The small brooch series Sense of Place is larger in scale. They range between five and eight inches in at least one direction, making the work more dramatic on the body. Being in the city influenced the design of the sculptural form surrounding each enamel, reflecting local buildings, architectural structures, and clouds against a skyline. The introduction of powder coating allowed for subtle color to move beyond the frame of the enamel. Within each, details from nature become the focus of the work, surrounded by an organic or geometric structure that acts as a support or housing.
This current work has been an opportunity to work with a play between repetition and space, coming off the body in a way that is light and delicate in feel. The imagery of each enamel is once again from impressions found within my surroundings. Yet, the environment has changed, and I find myself looking into the sky and along the shoreline of Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay. Vermeil, the warmth of gold over sterling silver, is added to contrast the colors used in the small enameled paintings.
Included within the series are Brooches: Tiny Posy, Brooch: Posy, and Brooch: Flectere (Bend).
Brooches: Tiny Posy
sterling silver, gold, vitreous enamel
Backyard Portrait, Spring was a way for me to push the scale of the enamel. Wanting it to be wearable, but take up a larger portion of the body. The piece comes out in bas relief with the addition of the formed sheet metal leaves and cast tiny acorns. The added elements were fused into the enameled surface and adjusted into place through multiple firings.
The cast elements within the composition and the toggle were found in my yard, lying alongside miniature worlds of evidence left behind from the movement of birds, animals, and changing weather. I'll walk along the paths around the house and in the woods to clear the lists in my head, and pick up or study these objects. They are just common objects anyone living in the Northeastern United States would find. However they are packed with texture, color, and detail that hold my attention.
For this composition, local color was pushed, using vibrant hues within shadows and surfaces to accentuate the subtle punctuation of relief. The enamel is set within a box construction made of copper and sterling silver. A double strand of tiny brass beads allows the piece to hang somewhat close to the neck.