Gazing Up at the Clouds – Handmade brooch


Of all things, this piece of metal reminded me of a Leunig cartoon, with people lying on their backs gazing skyward at the clouds. I just never know what I’ll ‘see’ in the junk I pick up from the street!

I created this one-of-a-kind handmade brooch called Gazing Up at the Clouds from an oddly shaped piece of metal (perhaps part of a jack knife?) mounted on a flat polished stone. I found the materials for this brooch on the street 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.

This brooch was on display at CoLab Arts in the Park at The Pavilion in Fitzroy Gardens in 2021, and in my solo exhibition In the Drawer: The Silver Lining at the Melbourne City Library in 2022.


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