Visceral Elegance: Set of 3 Brooches

Well guys, it’s been a crazy couple of months, but a good jewelry project always puts me in a much better mood! And these three embroidered brooches, designed and completed during GenCon weekend, were no exception.

16-count off-white Aida cloth
Three 3/4″ brooch frames
Three 20mm brooch bars
Clear acrylic “stick-em” cabochons
Maroon cotton embroidery floss
Cranberry cotton embroidery floss
Dark pink cotton embroidery floss
Light pink cotton embroidery floss
Salmon cotton embroidery floss
Antique white embroidery floss
Grey cotton embroidery floss
Urethane adhesive
Scrap paper
Jewelry pliers
Sewing needle
Scissors

The SPA open crafting room was more than a little crowded this year, but it still had a variety of resources available for projects.

The brooch frames with the thorn backing were part of a gift from my friend, Debra, who brought me at least a hundred of them grouped together in a little plastic box. They captured my imagination as soon as I saw them!

My first design was a front-view facsimile of a human liver. Lungs came next, followed by a side-view of a human brain with the stem attached. Some of the idea came from accessibility — outlines and photo references are widely available online from various anatomy texts, easy to freehand with no pattern needed. I also liked that free handing my embroidery allowed for me to use uneven stitches to simulate tissue, veins and sinew.

Mostly, I just liked the idea of a morbid — and, for some, slightly nauseating — subject in a quaint, even elegant medium.

The colors palette for each brooch stayed within the same three core colors (maroon, salmon, dark pink) with the other colors being used to illustrate veins, musculature and tendons.

Once the designs were finished, I used the frame to trace a backing piece from a sheet of scrap card stock. From there i used the scissors to trim the backing and the Aida cloth to 5-6mm around the design, folding the edges in around the backing before inserting it into the frame.

From there, I still needed a piece of hard backing to tuck everything in and attach the brooch bar. I used the stencil from the card stock backing to trim a larger piece from the acrylic “stick-em” cabochons and used a darker piece of scrap paper to cover the interior of the brooch, using the pliers to close the thorns around the plastic to seal everything in.

Once the hard part was done, I used the adhesive to attach the bar, letting it sit for an hour to dry.

And there we are! Three gorgeous brooches to wear in a grouping or individually. What do you think?

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~ by blackmoodcraft on August 16, 2016.

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