Flashback to 2017 - The Brooch is Back exhibition - Kew Garden inspired Brooches

Posted by Sally Lees on

'The Brooch is back' - Flashback to 2017


Jade Vine TfL brooch

In 2017 I was selected aongside 12 other jewelers to design and make a selection of brooches inspired by the London Underground for an exhibition entitled 'The brooch is back'. As I love to use flora and fauna in my work the obvious choice for me was to use the instantly recognisable underground sign and decorate it with elaborate patterns of flowers and plants.
After visiting Kew for the first time whilst exhibiting at the Handmade in Britain show there I was inspired to sketch and draw the unusual plants at Kew. 
As anodized aluminium is my main materials it proved eady to replicate the drawings I had done by turning them into rubber stamps for the aluminium printing process I use in all of my work.
The rubber stamps are almost exactly like the original drawings and beautifully capture the linear quality of some of the plant forms.
With it's geometric repeating shapes the Jade vine is a beauty to behold and it's incredible turquoise colour is rare to see in England.

            jade vine picture      Jade Vine original drawing by Sally Lees  jade vine drawing- sally lees    

My drawings capture the multi facetedpetas on each stalk. As I wanted to incorporate these drawings into the brooch design I decided to curve the images in Inkscape. This meant that the Jade vine motif floowed the curve of the underground sign perfectly. The method of resist printing on aluminiumleaves the pattern as the original colour of the aluminium andthe colour of the dyes remains around the print. This technique gave the chance to leave some spaces between the printsfor some blacoks of colour to make the piece more interesting.

Other flowers and plants caught my eye at Kew and amongst them was the marvellous Fritallaria Meleagris, a tulip with a difference as a patchwork of unusual checkered like patterns covers it's petals.

  Tulip drawing by Sally Lees

The way I sketch and then draw the flowers in a stylised way is to make sure that the lines are crisp and clear.

 The Exhibition was a success andI sold some of my brooches which was great!

A small selecton of the animal brooches are still available on my website

#brooch #handmadejewellery #transportforlondon #cockpitarts


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