19th Century Nails 9: Jackknifed – Handmade brooch


These two pieces or rusted metal – one a jackknifed 19th-century nail and the other, who knows what – look as if they are having a conversation. The piece of grey slate seemed to set them off nicely. Definitely a one-of-a-kind brooch that will never be repeated!

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I created this one-of-a-kind handmade brooch called Jackknifed from a rusted bent nail and another unidentified rusted bent something or other. It is number 9 in my 19th Century Nails series. I found all the bits and bobs needed to make this brooch on the streets during my daily walks.

Normally I create wall sculptures and 3D sculptures from the wood, metal and tiles I find on the streets of Melbourne. However, through Instagram I met handmade jewellery designer Lynn Powers from New Orleans. She encouraged me to try making jewellery from the objects I found on the street, but I never had.


Then in 2019, I saw that the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria was holding its Australian National Brooch Show at the Fitzroy and Eltham public libraries. I displayed five of my brooches–and found that making them is great fun. In 2020, my brooches were in Wearable Art at The Old Auction House in Kyneton and online in Survival Kit at the University of Melbourne George Paton Gallery.

In 2021, as part of Geelong and Melbourne Design Weeks, my brooches were featured in exhibitions at The Reimaginarium in Geelong and again at The Old Auction House in Kyneton. A special series using handmade 19th-Century nails from a friend’s roof were in the 2021 Australian National Brooch Show from May to October at the Fitzroy and Eltham Public Libraries, and a wide range of my brooches was at CoLab Arts in the Park in The Pavilion at Fitzroy Gardens from July to September 2021. In 2022, they were featured in the exhibition Gold Rush at The Old Auction House, and again at the Australian National Brooch Show.


And, of course, my brooches are always available through Incube8r Gallery in Fitzroy and Dimora Designs at Fyansford Paper Mill in Geelong, as well as online.