Pinning Our Hopes | Insights

07 Dec 2021

Pinning our Hopes is a continuation of our iconic miniaturists series. We present a specially commissioned, world-class selection of miniature brooches which are approximately 3 x 3 cm, made for the lapel to be worn and loved universally.

The artists were asked to create a wearable pin which represents or gives a message of hope, joy, or triumph – we were blown away by the results and meaning behind these pins, and are excited to share some of these insights with you.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights

Jane Adam – Tiny Florid Pin

Tiny Florid Pin, 2021
silver and 18 carat gold bimetal with holes; silver and 24 carat bimetal; stainless steel pin
H:2.5cm W:3.5cm
Click here to view Jane's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Photograph: Joel Degen
Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Tiny Florid Pin, 2021 (modelled)

Like all of us, I have emerged blinking into the light after lockdown, wondering what kind of world we live in now, and considering what has changed and what remains relevant to us now.

I feel that we all need and deserve some joy and indulgence in our lives. This had prompted a new focus in my work, which recently has been rather textural and simple in form, informed by natural forms such as shells or plants.

I have found myself returning to some early inspirations – Indian jewellery and textiles, Iznik ceramics and Islamic carpets, as well as the forms and structures of plants in my garden. So, this pin is a tiny celebration of what seems right to me now, a combination of the lushness of curves and the richness of assembled forms and surfaces.

Jane Adam, October 2021

Susan Cross - Where Flowers Bloom So Does Hope Pin

Where Flowers Bloom So Does Hope Pin, 2021
oxidised silver, freshwater pearls (hallmarked)
H:3.5cm W:2.4cm
Click here to view Susan's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Where Flowers Bloom So Does Hope Pin, 2021 (modelled)
Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Photograph: Shannon Tofts

This delicate pin is titled “Where flowers bloom so does hope", which is a quotation by Lady Bird Johnson, Environmentalist USA (1912-2007)

This brooch represents a carpet of Snowdrops; as the first flowers to bloom at the end of the Winter and the beginning of Spring, Snowdrops are symbolic of hope.

Susan Cross, 2021

Zoe Arnold - Quiet Emotional Chair Pin

Quiet Emotional Chair Pin, 2021
18ct gold with silver pin and brass push fitting
H:2cm W:1cm
Click here to view Zoe's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Quiet Emotional Chair Pin, 2021
Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Quiet Emotional Chair Pin, 2021 (modelled)

I realise that beneath it all, I am a collector, drawn to collation and curation, a way of gaining quiet contemplation from the chaos. The innate desire to collect, to arrange in cabinets and draw the eye to detail. We trip the light fantastic, dance with our objects, fill our spaces with certain order, take joy from intense focus.
This is a challenging time. As I did in my childhood, I find solace and peace in retreating to the detail, the beauty of small things, the overlooked and disregarded. In doing this I hope to share with others, and draw the viewer into this fragile world. There is a power in quiet observation; detail can encompass the monumental and a moment represent eternity.

Zoe Arnold, 2021

Elizabeth Jane Campbell - Colour Pop Pins

Colour Pop Pin III, 2021
oxidised silver, copper, vitreous enamel
H:2.8cm W:1.8cm
Click here to view Elizabeth's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Colour Pop Pins, 2021 (modelled)
Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Colour Pop Pin III, 2021

The past year has been particularly challenging for me, but no matter how bad things felt, colour still brought me joy.

Elizabeth Jane Campbell, 2021

Julie Blyfield - Leaf Fall Brooch

Leaf Fall Brooch, 2021
oxidised Bi- metal - copper & sterling silver, Bi- metal 22 carat & sterling silver, wax; Hand chased texture
H:3cm W:3cm D:1cm
Click here to view Julie's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Photograph: Grant Hancock
Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Leaf Fall Brooch, 2021 (modelled)

I recently visited Kakadu in the Northern Territory, the land of the traditional Aboriginal custodians - The Bininj and Mungguy people.

Enjoying the diversity of the rich green tropical north, I relished our daily walks, visits to rock pools and Billabongs to experience the incredible bird and plant life. As I walked I noticed the patterns from nature, the fallen leaves, the insects trials, the random rock formations, and the rich colours along the way. This was the inspiration for my pin ‘Leaf Fall’ . I enjoy capturing ephemeral plants and glimpses of nature and translating these images into a brooch.

Being out in the open space is an incredible feeling of lightness and openness. Its’ uplifting and invigorating and, endlessly inspiring.

Julie Blyfield, 2021

Heather McDermott - Coloured Flotsam Brooch

Coloured Flotsam Brooch, 2021
triple coloured stainless steel
H:3cm W:3cm D:2.5cm
Click here to view Heather's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Coloured Flotsam Brooch, 2021 (modelled)
Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Coloured Flotsam Brooch, 2021

For this pin I combined 3 of the happiest colours

Heather McDermott, 2021

Ruth Leslie - Fidget Pin

Fidget Pin, 2021
silver
H:3cm W:3.5cm D:1cm
Click here to view Ruth's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Fidget Pin, 2021

It's just supposed to be a bit of fun - something you can play and fidget with, to bring joy or soothe the mind.

