Swan Lake 4 – Handmade brooch


No, not a ballet. This brooch is called Swan Lake because the bent wire looked like a swan to me. It is number 4 because I have made three other works in this series. However, all the others are wall sculptures rather than brooches, so you would be the only person wearing a swan by NancyDee on your lapel!

I created this one-of-a-kind handmade brooch, Swan Lake 4, last year. It is made from a thick bent wire and squashed metal lid with a bit of orange colour. It is mounted on a piece of cement render. I found all the bits and bobs needed to make this brooch 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. The show appeared atboth 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. They also appeared online in Survival Kit at the University of Melbourne George Paton Gallery.

In 2021 my brooches were part of both Geelong and Melbourne Design Weeks. They were on show at The Reimaginarium in Geelong and at The Old Auction House in Kyneton. A special series using handmade 19th-Century nails from a friend’s roof are in the 2021 Australian National Brooch show. They will be exhibited from May to October 2021 at the Fitzroy and Eltham Public Libraries.

You can find my brooches at Incube8r Gallery

And, of course, my brooches are always available through Incube8r Gallery. There are shops in both Fitzroy and Prahran, as well as online.