Behind the Brooch

This exhibition focuses on a side of the brooch we usually do not pay much attention to: the back side. Our first look is naturally always trained at the front, but when we do take the time to look at the back of a brooch, it will oftentimes reveal a surprising aspect for us, a delightful little secret. With this exhibition, I would like to let you in on that secret, something that typically only the maker and the wearer know about. I hope you will enjoy with me this selection of brooches by makers from all over the world.

Curator: Lorena Angulo

Exhibition: October 1st - November 1st

Feel free to leave a comment!

Location: online
Members: 100
Latest Activity: Dec 26, 2016

The Last Home We Shared

3 ½” x 3 ½” x ½”

Copper, paper, brass, tin

Photo: Abigail Heuss


“I am a story teller and my works are three dimensional illustrations.  The stories I am drawn to are about the relationships that we have to each other, our cultures and our shared histories. I treasure the preciousness of ordinary things, the way objects patina with use and evolve to fit their owners. I want my work to honor how objects and structures become imprinted with the marks of human life. I strive to make objects that are relatable, quotidian, but elevated by craftsmanship, precious materials, and the mark of the maker. “

~Abigail Heuss

Lost Souls Series

Sterling silver, fine silver, tin types, pink tourmaline

Photo: Amanda Scheutzow

“My work situates around vintage photographs from the 1800's: Cabinet cards, tin types, etc... I bring all lost and forgotten people together to create a new family.  A family of the lost and found. My work also includes ravens. In certain cultures they are the creators and in others they represent death. I use them to represent both, the death of a memory and the creation of a new one.”

~Amanda Scheutzow


Crying Eye Double Brooch

Oxidized sterling silver, stainless steel, gold leaf, plastics, textiles and paint.

45 x 35 x 30 mm

Photo: Anastasia Young


“My inspirations vary, from analogue machinery to spiders, through surrealism and the uncanny. The pieces I make can vary greatly in style, as I like to incorporate new techniques and also enjoy experimenting with materials such as bone, horn and teeth. I am intrigued by the narratives which are conveyed by function, and the ways in which an object describes this function by its form, but my pieces are often subversive because they do not function in the expected manner and very often are no more than aesthetic pseudo-machines, reduced to decorative curiosities.”

~Anastasia Young

Watch this fantastic brooch in action:

Yellow Poison Dart Frog

Enamel on copper, fine silver foil, sterling silver

2.25" x 3" x .75"

Photo: Casey Sharpe

“My work consists of enameled images of animals juxtaposed with their skeletal counterparts.  I imbue the skeletal animals with the same grace and beauty as their living images, joining them together to remind the wearer that death is a natural part of life.  In this way they function as a modern memento mori.”

~Casey Sharpe






Mammal Louse Brooch

Copper, brass, enamel


Photo: Charity Hall


“This work explores tactility from the perspective of minute organisms. Tiny creatures experience and palpably digest their environment using an arsenal of appendages: antennae, flagella, legs, and tentacles.  By probing and prodding, each appendage mechanistically relays segments of information necessary for survival. “

~Charity Hall


Family Portrait, Marcella and Lucy

Sterling Silver, Enamel, Stainless Steel

2 3/8" x 1 3/4"

Photo: Andrew Kuebeck


“My inspiration often comes from a memory - sometimes funny, sometimes deeply personal. Making pieces based on past experiences - both ones I've had and ones I wish I'd had - is a way for me to revisit and preserve bits of the past while creating something new. “

~Chelsea Jones


Feathered Turbine

Sterling silver, finch feathers, stainless steel

3” x 3” x .5”

Photo: Chris Irick

“My current work is inspired and informed by all aspects of flight, both man made and avian.  The designs for these pieces evolve from combining historical flying contraptions, contemporary aeronautics and the wing structure and flight patterns of birds.  I translate these industrial and natural forms into wearable adornments, whilst at the same time retaining the essential beauty of the original source.”

