Book review: Behind the brooch
London Jewellery School tutor Anna Campbell reviews a sumptuous new jewellery book that takes a look at the less seen side of jewellery.
Jewellery artist Lorena Angulo did not start out with the idea of writing a book. She was interested in the backs of jewellery, particularly brooches.
How did others make the pin mechanism? How did they decorate the back of the piece? So she created a pinterest board to collect together some images. Lorena mentioned this to Brigitte Martin of Crafthaus (a membership based online community of craft artists) and she ended up curating an online exhibition for Crafthaus and the Behind the brooch followed on.
This beautiful hardback book, just published worldwide, features hundreds of excellent quality photos of the back (and the front!) of some fantastic pieces of jewellery. I was particularly inspired by being able to study the mechanics of the brooch pin, often overlooked but one of the most crucial parts for the jewellery maker to get right.
It is delightful to see so many examples and different ways that these artists have found to do this. I had a few ah-ha moments when studying these contrasting solutions.
The books also displays how artists have decorated the back of the brooch, a place that is like a secret between the artist and the wearer and demonstrates the artistry of each maker.
Every brooch in the book, made by jewellery artists worldwide, is worth studying in detail. The brooches are primarily metal however there are examples of other media and mixed media. Each artist has written a short summary about their inspiration and what the back means to them and I found that this added to my appreciation of each piece.
This is a book I know I’ll keep coming back to and should be in your collection if you want a lot of inspiration and are serious about creating beautiful pieces of art.
Anna Campbell is an experienced teacher and enjoys different types of jewellery making including beading and metal clay. She runs her own business, Light Boat Jewellery and has made jewellery for celebrities.