3D Printed Brooch

I made this brooch for my 3D Printing class. The project involved choosing a historical brooch and reinterpreting it as a contemporary piece. I chose a peacock brooch designed by Charles Robert Ashbee, who was one of the earliest Arts and Crafts designers of jewellery. He seemed a bit obsessed with peacocks as he used the motif about a dozen times around 1900. What really spoke to me about Ashbee’s brooches was his belief that peacocks were a ‘bold, proud bird which stood out against a drab and hostile world’, and I think that describes a lot of my art. I’m just trying to make things stand out and create joy. For my reinterpretation, I decided to keep the peacock motif, but make it much more vibrant and colourful, so it would stand out more.

I realise that the brooch looks like a gay pride statement. I’m completely fine with that interpretation but it wasn’t actually what I’d intended.

These pieces were originally grey plastic. I painted them with acrylic paint applied with makeup sponges and then coloured over the paint with pencils. I then hairsprayed the pieces, so that the pencil wouldn’t come off as much. This way of colouring allowed me to use vibrant colours and blend the colours easily.

I had a bit of trouble with the brooch back. One of the pegs that holds the wire broke. I had to glue it back on, but now the back is a bit fragile. I would’ve liked to redesign the back and print it again, but the class was an intensive, so I only had a couple of weeks to make the brooch, and didn’t have time to print more.

The brooch is actually four separate pieces that fit together. This means that it can be worn in multiple configurations, which I think is really fun (see photos below).


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