~Chris Irick

Recollection II

Silver, vitreous enamel on copper, ceramic, caulk

4.5 x 3 x 1”

Photo: Justin J. Bacon


“Recollections consists of a series of brooches that aim to explore moments of visual memory in relation to place. Acting as snapshots or facilitators in the recollection of a space by expressing specific patterns, textures, or placement of objects, these pieces recreate fragments from my personal spatial memories but are also intended to generate feelings of familiarity in others.  By recreating existing materials such as the floral covering of a mattress in enamel along with other media such as felting foam, thread, ceramic, and caulk, the image becomes distorted, imitating the inaccuracy of memory. My intent in creating these brooches is to preserve said memories and transform them into precious objects, preventing them from becoming fleeting moments in the remembrance of their corresponding place.”

~Emily Klopstein



Silver, ebony, eraser

Photo: Gustavo Paradiso


“These Jewells are the result of work, research, experience, study, curiosity, thousands of hours of contemplation, science fiction movies, Japanese animation, improbable machines, giant sceneries, impossible worlds. My particular vision of giant sculptures designed to wear on the body.”

~Gustavo Paradiso










Amaretti Avec Pigne Pastels Flower Pin

2 LAYERS: Amaretti Cookie post consumer recycled tin printed in pastel colors of mint green, pink, oranges, blue, with leaves and flowers; next layer is post consumer recycled tin in multiple colors of blue, yellow black and white check.

BACK: Hummingbird on paisley post consumer recycled tin.

Diameter: 3 1/4”

Photo: Harriete Estel Berman

“Made from post-consumer recycled tin cans diverted from a destiny as trash, these classic flower pins are inspired by “April Flowers”, Earth Day, and National Recycling Month. Think stylish environmental awareness with these colorful inspirations of nature.  The back includes my hallmark or maker’s mark and offers insight, revelation or pun about the piece.”

~Harriete Estel Berman

Loves Me

Sterling silver, 22K gold bimetal, copper, enamel

3.5 x 5 x 0.5 cm

Photo: Doug Yaple


“I use enamel to create color fields, marks and textures.  I work intuitively with the materials, excited by the imperfections in the surfaces. Jewelry for me, is a form of public art; something worn to communicate an idea or concept.”

~Jan Smith



Enameled copper brooch

4"h x 2.5"w x 0.4"d

Photo: Jean Shaffer

“Recently I have been making large enameled brooches with lots of surface texture.  My Nodules brooch is heavily textured copper covered with transparent enamel and the back appears to be a "negative" of the front.  The decorative cut-out in the back allows the wearer to see this effect and lightens the weight of the brooch.”

~Jean Shaffer

Long Lasting

Repurposed commemorative tin and spoon, EPNS, steel; fabricated, laser welded.


Photo: Jo Pond

Although the pieces I create may not be conventional in terms of material choice or scale, I have a passion for preserving the tradition of my industry and feel strongly about the functional aspect of the brooch. I believe that the reverse should be just as beautiful as the obverse.”

~Jo Pond


Wilderness of the Unknown

Steel, silver, tombac, brass, Herkimer diamond crystal, aquamarine and aluminum.


Photo: Judy McCaig 

“Front and back are words that refer to the beginning and the end stages of a process. One cannot exist without the other. Together they make up the whole. As makers, we know that almost before studying the brooch itself, we have already turned it over to look behind. “

~Judy McCaig


Black Brooch

Silver, steel and nylon

13 cm x 7 cm x 3 cm

Photo: Rodrigo Cabral


A day at the beach

Found shell, sea urchin & coral, sterling silver, copper, resin, stainless steel.

3.5” x 3 ¼” x ½”

Photo: Ioannis Tissizis


“The brooch belongs to the "Phytologio" series, which explores the use of natural materials and botanical forms. When thinking about how the brooch would fasten, my aim was to make the mechanism an integral part of the overall design. The mechanism is an extension of the brooch and is also functional at the same time. “

~Maria Apostolou

Oregon Landscape

Enamel on copper, sterling silver, steel pin back

3 x 2 x 1 in.

Photo: Marisa Messick

“My work references my obsession with the natural world. In my work I use references of the natural world to address themes such as life, growth, decay and death. I translate the subtle preciousness, fragility and ephemeral characteristics that flora and fauna posses into wearable jewelry in a delicate and feminine way. Although not visible in my work, I question why people as a whole have a tendency to control and manipulate their environment as well as their excessive need to dominate it for their own success. Humanity will continually build and rebuild plant and replant, build fences and create borders until they have successfully controlled their environment. My work can convey a harmony between human interactions with the natural and the botanical.”

