Rust Bowl 1 – Handmade art brooch


“Rust bowl” usually refers to the regions in the U.S., primarily in the Northeast and Midwest, which were previously strong automotive and steel manufacturing centres, now in decline. When I found a tiny rusted bowl on the street, then a lovely rusted bulldog clip to go with it, what else could I possibly name the resulting brooch?

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I created Rust Bowl 1, this 5x7cm one-of-a-kind handmade art brooch, from a bit of cement tile, a rusted bulldog clip and a tiny cup rusted on the inside. I found all of these bits and bobs on the streets of Melbourne during my daily walks. Each bit was not that interesting or unusual in its own right, but placed together, these pieces make a strong impression. Guaranteed you will never see another one quite like it!

I normally 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 I saw that the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria was holding its annual brooch exhibition, so I entered–and found that making brooches is great fun. Five of my pieces were on display in the 2019 Australian National Brooch Show, and in 2020 14 of my brooches were in the Wearable Art exhibition at The Old Auction House, Kyneton. Now my brooches are always available through Incube8r Gallery, in shops in Prahran and Fitzroy, as well as online.