Ruth Leslie, 2021

Etsuko Sonobe - Light of Hope Brooch

Light of Hope Brooch, 2021
K20YG, Pearl
H:2.5cm W:2.5cm D:2cm
Click here to view Etsuko's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Light of Hope Brooch, 2021
Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Light of Hope Brooch, 2021 (modelled)

All around the world people have experienced hardship and suffering. In the distance we can see a flickering light of hope. The movement of this pearl represents that light.

Etsuko Sonobe, 2021

Ash & Plumb - Wild Grain Pin

Wild Grain Pin, 2021
Scottish Elm Burr, silver pin
H:2.5cm W:2.5cm
Click here to view Ash & Plumb's work.

This tiny, wearable dried flower vase is the smallest piece Ash & Plumb have created to date.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Wild Grain Pin, 2021

A burr is the result of the tree responding to external stress, this growth tends to feature particularly wild and beautiful grain and serves to protect the tree from any further damage in that area. We thought it rather poignant that something so beautiful could be born out of suffering, a definite reason for hope!

Ash & Plumb, 2021

Jane Short - Colour Burst Brooch

Colour Burst Brooch, 2021
silver, vitreous enamel
H:3cm W:3cm
Click here to view Jane's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Colour Burst Brooch, 2021

My aim in making this brooch was a burst of colour to raise spirits after the long and dreary days of covid, and also has references to the vast universe of which we are a small part, to open out our horizons and think more globally to cherish our planet.

Jane Short, 2021

Michelle Currie - Gravitational Wave Pin

Gravitational Wave Pin, 2021
black iron, iron oxide, magnetite, Scottish sands (Gairloch), resins, silver pin and pin back, 18ct Fairtrade yellow gold
H:3.7cm W:3.7cm D:1cm
Click here to view Michelle's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Gravitational Wave Pin, 2021
Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Michelle Currie in her studio

My pin celebrates the first discovery of a black hole. A triumph of curiosity, international scientific collaboration and Scotland’s key contribution to the first detection of gravitational waves. 100 years after Einstein’s prediction, the ground-breaking discovery of gravitational waves provided the first direct evidence of Black Holes and birthed a new branch of astronomy known as Gravitational Astronomy. Parts of the intricate apparatus that detected the newly discovered gravitational waves were created at The University of Glasgow’s Physics and Astronomy Laboratories, where they have been building gravitational wave detectors for over half a century. This expertise played a key role in this exciting discovery and is providing new ways of observing the cosmos, a triumph of dedication, international knowledge sharing and collaboration to further our understanding of the most fundamental aspects of our universe.

Michelle Currie, 2021

Jacqueline Ryan - Shelter Pin

Shelter Pin, 2021
white and yellow metal
H:3cm W:3.1cm D:2cm
Click here to view Jacqueline's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Shelter Pin, 2021

We often take our surroundings for granted but one of the aspects I have most enjoyed over the last few months is being able to find more time to get back in touch with nature and the sense of freedom this has restored in me because there has been plenty of time for walking, meditating and being outdoors. I have really savoured immersing myself in nature, hiking in the countryside and birdwatching, so I wanted to make a very rudimentary pin regarding what the last 2 years have meant for me and although my work is normally abstract, I wanted to simplify and celebrate nature in a very spontaneous but figurative way. A friend, this summer, sent me the poem “hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson, so I decided that I really wanted to make something relating to birds which have always been a symbol of fortune, freedom, strength, hope and joy.

Jacqueline Ryan, 2021

Grant McCaig - This Too Shall Pass Brooch

This Too Shall Pass Brooch, 2021
sterling silver, carved & filed, hand polished
H:3.2cm W:2.7cm
Click here to view Grant's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
This Too Shall Pass Brooch, 2021

The story of the pin: The writing is done in silver oxidising solution. I filled a fountain pen with the solution and wrote directly onto the silver. The idea is that naturally occurring tarnish will eventually engulf the silver and the message will be lost.

Grant McCaig, 2021

Ella Fearon-Low - Gaudium Pin

Gaudium Pin, 2021
9ct gold, oxidised silver, silver, hand carved Lucite and compressed coral beads
H:3cm W:2.8cm
Click here to view Ella's work.

Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Gaudium Pin, 2021
Pinning Our Hopes | Insights
Ella in her studio

Gaudium is the Latin for joy/ delight/ happiness. I wanted to make something with this celebratory essence as I think we all need some of this right now following the last 18 months. My aim was to make something quirky, happy and almost alive. I have landed up with this little, slightly oriental feeling creature of a pin with moving dangles of glinting hammered gold and tiny compressed coral beads.

Ella Fearon-Low, 2021

We would like to thanks all the contributing artists for creating such incredible miniature works - Jane Adam, Disa Allsop, Malcolm Appleby, Zoe Arnold, Miki Asai, Ash & Plumb, Julie Blyfield, Elizabeth Jane Campbell, Susan Cross, Jack Cunningham, Michelle Currie, Ella Fearon-Low, Grace Girvan, Choi Keeryong, Andrew Lamb, Ruth Leslie, Grant McCaig, Heather McDermott, Jacqueline Mina, Harry Morgan, Cara Murphy, Jacqueline Ryan, Paul Scott, Jane Short, Etsuko Sonobe, Joanne Thompson, Jessica Turrell, Tim Willey, Misun Won and Yusuke Yamamoto.

Pinning Our Hopes runs until 23rd Dec 2021 and all the pins can be viewed online here.

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