~Marisa Messick


Silver, gold, photo, plexi glass; hand sawn, laminated, soldered, set.

2 x 3 x ½ in

Photo: David Kadlec


"Photos of architecture were taken, cut apart and reconstructed, like history itself. Once the jewel was created, a setting is then formed responding to the outline of the new structure. Silver and gold decorative elements were soldered together to create the support, but they hide behind the exposed surface of the brooch. The brooch backs hide a complex secret that only the wearer is aware of."

~Rebecca Hannon 


Brass, bark, mammoth tusk

2" x 2" x 0.25"

Photo: Robert Thomas Mullen


“My work has become a filter for the landscapes and locations I have come in contact with over the past 25 years.  With this piece, I am combining two materials that are very different, but their facades appear similar. It is only with closer investigation of the back that it becomes apparent.”

~Robert Thomas Mullen

Fear of Drowning Brooches

Copper, Brass, Vitreous Enamel, Graphite, Patina, Steel Pin Back

4" x 2" x 0.5"

Photo: Sarah Truett

“My current body of work is a continued exploration of processes, shapes, and familiar objects. I make art jewelry as a means of describing a moment in time, whether it is now or in the past. Most of my work includes found objects or memories that were soon to be forgotten. I include irregular techniques with vitreous enamels as way of describing how objects and memories are perceived. What I hope to gain from this body of work is a better understanding of why these objects are temporary to whom owns them, and to give them a new purpose in order to further examine my own relationship to transitory items from my past.”

~Sarah Truett

A Sharing Moment

Steel, sterling silver, enamel, and stainless steel

W 10.5 x H 8.0 x D 3.5 cm

Photo: Satomi Kawai

“My artwork is an investigation of the multi-layers of womanhood.  In one aspect of my work, I examine biological rhythms, focusing on my feminine biological life cycle. This biological cycle relates to my psychological rhythms that allow a layer of emotional roots to appear within the work.  As I reflect upon my past experiences, I objectively and subjectively arouse a sense of nostalgia from my younger days.  Another layer of my work examines each of the roles related to my gender; as a woman, a daughter, a sister, and a wife.  I always try to have a good balance between the roles of my femininity.  I am also interested in sharing the universal experiences of womanhood with other women.  With all these layers interacting in various degrees the essence of my work exists as a complex system of my feminine experience.”

~Satomi Kawai

Awkward profile

Monel, Stainless steel, mirrored synthetic polymer resin.

“I have always considered the pin to be the detail which makes such an object 'a brooch'. It is the pin which facilitates its role as jewellery. It is the pin which creates the physical connection to its wearer, and so it should never be left as an after-thought.”

~Simon Cottrell

Lunar Landscape

Silver, 18kt yellow gold, labradorite, emerald

5.5 cm x 3.5 cm

Photo: Stefano Pedonesi


“I'm a goldsmith artisan since 1994. After many years learning the techniques with repairs, I started to make my own series of jewelry freeing thus my imagination and creativity. This brooch is a part of a series dedicated to the space. The stunning blue color of labradorite reminds me the lunar light, I like to use the cuttlebone casting to make surface with particular texture perfect for this kind of jewelry.”

~Stefano Pedonesi


Sterling silver, 22 kt gold bimetal, enamel on copper.

Sifting and hand painted enamel, kiln fired, hand fabricated, and prong set.

2.5” X 1.75” X 0.125”

Photo: Brian Carpenter

“I love metal for all the things it can do.  I can hammer it, bend it, melt it, texture it, shape it, and hot or cold connect it- sometimes all in one day.  I have chosen to explore all this and more in my work and am always trying new techniques and materials.  Continued experimentation propels me forward in new directions.  My work is very eclectic, colorful, and sometimes playful.  In spite of its diversity, I want my work to be bold and dramatic expressions of simple forms.”

~L. Sue Szabo


Sterling Silver, Shell, Pearl, Garnet

3.75” x 1.5” x 1”

Photo: Robert Thomas Mullen

“I use natural forms as visual inspiration for my work utilizing traditional metals and metalsmithing techniques. I experiment with a variety of materials in conjunction with precious metals to enhance the form, color, surface and texture of the piece. Recently I have been interested in shell forms, cutting them to reveal the beauty and elegance of their inner structure.  I want each object to be understood by its core structure and want to include that object as one element of a finished piece of jewelry or small sculpture.”

