Breaching Whale – Miniature handmade brooch


A whale smaller than your little finger nail! I found a tiny tile near a building site, and the encrusted paint on it looked like rolling ocean waves. I needed something to inhabit the ocean depths – and looking through my stock of tiny bits of metal junk, I found an itty bitty ‘whale’. Couldn’t believe my luck!

I created this one-of-a-kind miniature handmade brooch called Breaching Whale from two tiny pieces of metal – one a mottled slug ‘sun’ or perhaps a ‘moon’, and the other a rusted lump of a ‘whale’. It is mounted on a 2x2cm partially paint-encrusted tile. 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. They were also 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. An even wider range of my brooches was at CoLab Arts in the Park in The Pavilion at Fitzroy Gardens from July to September 2021.

In 2022, my brooches were featured in the exhibition Gold Rush at The Old Auction House and again in the Australian National Brooch Show. They were also in Covid-Themed Jewelry, an international online exhibition organised by the Art Jewelry Forum in San Antonio, Texas.


My brooches are always available through Incube8r Gallery @incube8r in Fitzroy, and Dimora Designs @dimora_designs at the Fyansford Paper Mill @fyansfordpapermill in Geelong, as well as online.