Sylvia Gerrish and Amy Tan Said Brooches

These were my first two brooches and my first photography attempts. I like including the early pieces so that you can see the progression of my work if you are a beginner.

Sylvia Gerrish was known as the “Girl with Poetical Legs” back in 1880. I had no idea. I had stumbled across this cool cigarette card in an antique store. I just really loved her style. I was starting to experiment with brooches and with riveting as connection. The entire purpose of the brooch was to be bold, colorful, and celebratory as I felt her pose conveyed on the card. I was pleased with the sense of older era whimsy that seemed to emerge from the piece by virtue of it being really fun to make. The back of the Sylvia Gerrish Brooch was left pretty plain. I had not yet learned to plan for all sides of a brooch and must admit that looking back I am not thrilled with the industry clasp or the neglected opportunity.

This was the beginning of my unfortunate need to rivet glass.

Brass, silver, Czech glass beads, lampwork bead, cigarette card, epoxy

Acid etching, riveting, wire wrapping



Amy Tan Said came out of a negative metal cut of silver that I liked the shape of more than the intended cut out piece. The suggestion of a bird was very powerful. I also had a collection of ginkgo leaves from the tree outside the studio. Combined with a lovely piece of ephemera from Montreal the brooch seemed to have an heirloom quality about it. Using liver of sulphur to bronze the silver rather than blacken it added to the depth and richness as did the layers of different textures. The back of Amy Tan Said was covered in hard ground then scratched away at to leave the quote behind for etching. Her quote of “Memory feeds imagination” seemed the essence of how she wrote.

Copper, sterling silver, stainless steel, ephemera, ginkgo leaf

Acid etching, rolling mill, riveting

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