~Suzanne Amendolara


N.S. Rosario de Fatima

Historical metal plate – blackened, silver and steel

9.8 x 6.7 x 1.3 cm

Photo: Tamara Grüner

“Their lush ornamentation can first and foremost be found on the metal parts, which are being integrated in their original form in the unique pieces of jewellery. The chromaticity softens their austerity and is enchanting the observer. Scrolls do not seem to be mere decoration; they rather are an essential part of each piece. Cut outs attract the viewer’s glance and invite the eye to dwell. In this way new life is being breathed into the old materials. By combining porcelain and synthetics, a fascinating dialogue arises.”

~Tamara Grüner

Leaf brooch

Sterling silver

3.6" tall by 2" wide by 0.3" deep

Photo: Uosis Juodvalkis

"My interest is in craftsmanship, materials, and processes. This piece was an experiment in fusing chips of silver, trying for a reticulated effect. The leaf is pressed in a millinery flower mold that we picked up in New York. Good old liver-of-sulfur provides a range of colors, depending on surface prep and time. Triumph over difficult materials and processes is most gratifying, and if the end result is beautiful even better. The color on the back of the leaf was so incredible that it needed to be shown, so an upside-down tree was cut away from the body."

~Uosis Juodvalkis

About the curator: Lorena Angulo

Lorena grew up in Mexico and the time she spent there amongst the beautiful and traditional Mexican Folk Art shows in her body of work that she loves to create. Each of Lorena's intriguing creations seems to hold an untold secret that keeps you guessing its true meaning with each glance.

She has become a very active artist in metal clay wearable art. Her work has been featured in several books, magazines, and publications of the Precious Metal Clay Guild, and countless on line articles and industry websites. Some of the publications are: PMC Guild Annual 2, 3 and 4, Metal Clay Artist Magazine, Metal Clay Today, FUSION, The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry Calendars, Metal Clay Beads, The Art of Metal Clay (revised and expanded edition), Contemporary Metal clay Rings and she is one of the authors of Metal Clay and Color.

Lorena was asked to be one of the jurors next to Robert Ebendorf, Celie Fago and Kelly Russell for the PMC Annual 5.

Corliss Calavera

Fine silver, copper and bronze
Photo: George Post

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Behind the Brooch to add comments!

Comment by Lorena Angulo on October 5, 2012 at 10:24am

Thanks to all !!!

I want to share with you all we have a great review of the exhibition in Style Italy.

Comment by Cynthia Del Giudice on October 4, 2012 at 12:43pm

Beautiful collection, Lorena! Congratulations!

Comment by Lorena Angulo on October 1, 2012 at 5:24pm

Thanks !!

Comment by Rachel Hayward on October 1, 2012 at 5:12pm

Lorena, what an exciting, stunning, amazing display from several countries!

Thanks for introducing us to some wonderful new artist.

Comment by Brenda Schweder on October 1, 2012 at 4:59pm

Lovely collection on many different levels, Lorena! It struck me that the beauty (and backstory) of the back often finished commentary created on the front of these works! Gorgeous! Thanks to you and all the talented artists for this most telling collection!



Comment by The Justified Sinner on October 1, 2012 at 2:13pm

Fantastic exhibition. Just brilliant to see how many other people decorate the back as well as the front of their work, as well as the way in which they do it.

Comment by alice simpson on October 1, 2012 at 2:03pm

For someone who hates to be seen from "behind," I loved this wonderful exhibition and exquisite work, which was a lesson to me that all sides are beautiful! Particularly liked the ingenuity of clasps.

Comment by Angela Baduel-Crispin on October 1, 2012 at 11:55am

Absolutely lovely to see behind the scenes and enjoy all the usually hidden creativity and special touch that's  "Behind the Brooch" ! Beautiful job, everyone! Wonderful selection, Lorena!

Comment by Barbara Becker Simon on October 1, 2012 at 10:34am

Great curating  Lorena!  enjoyed it immensely!

Comment by Claudia Rush on October 1, 2012 at 10:20am

What a fabulous selection.  Congratulations!


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