2009 January

Training the next generation of wearers:
Kathy and Iris in Jacqui Chan's cloud of brooch-wonder

To celebrate the New Year the broach of the month club took a field trip. The January swap was held at the Objectspace opening for "Best In Show" where three makers had work showing (Anne Bayham, Gillian Deery and Jacqui Chan in the window space).

It was a chaotic exchange to say the least. The opening was packed and many of the makers came along in a show of support. There was not much in the way of the usual coffee talk, but a fruitful evening ensued none the less. Two of the maker’s, Gillian and Anne were part of "Best in Show", which is the "fifth annual exhibition in a series which showcases a handpicked selection of outstanding craft and deign graduates." It featured 14 final works from graduating makers from around the country. Jacqui’s show in the window space happened to coincide.

Highlights involved discussing the progression in the three makers work. It was exciting to see where people’s practices had lead. In Gillian’s case, her final work was very much an extension of the brooch that is rotating in the club. She has pushed the idea of battered silver in exciting and wonderful directions and come up with a great body of work. Here is Gillian's statement in the publication, "To trace' discarded objects using conscious and automatic tracing methods explores the shifting value of objects through regeneration. The final regenerative act resulting in a jewellery piece."

Similarly, Jacqui’s broach club contribution belongs to the body of work that make-up her cloud of beautiful brooches in the window display. It was truly a magical and irresistible piece. (This will very likely be our last exchange with Ms. Chan before she heads to Melbourne to start her Phd at RMIT. She will be dearly missed.)

The work that Anne showed was quite a departure from the brooch in the club rotation. The mood of her final work was much more ephemeral and dainty than the brooch being worn in the club. It was a fun surprise that had to be shared with the wearers, very few of whom would have picked it. Anne explained that it all comes back to a common idea of nostalgia. Here is what she added in the publication, "I love to create small wearable objects and environments using materials that relate to my own feelings of 'the souvenir'. I hope to evoke in the viewer a nostalgic response to domestic space."

The makers were out in force and that was a fantastic bolt of energy for the group. One maker nursed an ailing brooch back to health with the help of a group of supportive friends/jewellers/on-lookers. No pressure.

The after-opening dinner involved a lot of re-capping and reviewing of the evening. Some makers were rumbling about ‘feeling marginalized’ and abandoned in this brooch wearing process. The discussion was an interesting one which I hope they will write about. Everyone was invited to fill in a mid-year feedback forms and hopefully that stays off a jeweller revolt for the next few months.