Bakelite Brooch 1

(Click on an image to enlarge it.)

December, 2014
Sterling silver, garnets, stainless steel, and bakelite
Dimensions: 6.8cm x 6.8cm | 1cm thick (Including the cab.)

The focal point in this piece is the giant chunk of Bakelite that I shaped into a cabochon. Bakelite is a plastic which I hold to a rather high esteem for its robust physical properties: It is strong, it is tough, it is resistance to heat, electricity, and most acids- and it has a pleasingly heavy weight to it. This material also has the distinction of being the thing which made me realize that I don't hate plastics all that much: Before I attended grad school I hated plastics unconditionally, it was only after speaking with one of the faculty members (A collector of things and a jeweler himself.) at length and handling/working with this material did I realized that I might have been a little unreasonable. I've since come to realize that I didn't hate plastics because they are plastic, but rather because they are so often used to poorly imitate another material.

This piece was sold at auction on June 15th, 2015 at the IPMI 39th Precious Metals Conference in San Antonio, Texas.