Teddy Bears Picnic – Handmade brooch


If you go out to the woods today, be sure to wear this Teddy Bears Picnic brooch.

I created this one-of-a-kind 3x4cm handmade brooch, which I’ve named Teddy Bears Picnic, from bits and bobs I found on the streets of Melbourne. These comprise a flat, partly painted piece of stucco over cement, a curled sliver of metal, and an irregularly shaped piece of metal that reminded me of a teddy bear.

I made the brooch during the first Covid-19 lockdown, when teddy bears and other soft toys started appearing in front windows. I did a photospread on these window teddies for the North and West Melbourne News, so they were very much in my mind at the time.

Working as NancyDee Sculptures, I normally create larger wall sculptures and 3D sculptures from the wood, metal and tiles I find on the streets and beaches 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, 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. Now my brooches are also available through Incube8r Gallery, in their Fitzroy shop as well as online.

Sustainability is very important to my arts practice. I hope that whoever wears this brooch  smiles when they do, but that they will also be reminded of the 5Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.