100 years of Suffrage - Making Women's Suffrage Jewellery for the Vote 100 exhibition 2018

Posted by Sally Lees on

The Houses of Parliament commissioned a collection of jewellery in 2016 from me to accompany the 'New Dawn' light sculpture by artist Mary Branson installed in Westminster that year.
New Dawn light sculpture by Mary Branson at Westminster  New Dawn light sculpture by Mary Branson
One objective of the commission was to create a collection of jewellery that echoed the shapes, imagery and colours of the artwork. Mary had used the colours of all of the suffrage organisations in the artwork so the jewellery was designed to show off combinations of the colours including red, yellow and blue in addition to the most universally recognised purple, green and white of the millitant Women's Political and Social Union.
Womens Political and Social Union procession ticket
Although the collection of jewellery was designed to show off all of the colours representing the distinct organisations some of the pieces including the pins and stud earrings consisted of a single colour only. The colours purple green and white were chosen by myself for these stylish reversible drop earrings made from hand printed and dyed aluminium and silver.
original drawing of drop earrings for suffragette jewellery collection
The jewellery will be on display as part of the Vote 100 exhibition in June 2018
with a few new colour combinations and pieces soon to be revealed.

                  Sally-lees-scrolls-parliament   Original line drawing of scroll by Sally Lees

The starting point were drawings of the Scrolls that inspired Mary Branson's 'New Dawn' light sculpture.                 

          dyed purple aluminium strips Purple aluminium with scroll motif    

Each strip of aluminium was hand printed with a resist of the drawings then dip dyed in blue and yelow dye baths to make green or in a blue then pink dye bath to make purple.

                  Hammering rivets into aluminium   Purple aluminium scrolls on bench peg    green disk being tube rivet being filed

A disk of each colour is cut out then riveted together with a silver tube rivets.                                                                                       

         Components to make earrings with tools

           silver drop earring hook wires for suffragette earrings

The components were made separately with the earring hooks made from sterling silver. 

Suffragette drop earrings by Sally Lees

 There is movement in the finished earrings and the added bonus that you can wear them with either the green side or the purple side facing forward or with a purple and a green one facing forward!

For the Vote 100 exhibition there will be a red and green colourway for the Sufragette drop earrings.

Purchase 'New Dawn' Women's Suffrage jewellery from the collection

#Vote100 #Suffragettes #mondayblog #womenssuffrage





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