Reaching Out – Handmade Brooch


Reach out to someone you love. This brooch was featured in the George Patton Gallery exhibition ‘Survival Kit’.

I created this one-of-a-kind brooch, called Reaching Out, from bits and bobs I found on the streets of Melbourne. At just 5x5cm, it is made from a broken piece of tile, wire mesh, a flat piece of metal bent in a V-shape and a round silver-coloured stud.

Reaching Out is currently featured in the online exhibition ‘Survival Kit 2020‘ at the George Paton Gallery, University of Melbourne. My other two brooches in this exhibition are Boiling the Billy and Yoga 2.

Working as NancyDee Sculptures, I normally create larger wall sculptures and 3D sculptures with what I find. Last year, however, I had a chance to think small – in particular, brooch-sized. Through Instagram I met handmade jewellery designer Lynn Powers from New Orleans. She regularly encouraged me to try making jewellery from the found objects I collected, but I never had.

Then I saw that the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria was holding its annual brooch exhibition. I entered in 2019, and five of my pieces were displayed. Since then, I’ve discovered how much fun it is to make these one-of-a-kind brooches.

I am committed to sustainability in the brooches I design and make. My hope is that you will enjoy wearing Reaching Out as we ourselves start reaching out as the economy reopens post-Covid. However, I also hope that it will remind you of the 5Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle.