Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brooch pin findings - PLEASE VOTE

I have been wearing the 'sample brooch', pictured in the previous post, quite a lot lately and was really disppointed when I lost it. The brooch came off my clothing last weekend, when I was visiting the Dunkleys Craft Show in Tauranga. Luckily someone handed it in so, hopefully, I will eventually get it back. This was partly my fault, as I was wearing it on my left side which is the same side as I carry my shoulder bag. It has however lead me to reconsider the type of fastening pin I should use on my brooches.

I currently have three different types. When I first started making brooches (from Friendly Plastic), I used the standard type of locking pin. I found these rather fiddly, particularly when trying to fasten on clothing that you are wearing. They also seem quite thin and I am not sure how much use they will tolerate (the very first one I used broke, so maybe this is why I am rather cautious).

Since making my brooches from polymer clay, I have been using a different type of brooch fastening pin, which does not have a locking mechanism, the pin just tucks under a curved metal shield. This style is quite neat and easier to use. I have been quite happy with it until last weekend, when I lost the brooch. Now I am thinking of going back to using a locking mechanism type of brooch fastener.

I also have some heavy duty brooch fasteners, with a locking mechanism, which I have never used. They look really well made, very durable and the actual turning part of the locking mechanism is not as fiddly as the cheaper ones. The only problem is that the actual pin is of a much thick diameter. It would be alright on a coat or loose-knit material but would make quite large holes on fine fabrics such as a blouse.

If I make brooches to order, the client can choose their preferred type of fastener but for ready made brooches, I need to make a decision. I really do not know which way to go with this issue - and I need to make a decison before I make any more. Please let me know what you think by voting, see top of right hand column.


  1. For the past ten years I have used pinbacks from Rings and Things ( that are made in the USA and truly are of superior quality with sharp pins that don't snag. They were recommended by Nan Roche in a polymer clay class at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, and even though they are expensive, I use them on all of my pins - even those I give away. I love an excellent product that I can recommend to others.

  2. Hey Claire- I took a peek at your gallery- really lovely work! Ocean Breezes is fantastic! A question- beyond the type of lock on the brooch- how are you attaching the metal to the clay- glue or a clay patch going over the metal?

    gera in Canada

  3. Gera, I currently make and bake the front of the brooch first. Then I add a layer to the back of the brooch. Before baking, I cut out the shape around the fastening pin, so that it fits neatly into the recess. I bake the brooch again with the pin in place. When it has cooled, I pull out the pin and then glue it back in place with a two-part epoxy glue.

    Having tried various methods, this is my preferred option for a really neat finish. I think gluing the pin into the recess gives a stronger finish than just gluing onto the surface of the brooch.

  4. Slkunze, thank you for your suggestion. I have checked out the website and will order some of these pinbacks to try them out. Thank you again for your recommendation.

  5. Hi Claire
    fantastic selection of your work ! and the new site is wonderful. hope to get over at the weekend to see the exhibition. re the pins - i sometimes like to wear them as scarf attachments, or upside down, so a pin that locks would be good.