Fossil Brooch 2

(Click on an image to enlarge it.)

March, 2015
Coprolite, sterling silver, diamonds, stainless steel
4.9cm x 23mm x 35mm
(HxWxD; measured at the thickest point.)

This is one of three older pieces which made their way into my thesis. Back when this brooch was first made my review commettie wasn't too keen on it. I disagreed, thinking that its over-the-top nature was very fitting to the subject matter. During a later review I argued my point, and it was mutually agreed that this piece belonged in my thesis. The following is a section of the written thesis which relates to this brooch:

This brooch deliberately and explicitly calls attention to the accepted scale of value by pairing two materials at radically different ends of the spectrum together: diamonds and coprolite. I like to think of it as the older, more in-your-face cousin to my Combustible Brooch, as the two share many formal similarities—however unlike that brooch, this one makes a heavy use of the grotesque within its form. The brooch’s shape is lumpy, bulbous, and undulates in an unnervingly biological way; the lump of coprolite is explicitly reminiscent of its origins, and it is set into this brooch in such a way that it looks as though it is being absorbed into it. This use of the grotesque serves as an unnerving force which both repels and attracts; it elicits a visceral, gut reaction that evokes feelings that range from repulsion to delight.

This of course highlights the contrast between it and the diamonds which are sprinkled throughout at random: they are shiny, faceted inclusions that dot the surface of the piece and serve as small pockets of logic within its form; catching a glimpse of them is not unlike a drowning man who occasionally breaks free of the waves and comes to the surface for a breath of air. Their placement is also somewhat humorous in its absurdity and irreverence: here we have the undisputed king of gem craft relegated to an accent within such an unsightly piece of silver. It is marginalized and pushed to the side, while a relatively large chunk of fossilized excrement makes a much more prominent appearance.