Making the TFL 'Farringdon Snowdrop' Brooch

Posted by Sally Lees on

'Farringdon Snowdrop' Brooch

I made the 'Farringdon Snowdrop' Brooch for the Transport for London 'The brooch is back' exhibtion as part of Clerkenwell Design Week at Craft Central in May 2017. The brief was to be inspired by the iconic imagery of the London Underground. So I chose the iconic roundel as the shape for my brooches.


I wanted to design a brooch with some meaning behind it so after researching the area's history came across the story of John Groom who set up a safe place for disabled and blind girls and women, many of whom had been working in the local markets, where they could arrange bunches of flowers and make violets and snowdrops from fabric in the winter to sell.


Much of my jewellery is decorated with my original flower drawings so I decided to choose the snowdrop as the flower to draw in particular the interior cross section of the flower. The drawing was drawn in a stylied way and made into a rubber stamp in order to stamp the metal. See my previous blog 'The Farringdon Snowdrop Brooch' - Preliminary sketches' to read about my inspiration for the brooch.

The inside of the snowdrop flower is beautiful shape to repeat print and the larger drawing worked really well as a motif to be attached to the main body of the brooch.


I used the same process of resist printing polished aluminium as I use to create my collections of work as can be seen in my Birth flower jewellery collection. The snowdrop floral motif was printed onto the aluminium and then dyed vibrant green and blue hues. I decided to incorporate the colours of the district line into the design which went well with the floral theme coupled with the blue of the original tube signs for the central strip.


 Each brooch was hand cut after being resist printed and dyed in aluminium dye baths. The green dye was achieved by dip dying the aluminium firstly in yellow then in blue dye. The dye used is an aindustrial strength dye and is water proof, fade resistant and permanent once sealed.


The brooch was cut out by hand and each element riveted to the main circle with silver wire rivets.

The brooch back was made using silver tube and steel wire.

The finished brooch was displayed in the exhibition at Craft Central during Clerkenwell Design Week with the series of brooches I made for the exhibition inspired by London Zoo and Kew Gardens.

 Read about Edward Johnston's London Underground roundel sign.



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