Sharing My Love of Brooches

Brooches are one of those pieces of jewelry that I do not have a lot of, but the ones I do, I treasure! I think it’s because they are not as common, worn as frequently, or as easy to find that make them extra special in my mind. I recently traveled to Seattle to visit family and in doing so, I sorted some of my old boxes of “stuff” that I had stored there. It was so much fun going through these boxes, and in them, I found some vintage brooches. I have packed them home with me and now plan to wear and enjoy. A photo of them is below.

Brooches have been around for thousands of years; they are not a new convention. Their popularity and purpose have changed over time. I have found three wonderful images of brooches throughout the years. The first photo is of the Londesborough Brooch which currently resides in the British Museum (one of my favorite museums anywhere!). It is Celtic in origin and dates from the late 8th or early 9th century. Although it looks gold, it is made of silver with gilding on top. It was used to secure garments and, in my imagination, I can see it fastening a cloak. The second photo is a portrait brooch. These have been popular for hundreds of years and were a way to cherish and remember a loved on. The one in the photo is by an unknown American artist from between 1855- 1865. It is watercolor on ivory with gold accents. Finally, the last photo is a portrait of a lady from Northern Italy and was painted between 1465 -1475. In the painting you can see a striking pearl encrusted brooch up near her shoulder. Brooches could be used as a sign of wealth or status. Again, the artist is unknown, and the painting is currently at the National Gallery of Victoria.

If you are inspired by these brooches and the idea of brooches, you can often find them at flea markets and antique fairs (that is where I have found many). You can also make your own! Below is a picture of a brooch I made and named after my grandmother. The main focal is bead embroidery around a cameo. There are tons of cabochons and cameos that you can embroider around and then you just need to finish it off with a pin back.

Featured Video: How to Embed a Pin Back into Ultra Suede for Jewelry Designs

Here are some of my favorite cabochons and cameos that I think would make lovely brooches!

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Comments

C J Makakoa - November 23, 2022

Love the pictures and enthusiasm for brooches and pins both past and present. Would love to see more ideas and of course components. My daughter restores and sells Vintage brooches. I love creating new ones that speak of past and present. Thanks for the ideas. Please share other ways to create old to new or new to new. C J Makakoa

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