I love brooches, they can jazz up a shirt, jacket, coat or cardigan and adds a little bit of individuality and colour. They often don't cost much (although some of the vintage brooches are preeety pricey) inparticular, I love the novelty brooch, something cute often striking and makes me smile when I catch myself in the mirror. I don't own a lot but the ones I do own I love.
I have a mixture of vintage brooches and brooches by contemporary designers in a range of materials.
It was this love of brooches that I met Erin through Instagram and we started posting photos of ourselves with another brooch from our collection on Fridays and so that is how Novelty Brooch Friday began.
This is the first of I hope many Novelty Brooch Friday give-aways. Once a month Erin from The Fawn Times and I will be showcasing designers and vintage sellers of brooches.
Our first months shop is Each To Own, Kirsten was the person who planted the seed, to take the fun idea of #noveltybroochfriday on Instagram (that Erin and I had started a couple of months ago) and turn it into something bigger.
I first saw Kirsten's jewellery last year at the Finders Keepers Market when I was visiting my parents in Brisbane. I love the Finders Keepers Markets but sometimes its so overwhelming; so many stalls with amazing, creative people offering their hand made creations for sale. As soon as I saw Kristen's brooches with their geometric patterns and animal silhouettes I rushed over to have a closer look.
I bought two of her brooches; one for myself (the bear) and another for a friend, and my mum bought the wolf brooch. I often get lovely comments when I wear it and I think her work is cute, striking and constantly changing.
5 questions for Kirsten:
How did you come up with the name of your shop 'Each To Own'?
It was originally just a play on words but it did become a bit of an ethos. I really did want each piece to go to a home that loved it so I made sure that I kept the price points well within most people's budgets and the designs accessible to a wide range of people.
When did you first start making jewellery?
It was just over two years ago. I had been at home with a little tacker and not working full-time for the first time since I was about 21 (not that motherhood isn't a tough gig at times) so I started fiddling about with assembled pieces. A friend asked if I could make some necklaces and rings for her school's Mother Day stall and it occurred to me that people actually liked what I did. It sparked something. I joined a local craft and market group called Brisstyle and it all kind of chugged into a life that I now call my full-time job.
It seems like you are working a lot more with wood (when I first came across your work it was more synthetic materials) is there a reason for this? And are there other materials you would like to work with?
There was one big reason - we took the plunge and bought a laser cutter. I had been getting my designs cut by other people, as machines are expensive and, even though they were my own designs, I wanted to have a bit more creative control. When I met you I was just coming out of a phase of working with shrink plastic because I could play with it at home more easily - it was a fun medium. I love working with wood - painting it, papering it in vintage wallpaper and overlay prints. The machine is a tricky beast but it's a fun ride most days. I have just become mildly obsessed with acrylic and fabric combinations and am working a bit with those as well. I feel like I never get all the ideas out but I think that that is common.
There are a lot of animal and plants/flower motifs in your work, did you grow up in the country or have a lot of animals around you when you were growing up?
I did grow up in a country town and I was animal mad, as a lot of wee girls are. I wanted a million dogs and horses and cats; I bought mice with my pocket money and dragged neighbours dogs home trying to tell Mum that they were strays. I think I was safe to call it obsession. And on the floral side of things; my mum was a folk art hobbyist and I think her love of flowers and plants influenced me at some stage.
Are there other jewellers/artists you admire and inspire you in your work?
There are so many brilliant designers and artists working in Australia at the moment but the jewellery I love to wear most would be Angus & Celeste, My Mother Mabel, Betty Jo Designs and Jettas Nest. My favourite Australian artists are Bruce Reynolds and Kitty Horton and I adore all of the work of Tracey from Gretel Girl for everything from her artworks to her jewellery.
We’d like to thank Kirsten for taking the time to answer our questions and for offering us one of her brooches as our first months prize.
So to enter the competition just post a picture of yourself on Instagram with your favourite brooch, entries can be submitted on any Friday from now up to and including 21st June with the hash tag #noveltybroochfriday and we will announce the winner (randomly chosen) on Monday 24th June. Open to everyone, you can enter as many times as you like either new or vintage brooches.
We hope to do this once a month and both Erin and I will take it in turns to showcase those sellers of vintage brooches and designers we admire and love to wear ourselves.
*If you are a designer or sell vintage brooches and wish to donate a brooch for an upcoming month and have your shop showcased, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org