Put on a Happy Face – Handmade brooch


Despite the crossed arms, this brooch likes to put on a happy face! It is quite heavy, so best to wear on a coat lapel or holding your neck scarf together on those cold, miserable Melbourne days. Brrr – but keep smiling, and make those around you smile, too!

I created this handmade brooch called Put on a Happy Face 1 from a piece of slate and pieces of metal. I found all the bits and bobs needed to make it 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.

How I became a brooch designer

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. There also appeared online in Survival Kit at the University of Melbourne George Paton Gallery.

In 2021, I participated in both 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.

I created a special series using handmade 19th-Century nails from a friend’s roof. These were featured in the 2021 Australian National Brooch Show at the Fitzroy and Eltham Public Libraries. Many of my brooches were also at CoLab Arts in the Park in The Pavilion at Fitzroy Gardens in 2021.

In 2022, they were featured in the exhibition Gold Rush at The Old Auction House. They are again in the Australian National Brooch Show, running from April to August 2022.

Where you can find my brooches

My brooches are always available through Incube8r Gallery, in the Fitzroy shop as well as online. They are also available from Dimora Designs at Fyansford Paper Mill in Geelong.