Der Kleine Pinguin (The Little Penguin) – Handmade Brooch


Everyone wants a penguin on their lapel, don’t they? And this one is special: I made it with a piece of black metal found and sent to me by my German artist friend Julia Zoellner in Berlin. I found its other metal parts and its bowtie wings in Melbourne. So this is indeed a very international penguin – or rather, pinguin in German.

I made this one-of-a-kind brooch, Der Kleine Pinguin (The Little Penguin in English), from a piece of metal my German artist friend Julia Zoellner found and sent me from Berlin.  I found the miniature bowtie and pieces of metal on the streets of Melbourne.

I normally create wall sculptures and 3D sculptures from the wood, metal and tiles I find. Recently, however, I had a chance to think smaller.

Through Instagram I met handmade jewellery designer Lynn Powers from New Orleans. She regularly encouraged me to try something ‘jewellery sized’, but I never had.

Then I saw that the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria was holding its annual Australian National Brooch Show.

I hunted through my collection of trash looking for smooth backing pieces and tiny pieces of metal. I bought a packed of brooch clips, then started experimenting.

Making brooches is great fun. Five of my pieces were on display in the 2019 Australian National Brooch Show. Several others have sold at Incube8r Gallery in Fitzroy and Prahran, and at the River Studios Christmas Market. Now they are available through my online shop as well.