, with the opportunity to be worn by anyone.

Steel brooches by Heather McDermott inspired by the worn paint on boats along the Scottish Coast.

Steel brooches by Heather McDermott inspired by the worn paint on boats along the Scottish Coast.

 

 

18ct gold, jade and silver brooch by Barcelona jeweller Silvia Piva. Silvia's studio overlooks La Sagrada Familia with views of the people amongst Gaudi's elaborate architecture.

Whether a bold, colourful statement or a subtle elegant piece, brooches show an element of your personality which is silent and provocative. They are the perfect love triangle of design, craftsmanship and personality.  

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Mariko Sumioka brooch in oxidised silver, red kimono silk and patina echoing natural weathering.

Mariko Sumioka is inspired by her Japanese heritage and architecture in harmony with nature. She explores the concept of "Wabi Sabi", finding beauty in natural imperfection.

Mariko Sumioka enamelled  brooch. Skillfully made, as beautiful from the back as the front. 

Mariko Sumioka enamelled  brooch. Skillfully made, as beautiful from the back as the front. 

Eye catching and portable, brooches are the perfect conversation starter to incite and inspire, enhance or subvert a first impression. 

New to Gill Wing: Leather brooches from Ark, handmade in Scotland these bold graphic brooches are an art & design collaboration of British designers Amy Lindsay and Jane Richards.

Photo from the New York Times, Americans are wearing safety pins amid fears of abuse against minorities, immigrants, women and members of the L.G.B.T. community.

Photo from the New York Times, Americans are wearing safety pins amid fears of abuse against minorities, immigrants, women and members of the L.G.B.T. community.

Safety Pins began being worn to show support for those suffering in the racial tension following the "Brexit" result in the U.K and now in America as an "Anti-Trump" protest.

In a world of social media recluses and downward vision as we are glued to our screens, brooches and badges are a visual medium which can unite and communicate, maybe at a time when we need them most. Maybe we need to pin it on ourselves more than on our Pinterest board.

Anti-Trump badge from "It's Nice That"

Anti-Trump badge from "It's Nice That"