BOWER BIRD BROOCHES
My goal with this design was to celebrate the natural world by creating a series that could encourage an interaction and connection with the flora directly around us; the every day nature you may forget to notice. To do this I designed a series of copper brooches, using my own illustrations of Australian Bowerbirds as their etch imagery, for the type of person who likes to pick flowers on their morning walk. They have been designed so the user can physically have small plants weaved through them, creating another layer to the design where the bird, for example, looks like it is sitting on the plant.
This physical act reinforces a connection with nature, while also allowing it to be woven into what is perceived to be previous by our current society (e.g. precious metals).
To begin I drew four birds, and then transferred those illustrations directly onto the copper sheets with special paper designed for chemical etching. After preparing the sheets for the chemical bath, (by attaching them to styrofoam and duct taping around the edges to insure no chemicals seep around the back of the sheet) the pieces were left in the bath for several hours.
After cleaning the sheets of any residual chemicals, I saw pierced around the illustrations carefully to remove the excess metal. Then to create the pin catch for the brooch I soldered two small brass tubes to the back, looping the pin through one and cutting and bending the other to create the catch. Once the soldering was complete the metal needed to be work hardened again, and then final filing, sanding, polishing and waxing to protect the copper was required.