50 Pins for 50 years
Every year the JMGQ (Jewellery and Metalsmiths group Australia)
does a pin swap, where members make a brooch (pin) that is then sent to JMGQ and you receive a surprise one by someone else in the mail. It is also done in person, but depends on how many can make it to the swap in person.
2021 was the anniversary of 50 years since the JMGQ was formed. So they decided to do a special pin swap - 50 pins for 50 years.
Each participant was allocated a year which they make a pin inspired by. The only stipulation was to include your year somewhere on your brooch.
My allocated year was 2019. When I reflected back on what happened that year, a few things stood out to me:
Fire. 2019 was the Australian Black Summer. Extensive bush fires across Australia that were uncontrollable for months. Massive areas of the Amazon forest were burned and the Historic Notre-Dame burned down.
I can’t do justice to my feelings about the loss of wildlife, habitat and forest in 2019 in a pin, it would be a molten black blob of metal. Instead this piece represents hope, that we manage our country and climate more effectively, learning and listening to traditional indigenous ways. I am angry that this climate crisis is not taken more seriously by our government. I want there to be real change to stop global warming, not left to individuals and the efforts they make.
That’s a lot of hope though. May this pin keep the fire and rage burning inside and allow you to channel that energy effectively.
I started with some sketches of fire, particularly inspired by traditional Buddhist painting styles.
Bending the silver wire to the shape and soldering together the first parts.
Next parts to add.
Filing and polishing the parts ready to attach the brooch back.
The finished brooch.
Back view of the brooch showing the pin and where I stamped the date 2019, alongside the hallmark.
My pin I received was by Jen Eales who does beautiful kinetic sculptures.
Alison McDonald received my brooch. (She does incredible recycled plastic sculptures - go check out her website!)
On Fri 12th November 2021, the JMGQ held a "live" exhibition at Artisan
artists wore white to display their pins on a living canvas before then doing the swops! I was sadly unable to attend that night.
JMGQ made a beautiful catalogue
of all the pins, you can see all 50 pins online and buy a copy here
if you are interested.
My pin in the catalogue, which is a wonderful momento of my time being a member of JMGQ and all the pins!