Monday, December 31, 2007

Brooching the Subject

"I saw an Angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

- Michelangelo

o you brooch? Until crafters started taking everything from hand knitted scarves to jewelry by storm, and stamping everything with their own unique style, brooches were relegated to the back of the jewelry box. Or, at the very least considered something your dear sweet, heavily powdered cheeked old grand-ma ma would wear when playing bridge with her heavily powdered cronies also encrusted in big baubbly brooches galore.

Not anymore. Brooches were big about five years ago when they re-debuted with such style and verve, that style-licious babes everywhere were sticking brooches on everything from their favorite jackets, bags and hand knitted caps, to sweaters, blouses , skirts and even shoes.

Oh yeah, the brooch made a Gi-normous come-back, and I don't think it's going away anytime soon. Why should it? Brooches are versatile, and can add snazz to anything your heart desires. Even pin your favorite guy. With a little imagination, your brooch could be the one thing that pulls an entire look together, and given half a chance, the piece D' resistance!

Brooches are not just the carved bone Italianate cameo you inherited from your great aunt Harriet. (and there is nothing wrong with antique and vintage cameo's in this girls book). Brooches come in all styles, genres, shapes, colors and materials these days. From wood, to felt, fabric, knitted doo-dads, to plastic, resin, acrylic and lucite. Brooches range from High-brow to low-brow. Up-town gorgeous or down town edgy. Naive folk art to pre-mediated sophistication. The choices are endless . I have a fabulous kitschy brooch made out of pasta shells and macaroni that I've had for years. I love it, and plan to keep it as long as it will have me. I pray I never have to boil it and add a little marinara in the event of a raging pasta craving.

So, this year as I was bottling up Isabella Lemoncello and adding the stories to Isabellas's new relatives, I got an idea to try making wearable art out of a few of my illustrations. So far I've done Space Odyssey Venus, and Good Luck Bird Girl.

When I'm in the middle of an illustration, many times a story seems to seep out. Like the Illustration is trying to communicate to me that it must have it's own story, independent of anything I'm drawing. Maybe some of you know what I'm talking about. Do you ever create something, maybe it's jewelry or a painting or a knitted scarf, and it seems to tell you what it wants you to do do finish it, or how it want sto look. My illustrations do that and sometimes have their own stories.. I think Michelangelo was quoted as saying, "I saw an Angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

I would never compare myself to fellow Piscean, Michelangelo, (though I would love to recruit him for the Petaluma Craft Mafia). But, he said it perfectly. Sometimes what you seek to create already has other ideas independent of your plan. Sometimes you have to surrender and let that divine plan work through you. You have to get out of the way of yourself. Michelangelo learned to do that quite well.

Stories are like that too. I sometimes create an illustration, with no intention of a story being associated, but the story comes anyway.
When creating these little illustrations, of course the stories arrived whether I wanted them to or not. It feels wrong not to include a story with the picture brooches when they so plainly are telling me their own story, so I decided to name a whole series of them, "Storyville" by Moxieville.

I'm thinking of sewing some of them too. Maybe adding fabric trim, flora and fauna trims. Though I've always really liked flat prints, sort of like Lautrec or Japonism prints. Adding a three dimensional elements might be fun or may not work at all.

We shall see, so for the moment here I go venturing into jewelry again. One of these days I'd to work with a jewelry person who knows this craft really well. It would be fun, and we could "Cross-craft" so to speak. Dee and I are experimenting with a few stitched cards we talked about months ago. Anna and Dee are collaborating on scented sachets and eye masks. And as soon as they've completed one they're actually happy with I'll post it right here. A-hem. Hint, hint. But no rush girls. ;-)

I love this idea of cross crafting. Two heads are better than one, especially when my fellow crafty gals are such great fun and easy to collaborate with! Collaboration with a great group of like-minded creatives from different disciplines can be a blast. I sometimes learn a thing or two about other crafts I'd had no interest in before.

So, broaching the subject of brooches, look for more Storyville by Moxieville brooches on the Etsy. Lots of fun things planned for the New Year. Speaking of which, one quarter of our craft mafia is pregnant and having contractions as I write this. Will Dee ring in the first of the year with a New Year's Eve babe? We shall see!

Until then, Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Siren Suds said...

Can you make me a mermaid brooch? Purty please? I love these!

- the mermaid